The usual phenomenon of ascribing a win to the most popular factor is rife on the Board. It’s genius, it’s the bomb squad, it’s defense, it’s physicality. On balance genius wins the day. Even posters who were calling Erasmus an ‘egotistical fool’ days before the WC final are now calling him a genius. And those who were trashing him five weeks ago have totally forgotten that…..all anxious to wrap themselves in the flag.
Success has many fathers….but is genius the right father? A very simple exercise says nope. Here are the facts in all the significant matches:
Ireland 8 to 13….kick pts missed 11 to 0….adjusted score 19 to 13
France 29 to 28…kick pts missed 2 to 5….adjusted score 31 to 33
England 16 to 15….kick pts missed 0 to 0……adjusted score 16 to 15
All Blacks 12 to 11 …..kicks pts missed 0 to 5 ….adjusted score …..12 to 16
So what does that all tell us. Firstly it says if Pollard was our flyhalf, all other things being equal, we comfortably beat Ireland.
Secondly it says if Ramos kicked like Pollard, or if Pollard missed that long bomb…..we lose to France.
Thirdly it confirms by the tiniest margin we were the better team in general play than England.
And finally, even overlooking the 10 point handicap of the red card, NZ wins if they had a kicker as secure as Pollard.
So in general play we beat Ireland, lost to France, beat England and lost to NZ. Pollard, not genius was the reason we won the knockout games, in all other aspects we were equal or slightly behind. And the absence of Pollard was the main factor in the Irish loss.
Then when you consider that genius thought a fourth scrum half was more important than selecting Pollard who was going to be ready in a few weeks…..it’s even clearer genius got many things wrong ….Pollard not genius won the WC.