Martin Devlin: RWC failure leaves us with more questions than answers

Author
Radio Sport,
Publish Date
Wed, 6 Nov 2019, 12:37PM

Martin Devlin: RWC failure leaves us with more questions than answers

Author
Radio Sport,
Publish Date
Wed, 6 Nov 2019, 12:37PM

I've been back a week and it still consumes me. The RWC has ended with more questions than questions answers I'm afraid.

Let's start with our All Blacks. And right from this point can we please make it a national promise to never ever rewrite history on that semi-final. Because those cracks weren't cracks, they were caverns.

On that day at that ground in that game against England we were beasted.

Smacked in a way I'd never seen before and hope never to see again. AND it was worse actually being there because you got to see the full field.

So you could fully understand how aimless the kicking was, how far behind the advantage line we were forced to play, how we never got anything going at all all game until they gifted us Ardie's lineout try.

Let us never let time dull the massiveness of the gap between us and England on that night. Because according to the All Blacks themselves, you learn more when you lose. In that case we should learn an enormous amount from the semi given that it was all-encompassing, total, incomparable.

South Africa not only saved our blushes they also saved the next few seasons of Southern Hemisphere rugby.

If England had've belted them as well, what would it have meant - apart from that the Northern Hemisphere's leading team, also the world champs, were clearly miles ahead with all that extra resource, wealth, playing numbers & fat chequebooks still to pillage us with.

But they didn't. They lost. And they lost as miserably to SA as we did to them.

Which leaves the biggest question of all still stewing away being what the heck went wrong with us and was it all, can it all be excused by, just a one-off bad (admittedly very very bad) performance?

And the answer to that question being of ultimate importance because it, in turn, probably decides who'll be the next All Black coach. If England were that much better then maybe a new broom sweeping clean would've been obvious and out of the question.

But now we must (also) place the perspective of 10yrs of excellence and maintaining that standard alongside the s/f loss and surely it strengthens the claims of the incumbent(s) being that yes they got it wrong two weekends back, but the template created over a decade remains irresistible?

Who's right? Or maybe who's more right?

As I said right at the beginning, there's more questions than answers to them...

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