A match too far

Even if I hadn’t been watching on TV, the cheers and hooting which rose into the Jo’burg night from around 10:45 pm on Saturday would have informed me that the result of the Rugby World Cup final was far more to my neighbours’ liking than my own. I can’t argue with the result: the England team gave it everything they had, but never quite reached the glorious heights of intensity and focus that they attained in the quarters and semis, and the Boks always seemed to have a slight edge. There was the matter of that disallowed try, of course, which must have been about as close to scoring as you can get without being given the points; but in the final analysis, the points we gave away by conceding silly kickable penalties exceeded those we would have gained if the video ref had plumped for the other side of the borderline.
Yes, I’m disappointed, and yes, I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks of crowing (if I’m lucky, it will just be weeks) from the magnanimous victors. But, let’s face it: if, five weeks ago, someone had offered any England rugby fan the chance to go down honourably in the final – having once more put one over the Aussies, and beaten the French, en route – to a man, we’d have bitten their hand off. The boys did us proud, and more than that, there’s some hope that their efforts may herald a slightly less depressing four years than the aftermath of 2003 proved to be.

Categories: rugby

Comments (9)

  1. SteveF says:

    On the subject of the try, it looks like a score pretty much every time I see it. However, according to a couple of the papers over here, his toe just shaved the line (seen in freeze frame) and the decision was correct. However, according to the official, thats not why he disallowed it. This is his explanation:
    “His foot runs into touch by about 25 to 30 centimetres. If you know the decision is correct and people are still upset, well there is nothing you can do about that is there?”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/7055964.stm
    Quite frankly, if he thinks thats’ what happened, he isn’t fit to do the job.

  2. Bob O'H says:

    Look on the bright side – you’re a geologist. So you know a lot of good rocks you can go and hide under.
    Bob

  3. ernestog says:

    “I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks of crowing (if I’m lucky, it will just be weeks) from the magnanimous victors”
    Yeah right … us South Africans are known for our magnanimous natures. How long is your post-doc in SA for?

  4. Freya says:

    “”I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks of crowing (if I’m lucky, it will just be weeks) from the magnanimous victors”
    Yeah right … us South Africans are known for our magnanimous natures. How long is your post-doc in SA for?”
    You can always hope that Wales or the Barbarians beat South Africa in November….

  5. Joe says:

    Hmmm, seems cool.
    Joe joestain13@yahoo.com

  6. Chris Rowan says:

    I’m probably here until at least early 2009 – plenty of time for you guys to get the gloating in…

  7. nicklaus says:

    I was actually a little disappointed with the match – it would’ve been nice if SA could’ve had a nice try to go along with our boot-driven trouncing of the English lads… But hey, no need for me to be unmagnanimous (that really should be a word) about it – ’twas a good game on both sides…no, really!

  8. Freya says:

    OK
    Gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat….

  9. Julia says:

    This is what Mike Taylor said at SVP on Saturday – if someone had said at the start of the World Cup that we would make it to the final and only go out to South Africa (and only by a few points compared to their drubbing of us in the group stages…), who even before their winning of the title were pretty much the best team in the world at rugby, then every England fan would have been ecstatic.
    Our press has been incredibly negative – having a go at England for losing. Which is unfair. We lost, but look how far we came before we did lose. I know you might not be able to right now (what with being surrounded by South Africans), but I feel very proud to be English.