This is a rant.
Sunday morning took place the final of the rugby world cup between New Zealand All Blacks and French "les Bleus" at Eden Park, the mythic sports ground in Auckland, NZ. It was expected to have a referee slightly inclined to favor the All Blacks, but I still hoped for a clean final. This is what happened.
Okay, maybe the level of play displayed by France wasn't that great until the final and the All Blacks deserved to win for the amazing rugby they showed through the World Cup. And so what ? This is a cup, not a championship. The truth is, on this match, France didn't get the shot they deserved to the win, because the referee didn't have the courage to take his responsibilities (and I'm being polite here).
I've seen many comments saying we have to respect the winner and the referee and forget it, the match was beautiful and the referee is a part of the game, we have to be "fair play". This makes me sick. That's so classical of the French spirit, the beautiful losers. This kind of refereeing has been happening for years now, and if we keep having this "fair play" attitude, we can forget ever bringing home the Webb Ellis cup. Rules are made to be followed, and referees are here to make sure players follow the rules, and above all they have to judge both teams on an equal ground. Mr Joubert, who I tought was a great referee, obviously wasn't up to this task in the final.
On another level, I was very disappointed by the behavior of All Blacks themselves and overall by the one of the kiwis. A huge lack of respect for France beforehand, no sign of recognition afterwards, and a very unfair-play during the finals (ask Parra what he tought of McCaw knee, and French kickers of supporters whistles). I had the biggest respect for this team and this country, and it got ruined in one week. This makes me sad, and I hope years to come will show me this was a one time event only....