If the All Blacks game against the Poms was a boxing match, then after 10 minutes the crowd would have been calling for the referee to stop it and declare a technical knockout to avoid further punishment.
In a post on this site on the 25th September, I warned of the New Zealand media writing off England in the Rugby World Cup, as was then occurring.
I wrote, “It’s all about different styles. English rugby style is unspectacular and heavy on defence. For the All Blacks to beat them first requires they get the ball, something England’s larger and stronger pack will make very difficult.”
And so it came to pass delivering up surely the most one‑sided thrashing in All Black losses history. In fact the All Blacks did extraordinarily well, holding the Poms to 19 to 7 when a 40 to 7 score was quite possible given the total eclipse in possession.
On the bright side this was a healthy outcome for rugby. There’s no interest if the same side keeps winning, which is why I hoped for a French, Wales or Irish victory.
Watching the Wales‑South African match was a dismal spectacle. Both sides abandoned rugby’s excitement potential and adopted a league approach, pointlessly having their forwards oafishly smash into one another. South Africa will need to pray for lots of penalties to have any change in the final, their brilliant goal‑keeper never missing.
Prior to the semi‑final there was some ludicrous journalism, both in New Zealand and abroad, about the All Blacks invincibility.
I read here and in England the absurd suggestion that the All Blacks are the greatest sports team in history. Why? Their form this year against South Africa and Australia clearly indicated a declining trend.
There’s a good side to the thrashing. New Zealand is increasingly a secular society which abandonment of religion is fantastic news. But a sizeable section of the population have substituted rugby for supernatural beliefs.
Admittedly that’s not nearly as idiotic as creationism and the nonsensical faith in an old bearded bloke wafting about in the ether calling all the shots, but it’s still bloody silly. I console myself though, with the realisation that if humans were totally rational, what a boring old world it would be.