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Kate Hawkesby: This will be a game that gets digested for a long time yet

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Oct 2023, 7:59AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Kate Hawkesby: This will be a game that gets digested for a long time yet

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Oct 2023, 7:59AM

There’s not a lot to say about that game that hasn’t already been said — however it will be a game that gets digested for a long time yet.

Mainly over the place of TMO in rugby and how slowed down the game is these days. It’s almost like they’re not allowed to play it anymore.

It must make players incredibly nervous when every move is questioned, yellow carded, TMO’d and often red carded. It’s too much.

Yes there’s safety and rules to go by, but there’s also a game to be played. When you slow it down that much and spend too many valuable minutes analysing the play, staring at replays, talking to players on the field and generally making it too technical, then you also lose people’s interest. And they wonder why people are switching off the game.

I’m sad for Fozzy, I really wanted him to get a triumphant send off and a fairytale ending. A big redemption and a successful World Cup win to prove the naysayers wrong.

Having said that, yes of course they did well to get to the final — I know it seems weird saying that about an All Blacks team but this team has taken a pasting — amazing how many times they had to pick themselves back up and just keep going.

I know they’ll be so gutted. To have a captain red carded and off so early into a World Cup final game was just heart breaking.

The reffing seemed unfair — it seemed laser focussed on any misdemeanours of the AB’s.

And I’m sure the Wayne Barnes fury will run for sometime yet as questions get asked about what on earth was going on. How long til we've got AI reffing games?

But for the Kiwis who were there, in the stadium at the game live, I hear it was an electric atmosphere, that the place was awash with ABs supporters. That they loved the game and felt very proud to be there and to be Kiwis.

It was a different experience to what we got watching from home. (or certainly at my place anyway with all the shouting and swearing at the TV.)

But what a way to end the World Cup. For many of those players, big names like Aaron Smith, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett — that’s their last game. That’s their send off. They’ll be so gutted. It would have been so good to go out with a win.

But you have to hand it to the Springboks - they played with real conviction and proved too tough to beat. I only hope Ian Foster — and the players for that matter — can walk away from this experience in a few days time when they’ve digested the pain of the loss with their heads held high.

I don’t think a sports team playing at the highest level ever deserves to be vilified the way we spank our sportsmen and women when they lose. They get out there, they give it their all, they play for their country and they have every intention of bringing home a win.

It’s easy to sit on the sidelines as we do, from the comfort of our couches and say oh you suck. But they don’t suck because they get out there and they do it.

They got to the final, they were playing to win. It wasn’t meant to be. One point made all the difference in the world.

But we’re still proud of them and the sun still came up today and they still deserve kudos for representing their country at the highest level. Which is more than the bulk of us armchair critics could do.

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