Rugby World Cup finals

On Friday night New Zealand beat Wales 40-17 to finish the Rugby World Cup with the bronze medals. The All Blacks played very well generally, bouncing back from their disappointing performance against a fired up and focussed England team in the semi-final. Wales played well at times, scoring two tries, but looked like they had run out of steam, and had lost some key players through injury.

Some of the players that missed out on the semi-final squad stepped up in their final game for the All Blacks, Ben Smith in particular who had been a surprise omission from the big games. And Sam Cane showed why he should have started the game last week. Selection mistakes may or may not have been costly against England – they played so well last week any All Bl;ack line-up would have struggled.

Last night in the final South Africa wore down England. It was a bit of a kick fest for most of the match, but they scored two very good tries in the last quarter with both wings touching down to win the final and their third world cup, beating England 32-12. They had an easier path through the play offs and had enough energy left.

England were warned they may have played their ‘final’ last week and that’s how it looked, they couldn’t lift themselves to the same heights last night. That’s not a surprise, near perfect performances usually don’t happen very often in any team sport.

England coach Eddie Jones was hailed as a hero last week, but couldn’t get his team over the final hurdle.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus wins the plaudits this time, having turned a struggling team around in a year to take the big four yearly prize.

So congratulations to South Africa, who clearly deserved their win, and became the first team to lose a pool match and go on the win the final. The draw may have helped, but that’s sport.

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33 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  3rd November 2019

    Reposted from earlier this morning:

    Gezza / 3rd November 2019
    Rugby World Cup

    😮 Wow.

    Damn! 😡

    32 – 12 to the Boks!

    You win, Corks! 🏅

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd November 2019

      Thankyou. There’s nothing better than playing the off chance and winning. It makes up for all the losses. However, I must confess, I cheated. Once my money was on the line after entering into a bet with my cuzzie, there was no way I was letting England win…so I used a touch of magic coupled to a little alternative science. Worked a treat. My $50 should be in my grateful hands before lunch.

      Reply
  2. Missy

     /  3rd November 2019

    Here there has been some controversy over the fact the England players refused to wear their medals. The one’s that had the medals places around their neck removed them immediately.

    Most actual rugby fans (not those that came in to support the team when they reached the final) are outraged at the disrespect the England team showed to both their opposition and the host nation, as it has been generally viewed as them acting like spoiled children who are sore losers. A lot of fans have said they are ashamed of the way the England team behaved, and one social media post I saw said that attitude is why most countries hate them and don’t want England to win.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  3rd November 2019

      Strange old game rugby is,NZ beats the SAs,the whingeing poems beat us and to top it of SA beats the poms,so whose the best team on any given day

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  3rd November 2019

        That’s what I have been thinking about, Lurchy. The World Cup really isn’t about who’s the
        world’s best rugby team – it’s about who’s the best rugby team on the day.

        Conversely, the true mark of the best team, in my opinion, is consistency. And there’s only one team who has delivered that over the last decade – the All Blacks.

        Even if England had won the World Cup, it would have been a travesty to call them the best rugby team in the world.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  3rd November 2019

          I doesn’t happen often, but when you’re right, you’re right. 😐

          Reply
        • “The World Cup really isn’t about who’s the world’s best rugby team – it’s about who’s the best rugby team on the day.”

          Eddie Jones claimed that if England had won they would be the best rugby team, but as they lost they’re second best. But you’re right, that’s not what world cups measure. The cup winner was the best of the two teams in the final on the day. That’s great achievement but really only momentary greatness.

          If England are as great as Jones claims then they should go through the next Six Nations unbeaten, have at better than a 50/50 win/loss record against the All Blacks (not one win per decade), and also against South Africa and Australia.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  3rd November 2019

            England matched the AB’s record of 18 straight wins…but as with the W.C does the world really….care?

            Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd November 2019

      I hoped to watch the game but ended up crashing instead as I was too knackered.

      Jeez that’s piss poor behaviour from the Poms. Whatever happened to the stiff upper lip & good sportsmanship – the very concept of which I’ve always considered to be a British tradition?

