The year 2023 will be remembered for various reasons for many supporters and their team. Some will be looking more like Shrek with their hair missing through anxiety and false hopes dashed.
For Australia some supporters and experts were overjoyed with the announcement of Eddie Jones taking the reins for the Wallabies leading into the RWC, only to see that his team become the first side Australian team to be knocked out in the pool stage.
On top of that Jones has the worst winning record of any head coach, yes even worse than Dave Rennie had before his sacking.
Now Jones has also walked out of the door taking over Japan which was the worst kept secret, his reputation is now tarnished along with his trust from Australian supporters.
The Northern Hemisphere scribes were talking about the shift of power now being with them, the problem was that both New Zealand and South Africa were not listening with the All Blacks eliminating Ireland and the Boks doing the same to France.
Only the supporters and media use the hemisphere battle cry to create further rivalry, whereas the teams are only focused on representing their country and nothing more.
Ireland were open to being vulnerable as they were under pressure from both their supporters and media to become the first Irish side to get past the semifinal, where the All Blacks had less pressure and are experienced more than most in finals rugby at World Cup level.
The result was heartbreak for the Irish as they were out played and coached and now they need to regroup and to keep the belief, they are now a genuine powerhouse of the game with great structures in place both domestically and on the International stage.
France were under similar pressure to Ireland as many favoured them to become the first French team to win a RWC. They were impressive throughout the campaign which endorsed them as favourites to lift the trophy.
One problem was that like the All Blacks, South Africa are vastly experienced at World Cups, they used that experience to overcome France to shell shock the French team and supporters also.
The great thing about this mighty sport is that winning is not guaranteed when the best rise to the top, the very best sides use previous disappointments as inspiration for future success.
France and Ireland need to use this philosophy moving forward and to understand that they are on the right track, keeping the fundamentals is essential otherwise the team will only go backwards.
For a country like Australia they need to find their identity and to come up with solutions that are the catalyst for proper change. The RWC semi finalists in 2023 all have gone through tough periods but know and understand their strengths and most importantly their identity.
Fiji have been one of the most improved teams recently with identifying their weaknesses and turning them into their strengths, the scrum is a great example plus the forwards making an impact to set the foundations for the backline to express themselves.
Supporters of different teams will be disappointed by the RWC by their teams failing expectations, but we have all been there and know that the sun always rises and better days come around.
As the Cars sang: ‘Let the good times roll’.