By the time you read this, the Springboks would probably have landed in Johannesburg and would be holding a press conference at the OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel. A press conference where they will face a baying media contingent on what went wrong and what might have been.
These are of course the defending Rugby World Cup champions who are number two in the IRB rankings and were defeated by Australia, ranked three.
You have to feel for the South African fans who dropped R50 000 a head to watch the Springboks play three games in the quarter-finals, semis and final and now are left with their bookings to watch but one Bok game. I have a dear friend who arrived Friday in New Zealand with his son to do this at a cost of R100 000 and is now left wondering which other supporters kit to buy? All Blacks or Wales?
On scrutiny, it is ludicrous that winning a Rugby World Cup should hold true for four years. A year in rugby is a lifetime and four lifetimes? The preamble to 2011 from 2007 and the dethroning of the Springboks in the quarter-finals proves this and comments from Graham Henry that “Slade is my man” and from Peter de Villiers that “Butch is my World Cup flyhalf” prove to be just chatter for the masses.
What the Rugby World Cup does do is create four-year cycles for administration and coaches.
That means a much-anticipated culling among coaches and support teams and the next 90 days covering the end of the Rugby World Cup, the Absa Currie Cup Premier and First Division results, along with the destiny of the Super 15, Argentina in the Four Nations and the ever-present Eastern Cape conundrum at the next SA Rugby President’s Council meeting in November, is the opportunity to remedy many of these flashpoints.
What South African rugby needs is a coherent 3-in-1 rugby blueprint for the national, Super Rugby and provincial sides, through to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.