Martin Devlin: 3rd/4th place playoff - the game no one wants to play

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Nov 2019, 2:39PM

Martin Devlin: 3rd/4th place playoff - the game no one wants to play

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Nov 2019, 2:39PM

The Losers Final. The 3rd/4th place playoff. 

Having just arrived home from Tokyo, having been at  the game which we were looked like winning I'd like to now try to put a perspective on tonight's match - the game that no-one wants to play.

AND forget all the carefully scripted lines about how it's still a test match blah-blah and there's pride to play for etc etc.

Everyone connected to camp All Black is shattered, is still shattered.

Wales does have something to play for, it's called history. Having not beaten us since 1953, for them, there is no better opportunity to break that hoodoo than this. For us NZers, this is a Davis Cup dead rubber.

And no, I'm not bitter after that semi-final exit. How could you be?

Every AB fan I spoke with during and after England to a person has acknowledged how totally and utterly superior they were. No argument, no debate, we all know we were way much worse than second best.

Hey. It happens. The worrying thing being is this a worrying thing?

Time will be the ultimate tell on that one.

Right now I'm still disappointed, have to be. But I think I'm much more disappointed for the players than myself this time. And that was not the case 20 years ago when we'd lost to France at Twickenham. Back then there was wrath.

There was finger pointing. There was a front page magazine  cover featuring a photo of the coach beneath the headline "GUILTY'.

There were Cantabs who spat at the coach's horse. None of that this week.

Yes there's grief, bit of numbness, but also a lot of instant acceptance.

So what do we make of this match tonight then?

Yes I will watch it and Yes I'll want the All Blacks to win.

But no I don't have the same passion, and no I don't feel anything like last week's emotion.

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