Thierry Dusautoir thoroughly deserved the player of the year at the IRB awards last night. And how well he took it – with praise for the All Blacks, addressed to Richie McCaw, and with words from the heart spoken to his team. We all saw on Sunday what a player he was, and he showed us all last night what a leader he was. He refused to blame the referee as well.
Grace in defeat does not diminish anyone. Grace in victory is important too – I was disappointed that neither Richie McCaw or Graham Henry mentioned the French in their post-match interviews, and I couldn’t find any mention in today’s papers of the fact that Dusautoir had been awarded the man of the match. Apparently his award was not broadcast to the crowd. I’d like to think that Richie could find a spare shirt for Bonnaire as well.
Buck Shelford said it best on Maori television – we were outplayed by the French, but got up to win by a point. We should be extremely grateful for that, and also very appreciative of what the French contributed to a magnificent occasion.