bbc.co.uk Navigation

Ben Dirs

England v South Africa ratings (174)

Paris - Hello all. I watched the final alongside my colleague Mark Orlovac at the Stade de France and rated the South African players. "Orlo" was in charge of England. Here's how we scored them.

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts.

ENGLAND RATINGS

Jason Robinson – Had little chance to attack in the first-half kick-fest. Heartbroken to leave the field injured at the start of the second half in the final game of his career. 6

Paul Sackey – Good work in defence, but did not have the opportunity to show his speed as the ball kept being kicked in front of him. 5

Mathew Tait – Recovered from his early slip and always tried to make things happen. Made a fine jinking run that set-up Mark Cueto’s disallowed try and ended the game at full-back. 7

Mike Catt – The old head looked assured in the first half, delivering some well-judged kicks to touch from hand. Could not get his back-line going however and was replaced by Toby Flood on 51 minutes. 6

Mark Cueto – Has not been at his best this tournament but justified his call-up in place of the injured Josh Lewsey. Did little wrong and was millimetres from scoring in the second half, only for his left foot to be ruled in touch. 7

Jonny Wilkinson – Wilkinson has done so much for England during this tournament although he was off target on Saturday night. Solid in defence but two drop-goal misses were costly. 6

Andy Gomarsall – This has been a tournament to remember for the Harlequins number nine but he was not at his sniping best and distribution at times was off target. 6

Andrew Sheridan – Quiet game for the Sale prop. Held his own in the scrum but failed to do a demolition job on his opposite number. 6

Mark Regan – Line-out throwing was wayward early on but regained his composure as the game went on. The Bristol hooker was not able to rattle experienced Springbok captain John Smit and came off on 63 minutes. 6

Phil Vickery – Struggled in the scrum as the first half drew to a close but produced some heroic work in defence for his side. Injury forced the skipper off at half-time. 6

Simon Shaw – The pick of the England forwards, the go-to man in the line-out. Tackled like a demon. 7

Ben Kay – Made a couple of carries in the first half but faded from view as the second half wore on and was taken apart by Victor Matfield in the line-out. 5

Martin Corry – Again another hard-working performance without being spectacular. The Leicester forward gave away the penalty that put South Africa 12-6 ahead. 6

Lewis Moody – Gave his all as ever. Made a nice offload in the first half as well as defending gamely on his own line as South Africa applied the pressure just before the break. 7

Nick Easter – Made a couple of nice carries but was not explosive off the back of the scrum. Put in his fair share of work in defence. 5

Replacements:

George Chuter – Came on for Regan with 17 minutes to go but struggled with his line-out throwing when England desperately needed ball. 5

Matt Stevens – Replaced Vickery at half-time and held his own in the scrum. 6

Lawrence Dallaglio – Took to the field on 65 minutes to replace Easter but had little chance to make an impact. 6

Joe Worsley – Only on the field for eight minutes before coming off injured.

Peter Richards – The scrum-half had to come on for injured flanker Joe Worsley with nine minutes left and did not let himself down. 6

Toby Flood – Looked lively after replacing Catt early in the second half but could not swing the game in England’s favour. 6

Dan Hipkiss – Strong replacement for Jason Robinson at the start of the second half. Made some powerful charges and again showed his ability to stay on his feet in the tackle. 6


SOUTH AFRICA

Percy Montgomery – Safe under the high ball and kicked all four of his penalties. No real threat with ball in hand, but otherwise as solid as a rock. 7

JP Pietersen – The Sharks wing saw little of the ball and was well-shackled when he did receive it. 6

Jaque Fourie – Little chance to show off his attacking talents but put in some big hits on England’s midfield and managed to smother the impish Mathew Tait for most of the match. 6

Francois Steyn – One magnificent break and a couple of half-breaks from the youngster, as well as some crunching tackles. One of the stars of the tournament. 7

Bryan Habana – Very little chance to shine with ball in hand but showed his worth in defence. A couple of big hits on Paul Sackey and plenty of grit at the breakdown. 7

Butch James – Some wayward kicking out of hand, but some fine work in defence. Won the all-important battle of the fly-halves. 6

Fourie Du Preez – One or two sniping runs and his delivery was adequate all match. A couple of touches did not come off but a solid enough performance. 6