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd November 2019

      Too True Missy. We hate those Pommy baskets when it comes to rugby. The Southern Hemisphere has had its mana returned. New Zealand and Australia are sniggering. In South Africa, the braais will glow late into the night for days to come.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd November 2019

        not forgetting in the working mans code…the Kiwis beat the Pomgolians and in a huge upset Tonga rolled the Kangaroos!

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd November 2019

          First uptick for the month, B. What’s with Oz at the moment? Can’t win a trick?

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd November 2019

          Excellent. There’s nothing like the feel-good factor.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd November 2019

      Shown how to behave by one of their betters ! (Nice video clip.)

      https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6099985356001

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd November 2019

        Exactly. Probably helps that Harry and Megan already loved Africa. And the alternative was the English dressing room.

        Reply
        • Africa didn’t necessarily return the compliment, if what I have heard about what was said in the press is true. They were seen as rather patronising; taking a bag of old clothes to give away was a bit odd.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  3rd November 2019

            Sounds reasonable to me:
            “The Duke and Duchess were inundated with gifts for baby Archie from organisations and the general public.

            “They were incredibly grateful, but one little baby can only wear so many clothes and he’s growing fast.

            “So the duchess decided to bring a number of his presents to hand on to South African children and families most in need.

            “She’ll take a selection of clothes, books and pens to the mothers2mothers charity which help families with HIV.”
            https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/uk-news/2019/09/23/harry-and-meghan-to-arrive-laden-with-gifts-for-children-in-south-africa/

            Reply
            • That’s not an African newspaper.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd November 2019

              Why should it be? It is reporting the UK background and reason.

              If you’ve got a garage-full of gifts you are probably on safe grounds for thinking the donors won’t mind if you pass them on to deserving families in Africa. And FWIW I doubt those families will see it as patronising especially those that live in places where being in the wrong place at the wrong time gets you killed. Pretty sure those people treasure what they are given and have some personal experience of that.

            • I suspect that some of those who were handed the old clothes did feel patronised.Who wants the whole world to see them being given hand-me-downs ? I bet that the ‘sisters’ felt patronised.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd November 2019

              The organisation leadership would have been thrilled to have the world’s attention. The kind of people they help would be grateful for anything given with love. You don’t have to leave this country to find people who can be moved to tears by gifts of good op shop clothes.

      • Corky

         /  3rd November 2019

        Prince Arry is a trooper. He knows what its like to take a beat and keep your chin up. It’s a heart warming clip. If only humans could keep this up for 23 hours a day.

        Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd November 2019

    I watched the match with my two very happy ex-Saffas and enjoyed the battle with England being on the reverse end of the misery stick from last week.

    You couldn’t help but notice it seemed to be match between arrogance and humility in which the latter won convincingly. It seemed the best result for the world as well as rugby. A lot of people will be hoping it can be transformative for SA. That’s an awfully big ask for a game but let’s enjoy it and dare to hope.

    Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  3rd November 2019

    I was watching the war movie: ‘Darkest hour’.. but was flicking over to the match periodically to keep an eye on the score. As a Pome, (by birth) I was hoping they would win, but if I was a betting man, I would have put a fiver on the ‘boks 🙂

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  3rd November 2019

    One of the best, most memorable days of my rugby life, was being at Eden Park in 1965 when North Auckland beat Auckland 32-12. (Eight 3 point tries) One of the worst would have been England winning yesterday. Which meant that personally there was a particular beauty in the result. Brother emailing ’32-12′ through in the early hours was like kicking the ball into the grandstand.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  3rd November 2019

      I have two great memories of the earthquake-destroyed Lancaster Park. The first as a youngster with my dad watching Canterbury beat the Springboks 9-6 in 1956. The second was watching Snell smash the world 800m and 880 yards records in1962. Still the fastest ever times on grass. Magic days.

      Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  3rd November 2019

        Interesting. That 1956 game was won by the home team after a last minute penalty given at the infamous “long ruck”, which went on and on until the referee ruled a technical infringement against the Springboks. Buddy McPherson kicked the goal? I think he may have been about the only (past, present or future) non-All Black in that great Canterbury team, which held the Ranfurly Shield from 1953-56. A young Wilson Whineray played that day And the just recently-deceased Tiny Hill reckons he was dropped from the second test side for smacking Chris Koch during that Canterbury match. Which, if true, puts a different spin on the reasons for recalling Kevin Skinner for the third test. 😉

        The Springboks, unsurprisingly, were bloody mad with the circumstances of the loss. Mind you, for all the skill of the likes of Bekker, Koch, Claassen and du Rand in the scrums and lineouts, and Lochner, Retief and Ackermann (although I seem to recall a photo of de Willem playing in that Canterbury game) in interlinking with their own backs, and pressuring the opposition backlines on defence like Hennie Muller, the ruck (and up and under) was the kryptonite that beat the 1956 Springboks. And Skinner, and Peter Jones, and Don Clarke, and Ron Jarden.

