OPINION: During the exciting days of the Israel Folau saga, a handful of packages arrived at the Rugby Australia reception at Moore Park.
The packs contained wallabies jumper some of the angry fans had to send back because they were as angry as RA Folau had treated in his social media post about homosexuals, including hell.
"We can no longer support you," said a note.
We wonder how these supporters felt this week. Are you still angry? Do you want to get your knights back? Did you even see the Wallabies win 47- 26 against the All Blacks in Perth last Saturday? Will you see Michael Chase's men try the impossible on Saturday? A victory at Eden Park, where Australia is drinking the huge Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 17 years?
* Bledisloe Cup: Peter FitzSimons defeats Israel Folau and Scott Barrett after Wallabies win
* Bledisloe Cup: Kurtley Beale is a bigger threat than Israel Folau, says Beauden Barrett
* Michael Cheika, manager of Wallabies, commenting on Israel Folau: "Something had to give"
* Israel Folau: Australian rugby faced with financial damage following a legal dispute
In the 120-year history of the Australian rugby team, several weeks have been as important as these.
When John O'Neill ran the game, he understood that the condition of the code depended mainly on the success of his national team.
When Cheika's team stunned everyone involved four years ago and reached the final of the Rugby World Cup against the All Blacks, there was cautious optimism about the upcoming road.
Then the Wallabies were bullied on home soil by Eddie Jones & # 39; England and everything was resolved from there.
Since then, Australian rugby has booted the Western Force off the Super Rugby Competition, the Wallabies Stutter, including the worst year in history, and the Folau Melodrama.
Rugby will never die. There are too many people who love to have grown up with it and enjoy drinking cold cans of VB in the Coogee Oval while watching Randwick on clear Saturday afternoons.
But the catastrophe of the past four years has led to supporters and sponsors on the verge of the line getting out of hand.
"The biggest problem is the number of people who do not care anymore," said O'Neil two years ago at this point. "And if they stop looking after something, it's incredibly hard to get them back – this is the most competitive football market in the world, and our rivals would now consider rugby almost irrelevant."
His comments are now more valid.
Those who are stuck in the Folau camp will say that the way RA drove his highest paid player out of the game has caused irreparable damage.
The Perth Bledisloe was sold out within six days, with a record audience of sporting events at Optus Stadium. Remember, in a city where the super rugby team was skewered.
In addition, the Wallabies showed that they are taller than Folau. Maybe no bigger than Jesus, as John Lennon could say, but bigger than Izzy.
It took a few matches to adapt, but they no longer rely on him to save the day. Too long, the Wallabies seemed like 14 players in Goldspringern – plus Folau.
They had made outstanding contributions to the All Blacks throughout the park, led by inspiring Captain Michael Hooper.
Apart from the rare sight of fans wearing Wallabies pullovers the day after the match in Perth, perhaps the most revealing part of the All Blacks victory was that Follo drowned at the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne a few days later.
It is in stark contrast to the world where rugby has lived in recent months when the Folau problem escalated.
How much attention has it received? According to RA, there were no less than 60,000 media reports on Folau over a two-month period. Normally the game will not be treated so well in a year's time.
No wonder that Folau turned into an evangelical crusader, as a train of right-wing commentators on religious freedoms and freedom of speech and what did not bark.
The longer the debate lasted, the stronger became Folau – and his father Eni, who has long pulled all the strings in his son's life -.
A millionaire layoff lawsuit will be brought to trial in February next year, which will not distract Cheika and his team from distractions during the World Cup in Japan.
Of course, a swallow does not make a summer. The Wallabies have not won in Eden Park in 33 years in 18 attempts.
But the All Blacks have suddenly panicked and made profound changes to their side, while Cheika has just made a forced change to the team that did the work in Perth.
I know: what's going on? What bizarre world is that? Am I dreaming?