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Speaker: Quantum Competition

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  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I was walking along Symonds Street late this morning, and came across a big group of people sitting outside the French Connection restaurant, almost blocking the footpath. With some French reggae playing in the background, they appeared to be having a lively conversation en francais about how awesome the game had been. Oh la la.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1870 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Still, there's always watching the inevitable trainwreck over at Kiwiblog to cheer a chap up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Some miscellaneous thoughts ...

    At least now I can stop being so nervous :).

    Still very proud of the AB's - they are judged by their own high standards, they at least went out on their shields, and I am sure they more than anyone will be feeling completely gutted. They are still the most prized scalp in the game. I hope we can take this result with the same class that Henry and his team have shown over the last few years.

    'Rub of the green' a good description - ya need a bit of luck, and this all feels like some kind of cosmic joke against us. If the RWC is indeed to remain the be all and end all of rugby success (for better or worse), well, when we eventually do win it, the glory will taste all the sweeter for the pain we have suffered (that almost sounds catholic).

    Boston Red Sox had to wait 90 years.

    The game itself? - stupendous defensive effort by the French. Yes, some very tough calls went against us at crucial times, but the bit that frustrated me even more was our inability to force penalties to keep the score ticking over and consolidate our lead - the French did a great job of judging the fine line between what the ref would allow or not at the breakdown (penalty count 3 to 1 against AB's) - as an aside, I think rugby union could learn a lot from league with regards to policing offsides and reducing human error in refereeing. The game would be a lot more attractive as a result.

    Fantastic game from Ali Williams. In fact I don't believe anyone had a bad game. I thought taking Jerry off was a bit premature though. Still, the game wasn't won or lost by any individuals and hopefully the inevitable inquest doesn't identify any scapegoats.

    So, no snap election then :)

    What will Chris Rattue write tomorrow, and how much will the NH journos enjoy pricking the bubbles of those who so blithely and confidently declared NH rugby dead and buried?

    I don't want to read - and frankly don't care - what Stephen Jones has to say about it. Fuck 'em.

    Even if we had forced a match-winning penalty in the last 5 minutes, we probably would have been struggling to put together a fit team for next weekend - dropping like flies we were.

    Why didn't Nick Evans take the conversion for Rodders try?

    England and France both winning - who'd have thunk it? - what odds Scotland to fly the flag as well?

    Go the Phoenix.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Must stop looking at those clips. The more I look at the sin-binning and the forward pass, the less philosophical I feel ...

    I think I'm experiencing reverse grief - from acceptance to anger and depression in a matter of hours...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2239 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    You know, even though the All Blacks don't seem able to win the Rugby World Cup, it still feels like they're the best rugby team in the world.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1870 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    England and France both winning - who'd have thunk it? - what odds Scotland to fly the flag as well?

    I now predict an "all-upset" weekend with Argentina beating England in the Final.

    At least now I can stop being so nervous :)

    I know, no more ulcers for me :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    It does, and I still think they are, which is what makes this even harder to swallow... again.

    Although after the talking up of the Americas Cup, the Cricket World Cup, the Warriors etc, I'm getting used to this feeling.

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Robyn, no disrespect but it is hard to claim to be the best rugby team in the world if you haven't won a World Cup for 20 years.

    I love this post on Kiwiblog. How's this sour grapes attempt?

    "NZ needs to stop focusing on the world cup and that it in some way shows who is the best team. It is not a competition designed to find the best team. It is set up for bookies. Where there is a better chance of upsets, as we have just witnessed."

    I like it. If we win we are world champions and if we lose, we only lost a competition set up by the betting agencies.

    My commiserations to the team. I hope they don't have to go through the same ordeal that the media and public put the 1999 team through. They gave it their best shot but they probably needed some tougher games in the first round and they just seemed to wilt in the face of passion and defiance from a team with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    One small benefit on a gloomy day - I look forward now to the end of reporting by writers like Wynne Gray who in his preview in the NZH yesterday went overboard with his war metaphors.

    Here's a taste: It was to be an evening of 'French strafing' with the French kickers or 'artillery launchers' planning to send up plenty of 'bombs' that would need 'defusing' with our boys needing to stand up to the 'French aerial assault'.

    Time for General Gray to pack up his kitbag and begin the long march home.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Must stop looking at those clips. The more I look at the sin-binning and the forward pass, the less philosophical I feel ...

    Well, pop down to your local rugby club, volunteer to be a ref and spend a few wet, shitty Saturday mornings having abuse screeched at you by psychotic parents. (I've just stopped going to my ten year old nephew's matches, because mixing it up with the sideline fishwives would be really, really poor role modelling.) If that doesn't put you in a suitably Stoic frame of mind, nothing will.

    And let's be honest, the AB's have never, ever been the beneficiaries of a marginal (or downright dodgy) call? Don't think so...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and I shouldn't have to offer mad props to Graham Henry for just being a grown-up who stated the obvious with enormous grace and dignity. But there you go, and here we are.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    David Kirk's commentary is worth a read, and about sums up my thoughts on the matter : http://www.stuff.co.nz/4229129a1823.html

    My advice would be to get some fine whiskey ;) and for the rest of the tournament just simply enjoy it with a good crowd. I know I will.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    David Kirk wrote:

    The players deserve better than to have refereeing decisions determine the outcome of matches.

