And that includes World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, which has been stunned by the huge numbers being racked up in terms of television viewers and social media engagements as well as the good old-fashioned barometer of jersey sales.
Maybe it says everything about the way the All Blacks are that the day after they learned their final pool game against Italy had been cancelled, they woke up super early and battered themselves senseless in a training game.
Just like about everything else he did with the Lions in 2005, Clive Woodward may have overthought and overdone it when trying to acknowledge and respect the locals’ customs, his suggestion upon consulting a Maori elder that his captain greet the haka by pulling up some grass and throwing it the way of Tana Umaga resulting in Brian O’Driscoll being stretchered off moments later.
Hard to believe four years have elapsed since Ireland’s painful World Cup quarter final exit at the hands of Argentina in Cardiff. As Joe Schmidt enters the twilight of his spectacularly successful reign at the helm of Irish rugby, the next six weeks will shape the epilogue of a brilliant period for Irish rugby.
It’s impossible to get used to -2 degrees in July. Irrespective of how many years a Paddy spends in Christchurch, heading out with a couple of Crusader coaches to a Japanese restaurant dressed like a lagging jacket always seems odd.
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus had exaggeratedly suggested he could be looking for a new job if his side had lost to the All Blacks on Saturday, instead a 36-34 win showed his team were moving the right way towards next year’s Rugby World Cup.