'There’s no doubt this has been the best World Cup ever' - by Gavin Hastings

Obviously it was a very courageous performance from Scotland against Australia; I thought they were absolutely magnificent. It was brilliant to see them playing so well. It was such a tragedy that at the death they had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from Scotland, they played with so much heart and passion and people say that you need a bit more than that but they had that, too. They had a lot of skill and commitment in defence especially. My heart goes out to the players, they deserved better than that outcome and it was such a tragedy that the game ended in a controversial incident.
I think at some stage in the future the ability to go to a TMO in that situation will undoubtedly be the case but unfortunately Scotland are not going to be the beneficiary of that at this World Cup. The TMO is an interesting one, you could write a book about the use of the TMO but my initial thoughts are that whenever there is a scoring situation where points are going to be put on the board, it has to be in the future that the TMO can be used. It’s just not fair to end the game in such circumstances and under such controversy. It’s a difficult one and unfortunately for Scotland, he got that one wrong.
I think the attitude of the teams participating in this world cup has impressed me most, with everyone going out and playing rugby. Those four quarter finals at the weekend were terrific rugby matches in their own right. The willingness of players to go out, have a go and put the ball through the hands, I think for me that’s been the best thing about this World Cup.
England’s exit after the pool stages was a huge shame, not only for the tournament but for England and their supporters. There’s going to be a lot of introspection after the World Cup but I think in the cold light of day you have to take stock and work out what’s best for England. There are a few more factors than just England having lost two games of rugby. I think they need to look at how they can move forward. There’s no guarantee that with a new coach they can move forward. Maybe the whole system has to be looked at, but that’s a lengthy debate which needs to take place.
There’s no doubt this has been the best World Cup ever, ticket sales have been tremendous. It’s been a brilliant event and you just want it to continue and you want to see two great semi-finals this weekend and hopefully that’s what we’ll get. It’s the cream of the world’s rugby players in the same place at the same time, putting on their best show and so far it’s certainly be very good.
I think I’ll support the underdogs this weekend. Obviously Scotland got a lot of support at the weekend. I think Argentina will be more than a handful for Australia on Sunday and I’d just like to see a cracking game between South Africa and New Zealand on Saturday. They’ve had a couple of belters recently and I’d expect this to be no different.
May the best team win, on both occasions.

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