James Horwill, the Australia rugby captain, puts the World Cup semi-finals into perspective.
Before every match, he winds white tape around his left forearm and writes two names on it with a black marker pen, Macca and Ponto.
They were his close friends of his from childhood who, a week before he was due to join up with the Wallabies for his first tour, to Europe in 2006, died in a boating accident.
He went on the tour at the urging of his friends’ families and ever since then he has written the two nicknames on tape before every match, whether for the Reds or Australia.
“Footy is not life and death,” he said. “It’s still a game.”