When I was a youngster I was quite a passionate supporter of the Welsh rugby team. That was in the days of Gareth Edwards - one of the greatest rugby players there has been. Then I went through a period of complete disinterest in the game until I went to live in Scotland where, eventually, I ended up supporting the Scottish side whenever the rugby internationals were being played. Coming to live half my life in New Zealand, however, suddenly meant that I had to take some hard decisions.
I've never been a nationalist and supporting a team just because I was born in a particular country has never seemed rational to me. Seeing the All Blacks from the perspective of living in their country suddenly gave my rugby interest a new lease of life and when I'm here I support them fervently. When I return to Scotland , though, something inside me compels me to support the Scottish team. Privately I have some difficulty when the two teams meet.
So when the All Blacks played England at the weekend I fully expected them to win. England had other ideas and their play was superb bringing the All Blacks' 20-game unbeaten streak to an end by 38 to 21.
Why am I mentioning all this? Because of the All Blacks' attitude. They took the defeat on the chin full of praise for England as the side that deserved to win. There were no excuses from the All Blacks - no mention of fatigue or dramas with a virus during the week: just a simple acknowledgement that they were beaten by a better side on the day.
To me that is the true essence of sport. It is the way most of us would like to see the game instead of the disgraceful incident in the game against Wales which hopefully will have brought to an end the All Blacks' lamentable behaviour on the European tour.