Every week during the Four nations tournament, FOGS director and Australian Rugby League team manager Gavin “Jed” Allen has been filing his account of life inside the Kangaroos camp. Here is his fourth and last installment, after Australia’s loss to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium. Everyone at fogs.com.au would like to thank Jed for filing his Kangaroo Diary during the course of this year’s Four Nations tournament.
Well, as you can imagine, she was a pretty somber old dressing room after the game on Saturday night.
It was a really deflating experience, knowing how much hard work had gone into the build-up to the final, how well they had performed and how much effort had been spent, to see it all unravel in the last two minutes of the tournament.
I think that was what it came down to really. For 78 minutes, the Kangaroos played well and looked in control. But the last two minutes things got away from them a bit, and unfortunately, they were the most important two minutes of the entire series.
The Kiwis did really well, you’ve got to give it to them. They had a pretty smart game plan worked out where they would take us on up the middle and tire us out. Then in the last 10 minutes or so, they threw all their little blokes back into the action and tried to run the Aussies off their feet.
And that is exactly what they did.
Tim Sheens didn’t say a lot to the boys afterwards, I guess there wasn’t a hell of a lot to say. They tried, they got beaten by the better team on the day. What else needs to be said.
I mentioned that the dressing room was pretty somber. The reason for that though was not just the result. Obviously everyone involved in the squad was distraught for poor Brent Tate, who wrecked his knee and now faces his third reconstruction in three years.
Anybody who watched the game on television would have seen Tatey in the middle of sheer devastation in the sheds at halftime.
I have to say, I have never seen a player so emotionally destroyed in all my years involved in footy. Having said that, I’ve never seen a bloke have three reconstructions in three years, either.
And not forgetting Luke Lewis either. He is now facing three months of hard work to get himself back on deck.
As you can see, there weren’t a lot of reasons for smiles in the Kangaroo camp, but again being involved with the Australian team was, for me personally, a terrific experience.
It’s always a lot of hard work, especially trying to keep yourself away from the hotel buffets, but it is also really rewarding being around these guys during a campaign.
Anyway, I’ll probably sign off now, seeing as the footy stuff is over and it’s back to normal things like working, and you’re probably not terribly interested in reading about that.
But I hope you have enjoyed reading the little updates from the Kangaroos camp during the Four Nations. It’s been good fun bringing it to you.