It’s all over!!! The 2019 Rugby World Cup has finished a little more than seven weeks after Japan began 30/10 victory over Russia on 20 September.
It is South Africa, which was named champion after their comprehensive Saturday 32-12 win over England for the third time in the Webb Ellis Cup.
The Springbok side, coached by Rassie Erasmus won the final in Yokohama and were the most dominant force, saving their best performance for the last game and never trailed in the last quarter.
It all started in the semi-finals on Eddie Jones ‘ foot. Their 19-7 win over the All Blacks was the World Cup’s best display, but when it really mattered they couldn’t get the same highs.
Finally South Africa may not have been the most fanciful side, but they will be the most worthy winners and a portrait of Siya Kolisi, lifting the trophy will be among the rugby’s most lasting and famous pictures.
It is predictable that the South African press, which paid tribute to Erasmus and his historic players, received the Sprinbgoks victory very well.
Springboks takes the tripple
The triumph on Saturday takes the Springboks back to a stunning turnaround, the first team to win the same year’s Rugby Championship / Tri-Nations and World Cup.
They’re also the first to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, after losing the game on the opening weekend following their 23-13 loss to the All Blacks.
A year ago, in a do-or-die performance against New Zealand, Coach Rassie Erasmus was set for South Africa’s path to the title at its third World Cup in Yokohama on Saturday.
The Springboks secured their first win over the All Black in New Zealand since 2009 during the 36-34 september match in Wellington while also washing out memorials of the Rugby World Cup defeat to Argentina and Australia.
According to Erasmus in an interview after his squad demolished the English side by 32-12 in the World Cup Final, it was very important for them because he was not sure if he was going to continue “sitting here”.
In February, Erasmus had just taken over the helm of affairs. He had succeeded Allister Coetzee and launched his 20-month program for the World Cup in Japan, one of his goals being to achieve stability in 2018.
In an interview with reporters with the Webb Ellis Cup erected right in front of him, he said that they had short-term targets and that the Wellington test was more of a quarter-final for them– they took it as such.
Before then, his team had lost to Australia and Argentina and according to him, he put his job on the line saying that he was going to resign if he didn’t pass those tests. For him, since on any level, he hasn’t lost three matches in a row in his coaching career the record would stain his CV. Furthermore, he didn’t, as a Springboks coach think that he deserved the job if he lost three in a row.
There were lengthy discussions about the team’s plans and he said that in propagating consistency, it was important to stay by his word and turn away if they lost to Argentina, Australia and Newzealand. To him, losing three in a row was terrible.
Erasmus said that the win brought his squad trust to play with the world’s best sides and revitalize the team’s popularity in South Africa.
In his opening world cup pool game, he added, the 23-13 loss of All Blacks had been beneficial.
The first side to win the trophy was the Springboks who lost a match in the pool phases.
Erasmus added that the first test against the All Blacks was mighty with regard to how the pressure was handled by the team. According to him, they were very nervous all week and it wasn’t a very pleasant preparation for that pool game though it taught them how to go about their preparation for the bigger tests in the quarters, semis and final.
To him, Rugby was not a tension creator. Many other problems in South Africa like murder and unemployment creates more tension than Rugby. So, according to him, the team had a lot of discussions about nerve and pressure and he encouraged them to keep calm and focus on each game at a time.