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I wasn’t going to mention the rugby but I figure, it’s been almost a week now, we should be well through the stages of grief by now.

My grieving started about two minutes before full time.

This is not my first World Cup defeat so I know not to watch the bit at the end where the opposing team jumps with joy and whoops and carries on. The sad faces of what were previously the best players is too much to bear.

So, once the result becomes inevitable, it’s best to switch off and avoid all that. Then keep avoiding all mention of it for as long as you can. The after-match analysis is only enjoyable when you win. It’s just aggravating when you lose.

Bloody journalists, they don’t know when to shut up.

Pre-emptive strike

If you have a colleague at work who is English, make sure you get in early, before they arrive, and cover their desk or their tools or their forklift or their computer with news clippings of Brexit and large photos of Boris.

Exactly why I’m so invested in a game I only played half a dozen times when I was eight is a complete mystery to me. I think it’s about being part of a great tribe or something like that.

The very origins of rugby are a bit of a clue. The English will claim it was invented by William Webb Ellis but the evidence around that is dubious at best. Clans of Irish, Welsh, English and French, have been doing gladiatorial things with funny shaped balls since the Middle Age.

                                           “La Soule en Basse Normandie” published in 1852.

They would start at one end of the village in a kind of macho, north village versus south village, free-for-all. The game wouldn’t stop until you got the pig’s bladder to the other end of town. Firm evidence that your lot are better than  their lot.

So, it’s a weird thing to pin your self-esteem on but nevertheless, that’s what some of us do. The thing is, I don’t really care why I’m interested in it, but I find it entertaining so that’s a good enough reason. When we lose, it is entertainment of the worst kind and suddenly there is a desperate need to put it into perspective.

Distractions

So, the second stage of grief is to focus on other things that were previously not so important like your career or business or maybe politics - yes politics is a good one.

If your country has suddenly become a little less acceptable because you’re not the world champion of rugby, then fixing something else will help.

That’s why Governments need to watch out when the AB’s lose. People are suddenly taking an interest in what they are doing and it probably isn’t good enough. Just being the fifth best country in the world is no longer acceptable. We must be the best!

So guys, I hope you’ve managed to provide houses for everyone and there aren’t any children still wandering around without shoes on. A run through the list of promises versus results produces a rather dismal looking chart. It has more ‘fails’ on it than the Warrant of Fitness checklist for my Suzuki Escudo the other day.

So, you’ve got 28 days to fix it.

In the meantime, surely National has a plan to make us the best.

Big bikes

And what do you know, its big direction-defining welfare policy was released this week.

For starters, gang members with big bikes are in the headlights.

National suspects those big, noisy and expensive motorbikes some of the patched up members drive around on may not be paid for with regular lease payments out of the job seeker’s allowance. They will now have to prove where the money came from to buy them.

I’m not sure if I’m being prejudiced against patched up gang members but I’ve always just assumed those big bikes came from the proceeds of crime. I’d be a little disappointed if they are rorting the welfare system as well. That does seem a little greedy.

The other people in the spotlight are those under 25 who are claiming a benefit. These people are perfectly capable of foraging for berries in the forest, so there will be a time limit on how long the state will pay for them to sit around and play on the X-Box.

Anyway, I’m almost over the disappointment of last weekend.

The cricket starts this week too with a chance to avenge the other world cup that was stolen from us by a number cruncher earlier this year. And the AB’s will need to restore some national pride against  the Welsh.

So, I might just put the politics on hold for now, if that’s alright.

daniel@thesun.co.nz

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch