The final weekend of RWC 2011 may have been a fitting finale but that all depends upon your point of view.
The play-off for the bronze medal (sort of like the fielding award you give to the cricketer at school that you always hid at fine leg) is probably a waste of time but it revealed more about what could have been than what should have been. Kurtley did his hammy, Quade busted his acronym and the Wallabies played with more passion, poise and structure than the entire Cup. Berrick may not be the messiah but he's no naughty boy either. Much like beer, now there's a short-term solution.
In the final only the French could get away with forming a V to face the haka then holding hands and advancing upon the All Blacks. In any other culture, what would look like a Mardi Gras float (Sydney-style and a French word after all) held a promise of standing and delivering and the best response to a haka since David Campese used to head to the goal posts and practice his field goals (a wasted opportunity to get out some tackle bags and practice some tackling unfortunately). Of course IRB regulations state that teams must face the haka from their 10-metre line so expect 10 grand fines placed on the lot of them.
The match itself had more tension than an episode of Dr Who featuring Rose and David Tennant (Matt Smith is such a big improvement - really couldn't stand that namby pamby Tennant). The hint of an upset was fantastic and the Rolling Maul was just getting ready to listen out for the shotguns across the Tasman (and from Bondi) when the match degenerated into a 6 minute ruck. A fitting end to a tournament that began so well, got bogged down in the middle, and never really recovered. Still, could have been worse. Indeed a colleague the Maul bumped into in the lift at work said she preferred the Wales vs France semi-final because it was so slow she could actually understand what was going on.
Interestingly her attitude to the RWC is identical to the Maul's attitude to the soccer world cup - a once in every four year obligation that you bare through gritted teeth and thank your deity once it's over. Well the only reason the Maul is glad the RWC is over is I can finally stop blurbing, blogging, betting and referring to myself in the third person. It's been a long year (and not a profitable one).
But don't worry, Super Rugby 2012 starts in less than 4 months!