In an unattractive, but hard-fought game the Springboks beat England 15 – 6 in Paris to win their second World Cup tournament. They were also World Champs in 1995.
In some ways the game was a real anti-climax. Maybe it was just personal preference, but I really thought, well, hoped, the Boks would run the ball a bit more because of their better back line, but conservative rugby won the day. This year’s tournament saw the re-emergence of the up and under as a major weapon in rugby, and the final was no different, a kicking dual. It was always going to be a case of the winner being the team that makes the least number of mistakes, thus not giving the opposition a chance to score points from penalties.
The moment of the game that will always be talked about is the Mark Cueto try that was not awarded. It was close and 9 out of 10 cases a try would have been awarded. But luck was with South Africa on Saturday. There were also one or two other moments where I thought South Africa was lucky not to be blown up for accidental obstruction.
Overall, although extremely boring, the game kept me at the edge of my seat because of the occasion and what was at stake.