Rugby World Cup – South Africa!!!
South Africa beats reining champs England 15-6 to claim the 2007 RWC Championship. In pool play on September 14, South Africa had beaten England 36-0. After that game, Jonny Wilkinson returned to the team, putting them on a four match win streak. But the Springboks gave Wilkinson little opportunity to put his mark on the game! Wilkinson scored all of England’s points on two penalty kicks, but missed two drop kicks, whereas Percy Montgomery, the leading scorer in this RWC, had 12 points for South Africa on four penalty kicks.
South Africa and fans are very happy that instant replay is used in RWC play! At the beginning of the second half (South Africa led 9-3), center Matthew Tait made a great run setting up Mark Cueto for what was called a try on the field. But instant replay did show that Cueto’s left foot touched out of bounds just before the ball was put down for a try when he was tackled by South Africa number 8 Danie Rossouw (a winger tackled by an 8??). The try, which would have been a game turner, was not to be.
In another bummer for England, fullback Jason Robinson appeared to separate his shoulder in the 48th minute in this, his last match before retirement.
In the third place match on Friday, the Pumas from Argentina beat host team France for the second time in the tournament. Argentina beat France in the opening match of the tournament 17-12 and beat them in convincing fashion for third place, 34-10. Felipe Contepomi, the 2nd leading scorer in the RFC, had two tries, two conversions and a penalty kick for the Pumas, who will certainly rise in the next IRB standings.
A shout out to the San Antonio Rugby Club and the folks at the Lion & Rose Pub on Broadway for a great viewing experience….standing room only, lots of fans for both England and South Africa, great pints!
UPDATE 10/22: IRB Rankings are out and, interestingly, England is not number 2. Based on the way the rankings work, I assume this was due to the amount of Argentina’s victory and how far ahead of the pack NZ was before the world cup.
- South Africa (90.89)
- New Zealand (89.63)
- Argentina (87.56)
- England (85.61)
- Australia (84.21)
- France (80.43)
Do we really have to wait four more years??? Six Nations 2008 starts February 2!