    Oy and vey... could someone explain to be what game's outcome isn't determined by "refereeing decisions"? What a pissy, sour little squirt of sour grape juice from David Kirk, and so the AB's weren't only knocked out by an incompetent ref but they're also victims of their own brilliance?

    Gagh... I really hoped the AB's would win, because smug and jingoistic media commentary is marginally less obnoxious than bitter and bitchy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    My commiserations to the team. I hope they don't have to go through the same ordeal that the media and public put the 1999 team through.

    Oh, they will, unfortunately. The nasty, recriminatory tone of some of the postings on the Herald and Stuff forums really makes you wonder about some New Zealanders. I find having to put up with all that more irksome than actually losing, truth be known.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Still looking for ad copy?

    At least the whisky has a smooth finish, and mellow aftertaste...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 842 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    You know, even though the All Blacks don't seem able to win the Rugby World Cup, it still feels like they're the best rugby team in the world.

    And that, my friends, sums it all up beautifully.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    What a pissy, sour little squirt of sour grape juice from David Kirk

    I disagree almost entirely with your assessment of that column, Craig. In fact, he says almost immediately after the quote you used that the ABs should have been expecting 'close refereeing' and played accordingly. Additionally, his argument is not that the ABs were 'victims of their own brilliance', but that the rotation scheme failed to take into account particularly good team match-ups.

    I'm so bummed by the nasty tone of the Your Views in the Herald that I even sent a 'never mind, it'll all come out in the wash' kind of message to the team through the official All Blacks site. I *never* do that. I don't have a little black flag on my car, because it's not my style, and yet I sort of feel like putting one up now, after the fact! I just feel like they're a bunch of really young guys, and they tried really hard, and they must be feeling terrible. I suppose I don't have the 'Angry Sports Fan' gene...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oy and vey... could someone explain to be what game's outcome isn't determined by "refereeing decisions"?

    Most of them aren't affected to quite the same degree this one was. Perhaps it was just France's day, but 17 of their 20 points came off those poor decisions.

    Well, pop down to your local rugby club, volunteer to be a ref and spend a few wet, shitty Saturday mornings having abuse screeched at you by psychotic parents.

    Barnes is a professional referee, he's paid to get it right. But the guy only controlled a test match for the first time last year and I think things got away on him with the McAllister decision in particular. He blew his whistle nine times before he'd calmed down enough to speak to the players.

    Barnes' assessment for this match won't be good, and there's very little chance of him refereeing again in the tournament, but it's a bit late now.

    Like I said, I was philosophical afterwards; a bit less so after I'd watched the controversial moments again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Gagh... I really hoped the AB's would win, because smug and jingoistic media commentary is marginally less obnoxious than bitter and bitchy.

    Oh the irony!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2239 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On YouTube till some IRB lawyer sends a nastygram ...

    McAllister's try ...

    McAllister's yellow card ...

    The fateful forward pass ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Jeremy wrote:
    Still looking for ad copy?
    At least the whisky has a smooth finish, and mellow aftertaste...

    You're still on form, then.

    Few other random thoughts:

    Yeah, the war metaphors really got my back up. It's also there in the sub-Churchillian Rod & Gunn sponsor copy too "let us go forward to the fray" or something similar. There's a big poster down en route to Wn airport...to make matters worse it went up just after Battle of Britain Day.

    Oh, and I thought the French played well. Setting the

    A lot of the commetn on some other threads - the Herald in particular - was about how the NZers were too arrogant - possibly true, but I don't think that's the reason the ABs lost.

    I'd put it down to an inexperienced ref making two bad calls (if he'd only made one of them, we'd have won) and - perhaps - injuries to a couple of key players - Carter and Collins in particular - at the crucial time.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Still on the ad copy (and suitably quantum):

    Whether they win or lose ... clearly the best in the world.

    (I did briefly consider "Going up against the French ... you'll need a stiff one" but that's probably not usable ;-)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 928 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Robyn, no disrespect but it is hard to claim to be the best rugby team in the world if you haven't won a World Cup for 20 years.

    Well, it seems to me that the RWC is just one way of measuring rugby greatness. Surely there's more to rugby than a quadrennial international tournament.

    The All Blacks were awesome before the RWC started in 1987, and so why shouldn't they continue to be?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1870 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    "Going up against the French ... you'll need a stiff one"

    that's gotta be a winner!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2239 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A lot of the commetn on some other threads - the Herald in particular - was about how the NZers were too arrogant - possibly true, but I don't think that's the reason the ABs loss/

    Of course. It obviously gives some people some sort of tall-poppy-slashing satisfaction to say it after the fact, but it doesn't mean it's true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    There's a bit more of a detached summary here:
    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/10/06/unbreakable_french_recall_shad.html

    I like his conclusion, although at the moment' I'd quibble about the word 'glorious':

    This was not the kind of result that bears rational explanation, at least not at this moment in time. New Zealand made 36 tackles out of 47; France made 178 out of 197; New Zealand had 72 per cent of possession.

    In short it was a glorious nonsense of a result. It confounded everybody's expectations, as well as the bookies' odds, and it has left me absolutely flabbergasted.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

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