The Roar: 2015 has, from a rugby sense, been a rather big year. Rugby World Cup years always are, but when you think about everything that happened between the start of February and the RWC Final, you realise just how much has gone down this year:
Super Rugby: the Clan blew Hurricanes away to take maiden title;
The Rugby Championship: Cheika’s Wallabies experiments netted silverware;
Bledisloe Cup: McCaw rules, OK, and…
Rugby World Cup: All Blacks dynasty claimed a record third crown.
I’m stunned that the Highlanders aren’t outright favourites for the 2016 Super Rugby title..
..while the All Blacks lifted an unprecedented third Rugby World Cupgby World Cup.
I sat down recently with the guys from The Roar, their video camera, a list of broad topics ranging from the state of West Indian cricket and the future of the Big Bash League through to my favourite moments from the Rugby World Cup and my predictions for the Australian Super Rugby conference next season, and let them fire questions at me.
So close: Michael Cheika had the Wallabies within touching distance of a Rugby World Cup. Image: ABC Grandstand
ESPNscrum: The aftermath of the Wallabies Rugby World Cup Final defeat, and the ongoing envious peering toward our mates over the ditch, has given many an Australian rugby consumer cause for reflection and prediction this week.
And I don’t just mean reflection in the ‘what if the forward pass was called’ sense, but rather reflection in the sense that it really does feel like there’s good reason for optimism going forward.
Richie McCaw holds up the William Webb Ellis Trophy, after New Zealand claimed their third RWC title. Image: ABC Grandstand
When Tevita Kuridrani scored the try that put the Wallabies back with 4pts, “..I suddenly found myself part of a group hug among the six or eight guys and gals immediately behind me. The comeback was on…” Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: Not unlike the Wallabies, my own Rugby World Cup final also involved facing a familiar foe on foreign turf in the early hours of Sunday morning. Still in Brisbane after the NRC final, I took in the Rugby World Cup decider at the Alliance Hotel in Spring Hill.
All that was going on around me at the Alliance made me think about #StrongerAsOne, the Wallabies marketing slogan that started life as a simple social media hashtag. It’s not even a new one; it was certainly around last year – which was pretty ironic, considering what was going on inside the camp at the time.
However long it’s been around, #StrongerAsOne now genuinely stood for something. And without any deadlines hanging over me (though my desperate editor had sent me an email on fulltime, so I would discover more than twelve hours later), if felt good to experience a big game as a fan again..