"They do the chokey chokey and its ooh la la" Campbell raves. "The hubris belonged to the now not so all-mighty All Blacks. The schadenfreude belongs to all those who like to see the arrogant brought crashing down to earth". (Just like we loved seeing you crash down to earth Alastair in your Lions tracksuit as you sat soddenly on the sidelines in the Cake Tim in 2005 watching the 'greatest most prepared Lions team in history' be turned over at will by a team that reached the heights of rugby that any England team past or present could only dream to play).
World Cups aren't won by tries and they aren't won by flair. So fair play to England for making it through to the final. They played the tournament strategically and they have done well. I admire their spirit and I tip my hat to Ashton, Jonny and co. But the hideous and ungracious bile pointed towards New Zealanders coming from some of these internationally respected media outlets and factions of the British public is seriously disturbing. It reeks of insecurity and a subconscious acknowledgement that the best team in the world will not be contesting the world cup final.
From the numerous articles revelling in the All Blacks loss to the French comes some surprising allies. Wayne Smith - rugby editor of the Australian says this of the English reaction to New Zealand:
"Speaking out in defence of our trans-Tasman cousins who find themselves on the receiving end of another poisonous missive from the self-appointed, self-anointed high priest of northern hemisphere rugby, Stephen Jones....one thing about a win straight out of left field, it certainly brings out the pomposity in the Poms. New Zealand did not deserve to lose to France, as spirited and passionate as was the performance of Les Bleus. And the World Cup is infinitely the poorer for its departure.
“The All Blacks may well have taken a lot from the game but it has given far, far more back in return. It has given the world a vision of how rugby can be played and the scope of that vision has been wondrous to behold. Of course, none of that is going to be apparent to a blinkered critic.”
Nice Wayne. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that great All Black knocker and all around villain Bernie Laporte piping up with his opinions as he made his dramatic au revoir from rugby’s world stage..
"They (the Abs) are the best team in the world. We beat them but if we had played them the next day and the following days, there was a great chance we would have lost. Who has played any (attacking) rugby? The only ones are the All Blacks."
For the full article from the Australian - go here.