For the first time in quite a while I found myself screaming at a rugby game on telly last night.
The screaming was directed mainly at the referee Stu Dickinson, who I felt unjustly penalised Richie McCaw late in the game to allow the Reds a last-gasp win over the Crusaders.
It was a painful moment as I felt the Crusaders had played well
enough (not perfect by any means) and probably deserved the
I arrived at work this morning keen to vent my frustration, although wasn't expecting much sympathy from my work colleagues.
Die-hard rugby fans (if you can find them) in Auckland don't tend to have much love for Crusaders fans. It's just the way it goes; especially given the Blues are their main New Zealand rival this year.
However I was pleasantly surprised to find some of my workmates agreed the Crusaders were robbed.
Now I don't want to litigate the rights and wrongs of the particular penalty that cost us the game, other than to say it happened during a messy ruck otherwise known as the breakdown or the tackled ball area.
This is a notoriously difficult area to rule on, with the interpretation of the referee very important.
Is a player on his feet when he plays the ball? When does a counter ruck get to the point where a player can pick up the ball? These are just a couple of the many things the referee must look at.
To lose a game when it comes down to an individual ref's call like last night's is just plain frustrating for any team, as it feels like there is too much luck or randomness involved.
Tough luck I hear you say? Time to move on?
Well yes, but the truth is I'm a little scared, Last night's game has stirred feelings, feelings I haven't had since a certain game in Cardiff four years ago.
And I think this is why there is some sympathy today for the Crusaders.
I think rugby fans around the country have also been reminded by last night's game that it could well be a ref's call or something equally as flukey that determines who wins the Rugby World Cup this year.
Yes the Crusaders v Reds game last night struck a chord.
Not just because a one-eyed impartial Cantabrian like me felt their team was robbed, but because it reminded us all that rugby can be a cruel game of timing and luck.
That the difference between winning and losing at the highest level can be very tiny.
So given that, we probably need to start steeling ourselves don't we?
Yes indeed & because the World Cup rollercoaster ride's almost back in town folks.
This is what we are in for, this is what we wanted. And you know it, frayed nerves or otherwise, you'll be hoping for one more ride.
I can't wait.