OK, so the message I posted to the discussion board on Saturday night after the game wasn't exactly an indepth analysis of what went wrong but it certainly summed up the collective feelings of the 9 people crowded around the box at Cone Stadium at the end of the game!
For those who didn't read it, all it said was: "bugger..."
On reflection, having slept on it and heard countless opinions on the loss, I am feeling much better about things and would like to put things in perspective.
So before you get on the AB bashing bandwagon, here are a few things to bear in mind:
1) I am an eternal optimist!
2) Up until Sat night we have had great wins this season over - Samoa, France, SA (x2) and Australia. So our record so far this season is 5 out of 6, somewhat better than the 2-7 from last season!
3) While we lost the Bledisloe, we won the tri-nations, the toughest competition in rugby (after the WC of course!).
4) Our two strongest rivals, Australia and SA still consider us the favourites for the WC (check out Mallet and McQueens comments elsewhere on the net), and really the winner of this years Tri-Nations was always going to deserve that position going into the WC.
5) As Crusty says so well in his posting to the discussion board, we couldn't have played any worse if we trained for it. While it was our worst performance of the season I don't think we were totally outplayed, we had a lot of bad luck in the first half and were unlucky to be down 22-7 at the half. Then any chances of a big comeback were pretty much washed away by the torrential rain early in the second half, which was a big contributor to the error count (remember Aussie only scored two penalties in the second).
6) The Wallabies were awesome. Somehow two bitter losses, a total bagging in the press and 72,000 screaming Aussies (supposedly there were 35,000 kiwis at the game, 35+72 = 107) singing a stirring rendition of Waltzing Matilda managed to get the Aussies fired up, not impossible to understand really!
7) I know it's always better to be on a roll but a wakeup call can be a good thing. Better now than in the Quarter or Semi finals of the World Cup!
8) Face it, the days of the invincible All Blacks are well and truely over. In this era of professionalism you are a fool if you expect that we will be at the top of the heap everytime.
So in reflection, if I told you we were going to lose 1 of our first 6 test matches this season, but we would whallop SA 28-0 on our way to reclaiming the Tri-Nations trophy, how would you feel?
If the answer is pretty damn good then stop whining, and lets pick ourselves up and get behind the boys while they focus on winning this World Cup!