The Springboks left their best match of the World Cup in Japan last after losing to England in the final today.
Siya Kolisi became the third Springbok captain to hold the William Webb Ellis Trophy, after the Boks finished 32-12 with the English Rose in Tokyo.
And if you thought the English bullied the All Blacks last weekend; the Springboks’ forwards were like school bullies on growth hormones today and they pushed the dumb Rose pretty dope.
Owen Farrell and his team were almost permanently in the scrum situation, while Duane Vermeulen probably played the Springbok game of his life.
Forget about passing that to Fourie du Preez in the 2015 quarterfinals at Twickenham, today he was brilliant under the high ball, while climbing fearlessly under the English. He was well-deserved as the player of the match.
Speaking of high balls (and then kicks): Willie le Roux got caught and Faf de Klerk kicked significantly less than in previous games.
In fact, the Boks picked a rabbit out of the hat and did not play their “boring” rugby at all. They were adventurous, offensive and just excellent today. They scored two top-three tries, while England had to rely on Farrell’s kicking for points.
The relationship between Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am for the Boks’ first three was something that marriage counselors could use in teamwork examples in the future, while Cheslin Kolbe again worked with his footwork to fool the defenders.
In fact, if Kolbe is not in the running to be World Rugby Player of the Year, then the eventual winner of this award must be truly good.
And if there are still those who fear that New Zealand was the best team at the tournament: The Boks probably would have shown a thing or two to the All Blacks today.
So wear your Springbok jersey with pride and braai until late tonight. Because in Japan, the Springbok bonfires are currently burning very high.
- This is the third time the Springboks have picked up the William Webb Ellis Trophy. In 1995 it was Francois Pienaar, in 2007 it was John Smit and in 2019 it was Siya Kolisi.
South Africa: Tries: Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe. Goal kick : Handré Pollard (2). Penalties: Pollard (6).
England: Penalties: Owen Farrell (4).