THE Welsh team hotel the morning after the day before resembled the proverbial casualty clearing station.

Tricky little Shane Williams struggled to get into a chair and proceeded to sum it up best when asked about the brutality of the game against Samoa. He said: “We were all taking knocks at the same time and I was looking for my rib on the 22!”

Inside the building Luke Charteris was stretched out on the floor which meant, at his height, he was blocking a great deal of it, looking absolutely shattered.

He did manage to get to his feet to conduct some TV interviews.

The TV boys were moaning about me hovering in the area. What I would say is they are happy enough to sit in on interviews meant for the written media, so they should stop their complaining.

Anyway, back to the morning after feeling, while Shane (we always call great Welsh rugby players by their christian names) was holding court and Luke (he’s a great Dragons player) was trying to hold himself upright, Huw Bennett hobbled in, suffering from a multitude of ailments – hips, legs, sore head. Yes, it had been that kind of game.

Then we had the more serious news that James Hook is almost certainly out of the remaining pool matches while poor Dan Lydiate’s World Cup could be over.

The calmest player amid the carnage? None other than our own Dragon Toby Faletau, the quiet man of Welsh rugby.

This time the media from Down Under tried to get him to open up, but had no more joy than the rest of us.

Answers like “It was all right” or “I don’t know” were interspersed with a shrug of the shoulders or complete silence.

Even then, nothing compares to his reply to a question weeks ago about what it was like in the Polish training camp ice chamber with the temperature plunging to minus 140 – after a pause he came out with the gem, “cold!”

Digressing slightly, the player most likely to replace Lydiate, Ryan Jones, claimed an unbelievable bulls eye on a hole in one challenge the other day. It might have been on the easiest of three holes, but better than any of the five media men who tried their luck a day later.