We have mixed feelings over the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, but after a little introspection and a couple of stubbies, we were able to reach the only sane conclusion.
At least it was not England.
We knew at the outset that in all likelihood, it would not be the Wallabies and we cop to having backed New Zealand, mainly out of respect.
When England eliminated the All Blacks in the semi-final, we thought the gold was theirs’, but the Springboks had other notions, strong ones, it would seem, as the gold medal contest was not much of one.
South Africa won 32 – 12.
The Springboks got good kicking from Handre Pollard, who converted two South Africa tries and booted six penalties, accounting for 22 of South Africa’s 32, so it should be at least a year before Pollard’s next shout comes up.
The day earlier, New Zealand took the semi-final from Wales 40 – 17 to salvage some scrap of dignity, but credit to Wales for their performance in the 2019 Rugby World Cup because, well, we have people there.
In the final, South Africa relied on keeping the game under control, beating England in set pieces, defending and nearly perfect kicking.
England demonstrated the sort of energy depletion beating New Zealand produces. Eddie Jones suffered the ignominy of being the only coach to lose two World Cup finals.
The statistic did not deter the Wallabies, who are said to be seeking the services of Jones, who told reporters following the game, “We just struggled to get in the game. The effort from players was outstanding but we struggled to get on the front foot today.”
South Africa benefitted from England prop Kyle Sinckler going off in the third minute by concussion, but England stayed in the game and trailed by only six points at the half.
South Africa scored tries in the 66th and 74th minute to erase any doubts.