An Irishman expressing regret is not exactly rare, but in the case of Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt, it is newsworthy.
Schmidt is headed elsewhere, destination to be determined, but he felt that he might have put the hex on his men by putting pressure on them far ahead of the tournament.
Ireland are not the first to be ground beneath the Black Heel and they were on the wrong side of history after being eliminated by the All Blacks 46 – 14 in the quarterfinal of the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament in Japan.
“If I had one regret it’s the fact we talked about [the World Cup] a year ago,” Schmidt told reporters.
Ah! But to be Irish and have just the one regret.
The first order of business would be to accumulate additional regrets.
“We built up to it and we probably went away from our week-to-week focus or our immediate tournament focus. Maybe we built it into something that became a bit of a self-consuming monster because we didn’t play as well as we could.”
Everyone squad that faces New Zealand has the opportunity to express similar regrets, but on those rare occasions when someone beats New Zealand, you seldom hear anyone expressing regret that the margin was not greater.
Schmidt will be succeeded by assistant coach Andy Farrell.
As for his future, Schmidt reported that he has fielded many job offers, for rugby coaching, presumably, but the 54-year-old native of Kawakawa, New Zealand would not pass muster as the Wallabies coach, so far as Michael Cheika is concerned.
Schmidt says he will not seriously entertain offers until the middle of 2020.
He also says that he intends to enjoy his spell from the game and apparently, something from his time heading Ireland will stay with him, because he said, mentioning the next Six Nations, “Instead of looking through the glass, I might just have one in my hand and I’m looking forward to that.”
No potential regret in that course of action.