Nine parting thoughts from the ninth Rugby World Cup.

1. World Cups are hard to win

Expat Englanders living in the Greater Devonport area enjoy boring me senseless with their thrilling observations about the comparative global popularity of soccerfootball and rugby. Sit down if you haven't heard this one before: football is slightly more popular than rugby.


That doesn't alter the fact that Rugby World Cups are bloody hard to win (unless you're the Springboks, see #2).

New Zealand looked like the best team in the world when casting aside Ireland in the quarter-final. They in turn