In the wake of the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal between New Zealand and France a lot of vitriol has been spewed forth, websites created and nasty homophobic comments posted on Wikipedia about the English referee Wayne Barnes, and his handling of the game. Yes – he did make some mistakes (I myself screamed at my television set on account of a couple of his calls) but the match is finished now and the result has been decided. We lost. There is no going back. So why do we kiwis have to still be moaning on about this? Even our numbskull media have got into the attacks on Barnes (surprise, surprise), rarking up the (I would like to think) minority in this country that only have half a brain cell to rub together and who let these myopic journos do the thinking for them. It was bad enough losing – but why do we as New Zealanders have to be such bad losers into the bargain?
While the All Blacks bow their coiffeured heads and weep into moisturised hands; while the nation as a whole collectively mourns with grief over another shock exit, it wouldn’t hurt to look at the people who are true victims of this world cup fiasco. And no, it isn’t Graham Henry, the NZRFU, TV3, Murray Mexted, the publicans, the players or the WAGs. The real victims are the women and children who have had to report to Women’s Refuge or the Police this weekend as their abusive partners were plunged into a black mood when the All Blacks bowed out. There has been a huge upsurge of reported domestic violence in the last 72 hours. While we’re all worrying about Richie’s feelings or whether Ted is staying or going, it wouldn’t hurt to spare a thought for those who live their lives in true visceral fear. A way to get this perspective back about what really is important in life would be to make a donation to the Women’s Refuge. They need our help more than any world cup administrator sitting uneasily in a bigwig chair at NZRFU today.