If you’re a rugby fan of any kind, you will already know that the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup as world champions for the third time last Saturday. It was a fantastic game for many, many reasons.
And there were many “firsts” that came with that victory too. It was the first time that a team has lost a pool game at the World Cup and gone on to win the title. This was made clear in a RugbyPass article even before the tournament began.
It was also the first time that a single team has won The Rugby Championship (or Tri-Nations) and the World Cup in the same year. South Africa is also the only team that remains unbeaten in Rugby World Cup finals – and have yet to concede a try in a Rugby World Cup final.
Another interesting statistic from the World Cup is that, on the way to the final, the Springboks defeated the Pacific Nations Champions (Japan) and the Six Nations Champions (Wales). In short, it was a hard-fought but thoroughly deserved victory.
Looking back to the game itself, the whingers were always chasing it and at no point did they enjoy a lead. Most commentators agree that there were three key passages of play, beginning with a period when England was camped in the Springbok red zone and went through 24 phases without being able to breach the defence.
The other two key moments were both in an eight minute spell starting just after the clock clicked over 65 minutes. At the time, the score was 18-12 and it may still have been anybody’s game but after two quick tries by the two wings – see separate story on the tries of the final – the official engraver got busy with the cup.
Oom Rugby has broken down ten interesting moments that he picked out of the game on SA Rugby magazine. And New Zealand’s Ben Smith (not the rugby player) has penned a brilliant piece on RugbyPass.com analysing what the Springboks did to dismantle England's attack.
One final bit of analysis wasn’t finished yet when we put these pages to bed but we urge you to check out Squidge Rugby until it is published. He promises that it will be the longest script he’s ever written for a video. Expect some detail.