        The Springbok manager and coach, the great Dr Danie Craven broke with usual protocol at the time and publicly criticised the ref and demanded a meeting with the NZRFU to discuss what the South Africans considered the poor standard of refereeing throughout the tour. At which, according to Craven, the New Zealand rugby officials acted unconcerned and reflected the attitude of the vast NZ rugby populace: “Remember what happened to us with your refs and Okey Geffin when the All Blacks toured South Africa in 1949?” Which is part of why 1956 was so huge, it as revenge for losing to the Boks that year, and also 1937. And why an All Black vs Springbok fixture is still the best in rugby – there are ghosts from the past who are present, demanding to be honoured with victory for their team.

        Warwick Roger wrote a great book in 1991 on the 1956 tour. Was the greatest rugby event in NZ rugby history (well, maybe the 1905 tour pips it) and a significant social event in that more simple pre-TV era. The excitement was genuine, not the media-manufactured hype of today. Speak to Kiwi males (and many females) of that generation and they can remember where they were and what they did. I knew one guy who camped out all night in wet and windy wintery Wellington to get a place on the Western Bank to watch the second test,

        I had a teacher who would have been about your age, Alan, when he saw the 3rd test at Lancaster Park (where the selections of Skinner, Don Clarke, Peter Jones and Ponty Reid all came up trumps).

        Or the woman who remembers she was at home doing her ironing and laughing as Peter Jones after the fourth test told all of NZ listening on the radio he was “absolutely buggered”.

        Or another who was a zambuck on the sideline in that same fourth test when Tiny White was kicked in the back, and the Skinner, the guy they meant to kick, dispensed summary justice. A great line from Rogers book was referee Bill Fright recalling Kevin Skinner intoning to the South Africans in his slow Kiwi drawl, “you bastards are so useless, you can’t even kick straight”.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  3rd November 2019

          wonderful reflections Kimbo.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd November 2019

          The bit I recall well was the fullback Kevin Stuart going off with a dislocated shoulder and then coming back on 20 mins later to play the rest of the game. No benchfull of substitutes then.

          Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  3rd November 2019

            Yeah, I think the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men in the first test of that 1956 series (Jaap Bekker put Mark Irwin off the field with a kick to the ribs), and the Boks were down to thirteen in that same game including Jan du Preez with a broken leg. The Boks twanged hamstrings all tour and seldom had enough fit players to field a backline. And Robin Archer finished the third test for the All Blacks as a passenger playing on as a sort of second roving fullback (as Ron Elvidge famously did scoring the series winning try against the Lions in 1950), and Ron Jarden ended up the same in the fourth test. And Waikato famously beat the Boks in the first game of the tour with only 14 men, with flanker Rex Pickering posted out to the wing to even up the numbers in the backline scoring a try. Crazy stuff from a different era.

            Mind you, how about this for an indication of how things have changed?: when Wales last beat the All Blacks in 1953, the winning try by Olympic sprinter Ken Jones came from a cross kick that bounced the wrong way for NZ (was one of those games like losing to France in Cardiff in 2007 where we camped on their line for 25 minutes but just couldn’t score, and they won on a couple of break outs, a dodgy penalty and lots of luck – the Welsh players admitted all this afterwards).

            Anyway, the Welshman who did the cross kick, Clem Thomas, when he was driving to the Welsh team hotel to assemble on the Friday night before the game, killed a pedestrian through no fault of his own. And despite being immensely shaken and rightly doubting if he should or even could play, was persuaded to do so. I mean, it was Wales playing the All Blacks! 😳

            Reply
  6. lurcher1948

     /  3rd November 2019

    PG so pleased your blog posts, you are giving the weirdo YSB a run for his money….just saying

    Reply

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