Bevan Rapson: Son, now it's back to normal

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So, it's back to a life not centred around rugby. How does that work again?

We obviously coped before the World Cup came along, I'm just struggling to remember how.

Some people I know, including one I live with, are more than happy for the world to return to "normal".

I wouldn't have missed a second of the rugby. Saturday night, the first in seven weeks without a game to watch, was a reminder of how empty ordinary existence can be. Those dispiriting words "shall we get a DVD?" did nothing to fill the void.

You might argue we've got the election to keep us occupied now. You know, big-money campaigns, eccentric personalities, power struggles, a whiff of desperation. And that's just the Act Party. It will be fascinating to see how the parties and their leaders weave the cup story into their electioneering.

Politicians are drawn to the mass appeal of sport, but there are pitfalls. Compared to sportspeople they're usually so nerdy and needy: John Key's hilarious mincing in the World Cup volunteer uniform was a classic feel-good moment gone wrong.

Another possible distraction from rugby withdrawal comes courtesy of the Kiwis playing in a Four Nations tournament in Britain. Good luck to them, but their surrender to the Kangaroos last week hardly suggests their early-morning games will be much of a substitute.

And forget about the mid-World Cup claim by a columnist on this paper that league is about to overshadow rugby in Auckland. Rugby crowd numbers were down earlier in the year as punters saved their pennies for the cup but the city's love of the game has been renewed. And fans here will in a few months have the chance to watch a Blues side boasting cup superstars like Piri Weepu, Ma'a Nonu, Jerome Kaino and maybe even Sonny Bill Williams.

The players all deserve a break right now, of course.

And we fans have no choice but to take one too. But no matter what happens in the election and league tests, plenty of us will spend summer replaying key moments from World Cup 2011 in our sleep - and quietly counting down the days until rugby's return.

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