One of the narratives that dominated the pre-match ahead of last night’s blockbuster semi-final between Australia and New Zealand at Elland Road centred around the fact tournament organisers booked New Zealand on a flight home for Saturday in advance of the game,
This is because they were forced to ensure they had enough flights pre-booked prior to the tournament so had to predict how they felt the competition would go.
They correctly predicted that the Kiwis and Kangaroos would make the semi-finals but forced to pick between the two, they chose to reserve flights to New Zealand this weekend.
This is despite the fact New Zealand are the world number one ranked side whilst Australia are only fourth in the rankings.
In the end they were right to do so but this makes it no less controversial.
This is also why Ireland were sent home a day before the quarter-final spots were ensured.
After last night’s defeat the Kiwi skipper Jesse Bromwich spoke to the press and when asked if he thought organisers would be pleased with the result due to the flight situation, Bromwich wasn’t happy: “Yeah I guess so, I don’t want to talk about that too much, it’s pretty disrespectful. I don’t want to talk about that.”
The prop also admitted that he was left devastated by the result as his side lost by just two points: “I’m not too sure, I don’t think most of the boys will watch that back. A couple of moments we’d have liked back but it’s done now.
“Just devastated yeah.
“Ball control and discipline were the two main things, the effort was there, we defended our try line for so many sets and we gave ourselves a chance to just fall short. You’ve got to be proud of the effort.”