Rugby World Cup – victory and defeat
Sir, – I agree with your three letter writers (November 5th) that the refusal by some England players to wear their runners-up medals was disappointing.
A much better memory to carry away from this tournament was the sight of Siya Kolisi, the South African captain, immediately after the game was won, spending some time speaking to and obviously consoling Kyle Sinckler, the England prop whose game had ended after two minutes.
No triumphalism, just empathy with a fellow player. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – While I can say categorically that I am no great fan of the England rugby team, I would disagree with those who wrote to criticise their attitude on receiving silver medals at the World Cup (Letters, November 5th). It is worth noting that New Zealand were gracious recipients of the bronze medal on Friday, which was the best outcome they could have hoped for during the previous week. Meanwhile, England were strong favourites to become world champions and spent that same week expecting that outcome. Their unhappiness is consistent with a body of psychological research that finds that winners of bronze medals are significantly happier than silver medallists at the Olympics, in both the short and long term. Bronze medallists know they were one step away from obscurity, while silver medallists recognise that they were one away from victory. The adage “show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser” seems apt. – Yours, etc,