I got up early on Saturday, lit the fire and watched the Welsh play with skill, verve and passion. What a starter for the big match I thought. Note to myself - Stop thinking so much on Saturday mornings. Rarely have I been so deflated after a match. The shower who played on Saturday, who worked so hard to cheerfully emulate their wendy-ball contemporaries, were a disgrace and stain on the inalienable hard won birthright of every Englishman to bury French ambition.
I’m reminded of that great quote from JPR Williams after Wales were thumped by the Aussies in 1984, “No leadership, no ideas. Not even enough imagination to thump someone in the line-up when the ref wasn’t looking.”
Johnson has failed, partly due to some trendy modern thinking which means he’s no longer allowed to beat the living daylights out of his underperforming players but mostly, because he’s not very good. Not only is Johnson deluded in his assessment of the team’s performance but so I’m afraid were the rest of us who allowed ourselves to think that it would all be all right on the day despite the damming evidence that has been in front of us since the group matches began, and if the truth be told, for some considerable time before.
The only consolation is that since 1995 every winning RWC team exited in the previous RWC quarters.