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Martin Devlin: Benefits of World Cup glory


By Martin Devlin

Published: 1:40PM Thursday January 26, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

I've spent much brain-time these past few weeks searching for a single phrase that might adequately encapsulate the overwhelming, underlying feeling most of us are having about rrrrrruuuuggbbbyyy and, Eureka, I believe I've finally found it...

Post-Coital. Sport as metaphor for sex and vice-versa.

A different definition of PC rugby, post-cup = post-coital.

The induced relaxation of time temporarily suspended. The immediacy of satiation so expertly tailored to each individual's specific requirements. That physical self-fulfilment of blissful knowledge gained from achievement earned...

Yes we know it's but a short term fix. The nagging reality of hormonal surge will rear its head again, just when, not if.

But right now, barely three months since winning the World Cup, it feels like rugby's still smoking its post-match cigarette.

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, a little more mellow where rugby's concerned would never go amiss, but am I the only one who hardly cares it's less than a month 'til another season kicks off?

Up north the continued quest for Six Nations supremacy, down under the resumption of

Super 15 hostilities, yet interest in each seems almost non-existent.

There's nothing wrong with feeling all mellow about our national game right now.

The intensity of anticipation, the sheer anxiety that accompanied each All Black performance was always going to subside once the monkey was gone and the cup been won.

I suppose the real proof will come next time the All Blacks lose. For the first time since that Dublin semi-final defeat in 1991, is it reasonable to assume (even temporarily) that any post-match reaction be more constructive than destructive?

The moaning minority, if not completely silenced, must surely be tempered.

Gone, I'd expect, the usual round of feverish finger-pointing, absent altogether (hopefully) the character assassinations and ugly personal abuse so prevalent following each World Cup disappointment.

Having finally scratched the Webb Ellis itch, time also to ditch the never-ending feeling that we've always got something we need to prove.

If the All Blacks, e.g., don't win the Fours Nations this year then it truly isn't the end of our rugby world. More importantly, I believe we now know that.

Every failed campaign meant any thoughts of serious rebuilding and/or experimenting at Test level between tournaments was simply untenable.

No debate ever necessary - it was unacceptable, disrespectful, sacrilege to even suggest!

The ABs didn't just have to win every match, they knew we the public demanded nothing less.

I'm thoroughly convinced that Oct 23rd 2011 changed all that.

New Zealand rugby has lolled through summer basking in an afterglow of World Cup bliss - and why not?

Victory brought with it an almost endomorphic effect. One day way too soon we'll once again get far more serious about our national game than perhaps we healthily should.

But right now, any self-satisfied smiles are but payoff's reward from the previous 24 years of bitter heartache spent.

All of which then perfectly explains, if you'll allow me please to use our rugby as a metaphor for sex, why the Super15 is starting to feel like a post-Cup cigarette...

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