The Australia v New Zealand clash is steeped in history and picking the winner is never straight forward. Once again the Australian's far out match the Kiwi's on paper, but as we cast our minds back to the last World Cup final it doesn't matter what's on paper, rather your performance on the night.
During the first test between the two countries in 1908, New Zealand pulled off a one point victory, despite the referee's best efforts to assist the Australians with a second shot at goal after a Kiwi player clapped his hands, thus 'baulking' Dally Messenger in his first attempt at goal. Messenger, a legend in Australian Rugby League, wasn't able to capitalise on the free shot at goal to beat the Kiwis.
New Zealand sports teams have a great ability to hold on to these sorts of incidents – just look at the under arm bowling fiasco – and use them as motivation against Australia for decades to come.
Unfortunately for New Zealand, rarely does motivation alone get you through 80 minutes of test match football and that could be the downfall of the Kiwi's this evening.
NRL Round 9 and Representative Matches
â€¢ Australia to beat the Kiwis
â€¢ City over Country
â€¢ Dragons to stamp their authority on the competition with a win over the Sea Eagles
â€¢ Storm at home over the Broncos
â€¢ Roosters over the Cowboys who are missing player maker Thurston
Last weeks loss by the Waratahs has kept the Reds in the hunt for a finals birth despite losing their match against the Brumbies in Canberra. Now, with only two weeks to go, the Reds face two do or die matches.
Regardless of the outcome it is an amazing turnaround for a team that has finished in the bottom three for at least the past four years and has gone 15 years without winning the competition, or even featuring in the grand final.
Super14 Round 13
â€¢ Reds over the Hurricanes in Wellington
â€¢ Bulls at home will be too strong for the Crusaders
â€¢ Blues over the hapless Lions in Jo'Burg
â€¢ Waratahs to remain in contention with a win over the Chiefs
â€¢ Brumbies over the Highlanders
â€¢ The Western Force to make a late season comeback with a win over the Cheetahs
â€¢ Stormers will have an easy win over the Sharks
Friendly rivalry can be a great way to get the best out of a team or business. It encourages us to push ourselves in order to achieve better results or efficiency. However, friendly rivalry, particularly within families can quickly turn to jealously and bitterness.
The Bible is littered with examples of rivalries that got out of hand – Cain & Abel, Isaac and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers just to name a few. In each case jealousy crept in to the relationship and tragedy ensued.
Jealously indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us and it's something we should always guard ourselves against. It says in Galatians: "Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."