In the final shakedown of New Zealand's sporting year, some will invoke the Helen Hoodoo, the so-called Curse of Clark, as an explanation for our top-level sporting losses.
On the other hand, I think it goes deeper than that. Sports psychologists talk about NZ teams and athletes "choking". This is slang for a lack of mental focus, a lack of killer instinct. We no longer know how to go for the jugular.
Others, of course, do.
I think our current political and social culture, where winning is downplayed at lower levels and excellence is a poor second to inclusiveness for the lowest common denominator, has created a generation who mentally are finding it hard to compete.
Maybe I'm being too harsh. Certainly the Ferns fought back, although they blew it in the final four minutes...but I'm increasingly convinced our sports record is the unintended but natural result of decades of social engineering.