The nightmare you can’t wake up from

TheGreyGhost Roar Rookie

By TheGreyGhost, TheGreyGhost is a Roar Rookie

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    Reminiscent of a disarming early morning episode of sleep paralysis, I’ve been stuck in a nightmare that I can’t quite wake from.

    The pathophysiological response has had me clumsily crashing around my house for 24 hours.

    Opening beer. Drinking. Staring into space. Barely functional. I’m hungry, but I have no appetite. I’m tired. But going back to sleep and allowing the subconscious to rehearse its macabre creation is unthinkable.

    When will it end? And is this what it feels like to be a Welsh rugby fan?

    The last time I remember normal life was about 2:28PM on Saturday. With national anthems dusted, Piri Weepu was kicking off another epic Haka. The English looked resigned to their spanking. Chris Robshaw looked like a man unsure whether to kick for the corner, go for the posts, or scuff a quick hole in the turf and stick his head in it.

    But then I must have drifted off, and this nightmare began: The IRB’s comic relief entry for Player of the Year started kicking penalties from all angles. Dan Carter was resembling riff-raff with a slice to the left, then a hook to the ri-aye-ight and George Clancy had entered a similar time warp and taken the ruck laws back to 2004: there were English ruck-monkeys using their unsupported body positions to rip the ball away from under Aaron Smith’s nose time and time again. Unpenalised.

    At one point, my delusional state became so morbid, I actually hallucinated that England had gone to the break 15-0 up.

    But, and let me tell you, this freakish narcoleptic state just got worse. Wave after wave of coordinated, effective and direct English attack was crashing through the unbreakable All Black defences.

    Conrad Smith, Mr 90% himself, suddenly lost composure and faith in his outside defence and let the least effective midfield in global rugby step, out-pace then out-flank him.

    Then the bizarrely overlooked IRB player of the year heir-apparent Kieran Read threw a loopy intercept pass to the self-same midfield and somehow they conspired to actually score from it, with the out of form and try-less Chris Ashton even swan-diving in for a score.

    Things got so surreal that my subconscious managed to construct a scenario where Dan Carter and Aaron Smith were pulled by the coach and things actually seemed to get better.

    Let me tell you, fellow Roarers, it was a simply the most unthinkable mix of the macabre, surreal and tortuous I have experienced since the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    As I sit here, staring into the frosty early hours of the day, I wonder, when will I wake? When will reality resume? When will this nightmare finally end?

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    The Crowd Says (72)

    • December 4th 2012 @ 5:24am
      Bazza Allblack Supporter said | December 4th 2012 @ 5:24am | ! Report

      I suspect the next time we play England is the only balm for this wound…

    • Roar Guru

      December 4th 2012 @ 6:48am
      biltongbek said | December 4th 2012 @ 6:48am | ! Report

      GHost a strong cup of joe might do the trick. 😉

      • December 4th 2012 @ 7:35am
        Thegreyghost said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:35am | ! Report

        I’ve found a welsh trauma therapist. (I always choose based in relevant experience), and I’m confident that on my day I can beat this thing.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 6:56am
      Riccardo said | December 4th 2012 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      I also noted the Ref’s reluctance to penalise the English in this area but it would be disingenuous to proffer this as an excuse. The team in white were rampant and deserved their victory; they smashed the All Blacks all over the park.

      As others have said I’m not overly concerned by this loss. The harsh reality is that while the All Blacks showed glimmers of what they are trying to achieve under Hansen they could have lost to the Irish and the Boks at the very least. In fact, they have appeared a little flat on this tour and it is disappointing to see their defensive systems so fragile.

      This All Black team are clearly not the pinnacle they were being hailed as… yet. The English loss will hopefully have them returning to some basics like defence and a strategy that, while it will allow them to play wide at pace, addresses the hard work up the middle first.

      That and the sound victories that will follow will be your elixir my friend.

      • December 4th 2012 @ 7:21am
        katzilla said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:21am | ! Report

        This was the win we needed and not the win we wanted.
        It may turn out this ‘Loss’ ends up meaning more to us then it meant for England.
        Although its always nice to see how much other teams value their wins against us, as rare as they are.

        • December 4th 2012 @ 7:40am
          TheGreyGhost said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:40am | ! Report

          That’s it Katzilla. When all else fails, we can always rely on denial.

          • December 4th 2012 @ 8:17am
            katzilla said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:17am | ! Report

            Not denial, more like finding a positive to being violated.
            Clutching at straws maybe though.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 11:25am
      Team Taniwha said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      I blame the Black Caps for throwing out the sporting equilibrium!

    • Roar Guru

      December 4th 2012 @ 12:37pm
      HardcorePrawn said | December 4th 2012 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

      Nice article, and thank your lucky stars that you’re not a Scotsman, or an Italian!

      What I’ve found to be really creditable from all ABs fans has been the refusal to apportion any blame after this loss.

      It would be easy to mention the Noro Virus doing its nasty business with the NZ squad, or this being the final game after a a long season that also incorporated a World Cup, or even the wet and chilly weather affecting most of the UK at the moment. But most AB supporters have instead credited England with the win, scoured the replays to look for some positives, and hoped for an improvement in their team for next year.

      While there are sure to be some disgruntled Kiwis out there, and it could be argued that it’s easy to accept a loss when your team are sitting on top of the world, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the reaction of pretty well every Kiwi comment I’ve read.

      Finally, I would argue that Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka was far more macabre, surreal and tortuous than the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake too; the part where he uncharacteristically gets angry with Charlie still gives me the creeps even now…

      • December 4th 2012 @ 12:47pm
        Jerry said | December 4th 2012 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        You get NOTHING! You LOSE! Good DAY, Sir!

      • December 4th 2012 @ 4:44pm
        Misha said | December 4th 2012 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

        HardcorePrawn

        I just wish it had been a contest were no one was injured and no team had any virus that very week…would have told us more

    • December 4th 2012 @ 12:53pm
      kingplaymaker said | December 4th 2012 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      ‘Conrad Smith, Mr 90% himself, suddenly lost composure and faith in his outside defence and let the least effective midfield in global rugby step, out-pace then out-flank him.’

      I think that was just a dream, it couldn’t have happened in reality.

      One real curiosity is that no All Black media and supporters have mentioned the role of Steve Hansen in a loss which is frankly very hard to imagine under Graham Henry. Has Steve Hansen’s coaching led to this loss? HIs selection of the team? His tactics? The direction he has led the team in? The blooding or not of new players?

      Does Steve Hansen in fact have anything to do with this loss and if so what? From the New Zealand reaction it’s as if he was as connected to or responsible as the team’s hairdresser.

      • December 4th 2012 @ 1:24pm
        ohtani's jacket said | December 4th 2012 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        Hansen needs to rethink his tactics, but he’s the beligerent type and it will take more than one loss to force him to make changes.

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