I felt sorry for the man who had, unwisely, chosen the seat between me and the screen. Through no fault of his own the gentleman was subjected to some incredibly loud swear words. Some of which were created especially for certain situations in the third Tri-Nations clash between the Springboks and All Blacks.
Sadly all of my yelling was to no avail and we lost. Well to be fair, it really was a game of quarters and we lost the first three. In the end the All Blacks were one clever kick from winning. Yes, yes, yes, I agree, they never should've been in the situation where they needed to do some crazy cross-field league-style kick and hope that Rokocoko or some lanky forward could reach up and snag it.
Thinking about it this morning, we only lost by a margin equal to that stupid penalty on Kieran Read. And it was the penalty that was stupid, not the shoulder hit, the shoulder hit was awesome. It's almost like Wayne Barnes has something against New Zealand (for the conspiracy theorists amongst you, I don't believe it). In the meantime the spear tackle on Ma'a Nonu went uncalled (though it did go to the SANZAR judiciary.
On the plus side, Andrew Hore's useless lineouts mean that I don't have to pretend that I've forgot that he killed that seal. But Steve Hansen better start acting at least a little contrite at the press conferences. Rolling your eyes at questions about how bad your lineouts are is not the way to keep your job.
As Tracey Nelson points out, Hansen's lineouts and scrums aren't getting it done (when did I scrum get so bad?), Wayne Smith's backline is still wonky and only Graham Henry's defence seems to be working. In fact the only lineout we won in the first half was a brilliant fake to Ross, who pretended to fall. The rugby equivalent of a trick play.
So is there an accurate lineout thrower available that we can call up? De Malmanche is, from what I have heard, more of a strength player than a thrower. Corey Flynn maybe? Of course that'll be a question for the end of year tour, no point in bringing in a new kid this week.
But what happens after the Tri-Nations? The All Blacks go back into the Air New Zealand Cup? Frankly I hope not. I know that they should be playing but look how exciting it is without them. For all the bitching about how the Cup is going well and that the bottom teams shouldn't be relegated this season because they are doing well, no one seems to mention that it might just be because twenty or so of the best players are on international duty.
Think Canterbury are good now? Wait until they get their All Blacks back.