Monday, 28 October 2019
Wales depart wondering...
Not because Wales lost to South Africa yesterday, per se, but because they ultimately departed the World Cup barely firing a shot.
I simply don't buy the "we gave it our all and played our hearts out for 80 minutes" argument - that's the bare minimum I'd expect. No, what would annoy me intensely would be the fact that Wales failed to do much more than phase, phase, kick throughout the game.
The one occasion they risked their hand - from a scrum in the Springbok 22 - they scored a well-worked try. Surely that should have been the blueprint for the game rather than the kicking fest it turned out to be?
I appreciate it was difficult but the Welsh do have players who can play expansive rugby and yet stuck to a kick and chase strategy (one wag on Twitter noting that the ball probably gained enough airmiles for the flight home) which was palpably failing.
Yes, they came close and, who knows, playing a more expansive game may also have failed, but the galling thing is that they'll never know.
There must be an overwhelming and lingering sense of a massive missed opportunity and I know that I would be seriously disappointed had England gone out in a similar fashion.