Damn kids and their short attention spans. "Fantastic game" was the cry about the All Blacks win over France on the weekend.
"Finally!" cried the pundits, "tries, and lots of them! And running ones too, none of that forward muck". And I don't deny that it was nice to see some great tries against a very good team… but… I don't know if this was a good team.
Yes the French had beaten South Africa but we've seen the French just give up on matches before, when they should've played better. And when they've got a good plan and the confidence they are unstoppable. Personally I knew they were going to lose when they attempted the drop-goal.
It showed the French had no plan and no confidence in their attack.
So it was a bubble gum game. A really fantastic game is one where the opposition shows up. One where there is real tension right up until the final whistle, not just us being happy to have scored some tries.
Yes, yes, I know "bah humbug" and all that. But having seen it I was underwhelmed by the descriptions of "stunning" and "fantastic". Though I will admit certain players had star turns.
It seems now that all we want is tries. The All Blacks weren't losing and so we had to complain that they weren't winning in the correct manner. If only the All Blacks could play games like they were highlight reels.
Is it possible that we don't actually like rugby? Probably not. I think we're just annoyed that the game plan we'd like our team to employ is also easily thwarted. And this weekend it wasn't.
Both teams played open expansive running rugby and one of them got thumped. This means that teams who play the winner (ie. the All Blacks) in the future will try to stop that happening again.
And it's not just rugby. Every sport, with has two competitors, is a battle to score points while stopping the opposition from doing the same. And unless the rules are changed don't expect us to score more tries. And if they do change the rules, expect us to complain about that too.
By the way, both teams had excellent uniforms