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In the aftermath of Australia’s stirring victory by a large margin, World Rugby dropped England to a low ranking of eighth. This is one slot behind Argentina, a further humiliation to the nation that gave birth to the sport of rugby.
Some judgmental thoughts on England’s not advancing out of the pool stage
1. England competed in the toughest pool. – True. But so did Wales and Australia. One side was always going to be eliminated. England’s past two results were 2-2 against both these top ranked opponents. Losing was always a fifty-fifty proposition.
2.The ouster was more shocking as host nation – Cup hopes crushed in their own backyard with the world watching. England 2015, the tournament organization, had done a superb job organizing the event and involving thousands of volunteers.
3.Blame the coach, Stuart Lancaster. – Standard behavior across all sports since forever. Someone has to take the fall. Lancaster signed a six-year deal in 2014. Will he stay? Or will he go? His 60% win success rate equaled past fired England coaches, Martin Johnson and Brian Aston.
4.Blame the RFU. – New leadership under Ian Ritchie prospered, and successfully allowed England 2015 to stage record setting ticket and television event. But ancillary metric for success is winning Six Nations Championship (Only one title, 2011, in past 12 seasons). Also, a disappointing outcome in RWC. Changes coming in club and country relationship?
5.England will rebound. – After RWC in 2007, when the All Blacks were knocked out by France in the quarter-finals, New Zealand conducted an intensive research study to analyze the main causes for the failure. Four years later in 2011, they won the RWC at home. Expect England to do the same, in-depth internal assessment.
Recently, there was speculation as to the dire financial revenue loss in England due to the team’s elimination. These ominous predictions proved false; London’s blue-chip stock index on the FTSE exchange rose some 2% after the loss. And probably, the pubs will not be as full with locals rooting for the home side but the nation welcomed over 450,000 tourists. Many England loyalists will still lift a pint to see this quadrennial championship rugby event, ever though the home nation will not be on the telly. The television advertising has been locked in for months. In net, the effect was minimum.