There's not much more the Dropkicks can say about Sunday morning that hasn't already been spoken in the forums, other than to agree that Wayne Barnes was clearly not the man for the job. Taking that into account, we'd also like to acknowledge the French for a colossal defence that was clearly what won them the game.
Watching rugby over the years we've come to notice that what most often causes losses is the inability to score as many points as the other team, and we'd like to suggest to those insanely angry New Zealanders out there that they man up to this loss a little more. The referee was not the cause of the All Black's complete inability to change the script in that last ten minutes, nor was he the cause of the numerous small bad decisions that prevented us getting ahead on the points table.
We'd also like to acknowledge the French for what may well have been the best response to the Haka we've seen. Not sure if you noticed, but when the French formed on the halfway they were wearing red, white and blue vests. A symbolic act that eventually represented the game itself. A Tricolore line that could not be crossed, no matter what we threw at it.
And so we move right along, after all, there's still plenty of rugby to be played at this World Cup. And we loves us some rugby.
Regardless of the outcome on October 14, we're not alone in thinking that the real winners have to be Argentina. Where that first game was considered an upset, the win against Scotland was not. This is a small but significant movement in thought, and brings us to the question, how do we rope them into our competition before the 6-Nations rope them into theirs?
What's often claimed to be the main stumbling block to the inclusion of Argentina in the Tri-Nations is the logistics of moving players between South Africa, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand. Furthermore there's the risk of saturation games and loss of fan/watcher interest. Let's face it, too much rugby can water down your enthusiasm.
We aren't convinced that the logistical issue is insurmountable, if the IRB thinks outside the box a little.
So here we go. One of the plans for expanding the Super 12 seems to have been the principle "more of a good thing is bloody excellent". We aren't convinced this was sound thinking. More rugby, is basically just "more". It's not different, interesting, or compelling. It's like that extra bit of chicken in your quarter pack. Delicious, but basically just more of the same.
The Dropkicks think that the IRB need to apply the principle that "variety is the spice of life". Instead of sticking to the conventional, time-consuming round-robin style tournament, why not send the whole shebang on tour every year? This would mean having one country host all or most of the games themselves (Argentina and South Africa could co-host, as could New Zealand and Australia), and minimising travel for the players and their families.
This increases the number of 4-Nations fixtures to 10, but you could easily limit the time between games because there is no need to consider travel. Taking this into account, the tour could potentially start in South Africa in 2008, move to Australia in 2009, New Zealand in 2010, and Argentina in time for the next World Cup.
And why would this be more useful than a round-robin? Because what the IRB needs to place the emphasis on for an expanded Tri-Nations is not more bloody rugby, no matter how much we love the game. More rugby will not win fans. But a better rugby experience, a "spicier" or "gala"-style rugby will.
Let's look at the Sevens for example. People love it. It's got colour, lots of life, a variety of teams all under the same roof, and basically it's just heaps of fun. With a tour you get a carnival atmosphere for a few weeks, just like the Lions did, and it will draw people to the game. That's the kind of business plan you want to generate, not "damn... we can make even more money by providing even more mediocre rugby experiences for the fans."
Think about it there Mr. IRB. And then we'll stop sending you letters.
Some Foreign Field is kindly sponsored by Whisky Galore