All Blacks 18 – France 20

Our household is deflated and depressed and disappointed. And we aren’t big rugby followers.

The All Blacks have been justly beaten by a spirited and passionate French team. From my perspective the loss came down to several things.

  • Luke McAllister’s sin binning in the 45th minute
  • Luke McAllister’s attempt at a drop goal in the 79th minute from half way
  • Graham Henry’s team selection.

For the last four years the All Black management have been concentrating on the World Cup -resting their best players and not establishing the top team out of the thirty or so players they had to hand. Consequently the main players just didn’t get enough quality game time against the right sort of opposition. Was this a mistake? Probably.

The sin-binning of Luke ordinarily should not be an issue – but it did seem to change the momentum of the game.

But, Luke McAllister’s attempt at a drop goal from 50 metres in the 79th minute seemed to me to be a ludicrous thing to do. It gave the French possession while we were achieving some go forward. If we had kept the ball and retained control of it the score may have been different.

What will happen to Graham Henry? Will he offer his resignation? Will it be accepted? Those are issues to resolve over the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime we’ll all try and overcome our depression, and work out who to back for the World Cup now our team is on its way home.

I’m going with France.

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