My heart started really thumping with twenty to go – but hang on, wasn’t this meant to be the ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’ cup, as we took everyone to bits with this fantastic team that’d reconditioned, formed leadership groups with itself, and beaten all comers in the last four years? No worries, right? As Bob Howitt, a proper rugby Journo, reassured John Campbell on Thursday night, we have the best prop, openside, first five and full back, overseen by the most meticulous coach. There was no WAY we’d lose.
While alternate realities are pretty appealing right now, we are indeed out in the quarters. We still have wall to wall All Blacks flogging us phones, Weet Bix and Fords on the telly like some kind of sick joke, but they’ll be watching the rest of the World Cup from the couch like the rest of us (if we bother). The All Blacks never get to play with the underdog spirit, that devil may care, nothing to lose attitude the French do so well (and nope, we won’t get to do that in 2011 either). We’ve got more than anyone to lose, Christmas only comes every four years for Kiwis – Gregan’s ‘four more years, boys’ sledge was a deadly accurate bulls-eye on our national psyche.
Maybe we should just get over it. Watching the sub’s faces, they looked bloody terrified. For all the training and preparation this group has done, nothing can take away the knowledge that 3 million people in their pajamas are watching you like a hawk, ready to jump on your back if you miss that line out take, or drop that pass – it must be bone chilling. The defeat hurts, a lot, and today I’ve found myself drifting into silence and staring off into space a lot – maybe, as a nation, we should all take up a new hobby.
Other stuff –
– Don’t I look like a dick? This was foolish, too. This smart-arse bloggery is not going to be as much fun for a little while, but if ever a country needed to take itself less seriously, now is the time, team
– Hope the fans in Cardiff and the Mums and Dads having to traipse to the Semi and Final keep their good humor – the bad tempered impression a mob of sullen chip-shouldered rugby fans leave with the world could take Peter Jackson years to undo. If you’re going to be a misery guts, flog your ticket for pounds, and make the most of a European mini-break
– Hopefully now TV news will now feature more news and less cheer-leading based content
– Spare a thought for me mate Mike who was there last night, and there in ’99.
– Ok, THAT BLOOODY PASS WAS A MILE FORWARD!