Os Du Randt – Fine scrummaging display from the veteran prop and tireless in defence. No problem coping with England’s much-vaunted front row. 7

John Smit – The South Africa skipper hit his jumpers all night long and displayed some good foraging around the fringes. The chemistry between Smit and his locks was key to South Africa’s victory. 8

CJ van der Linde – Plenty of good work in defence, with one stand-out hit on Dan Hipkiss, and lots of mongrel with ball in hand. 7

Bakkies Botha – The line-out was always going to be a key area and Botha caused problems for his opposing locks all night. Also put in some tremendous work at the breakdown. 7

Victor Matfield – Magnificent at the line-out, stealing ball all the way through the match and making life very uncomfortable for England’s locks. Also showed some lovely touches with ball in hand. 8

Schalk Burger – Yet another tireless display from the Western Province flanker. Swarming in defence and always a menace at the breakdown. 8

Juan Smith – Some bullocking carries and plenty of crunching hits from the Free State flanker. Superb in defence and always a pain for England at the breakdown. 8

Danie Rossouw – A fine defensive display from the Springboks number eight and some good carries before being replaced by Van Heerden. 7

Replacements:

Wickus van Heerden – Replaced Rossouw on 72 minutes and had little time to make a mark. However, did what he had to do to deny England down the final stretch. 6


Ben Dirs is a BBC Sport journalist travelling around France in a camper van with Tom Fordyce. Click here to search for all of Tom and Ben's blog videos.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:35 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Northern Mick wrote:

Think you’ve been far too generous to the England team there.

We showed no imagination or flair. Handling skills were poor. Lineouts were awful. As soon as South Africa went 9 points up, our inability to be creative was cruelly exposed. The players set a bad example spending too much time trying to argue with the referee, who was right in not awarding a try. Then some of our supporters followed this poor example and tried to disrupt the Cup presentation to South Africa - disgraceful. Please accept decisions gracefully and don’t let your country down.

Martin Johnson spoke sense – no try - get on with the game – no point in arguing about it.

Tait missed quite a few tackles and was lucky that the South Africans showed poor technique trying to tackle him when he did get through – he didn’t exactly evade them!
Moody should have been off for his dirty trip.
In fact I think only Robinson deserved more than a score of 2.

No tries. Think I’ll stick to watching Rugby League in future.

By the way - Who is Gavin Henson? Isn’t he a model?!!! The commentator referred to him giving Tait a torrid time - What did he do?

  • 2.
  • At 11:39 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Jenny Brassington wrote:

So close but ultimately refereeing decisions decided this final! S Africa were the best team in the tournament but Englabnd were the best fighters. Thank you lads for making us proud again - bring on the 6 nations.

  • 3.
  • At 11:43 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • peter wrote:

thank god that the better team won. Rugby union would ave been a farce if one of the northen hemisphere teams won, they have been playing catch up with the south since england won 4 years ago. Good game though

  • 4.
  • At 11:54 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Ralph Hardwick wrote:

Personally still ver proud to be an english rugby fan thought the effort in defence was superb.

Disappointed Tait hasen't been praised more. He was superb in defense in the first half,then deserved a try for his break. When moved to full back showed a booming boot and maturity beyind his years. A true star in the making.

The dream of England not completes, i have watched the match and efforts goes to South africa and they are the best team and they show and focus on hard working,
ok Thats good and England just focus on playing not giving the such type of comments we are again become the World cup final second time.

  • 6.
  • At 11:57 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Lewis Brooke wrote:

It seems all you are ever willing to give is 6/7 for everyone, with the worst players getting a 5, and the best only getting 7/8. There isn't much point giving ratings if everyone gets 6 every game.

Tait was brilliant considering the team's performance as a whole and deserved 8.

  • 7.
  • At 11:59 PM on 20 Oct 2007,
  • Matthew Le Merle wrote:

I was also at the game. All I can say is that Orlo is obviously a tougher grader. The teams were much better balanced than your grading would suggest. In fact, most of the French around me had gone from supporting South Africa at the outset to grudgingly cheering the England side that had clearly played the better game - though the scoreboard obviously did not agree.

  • 8.
  • At 12:00 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

So humble pie all round then is what a lot of people want....we defended the crown, and we took them on. In 36 days we have made a hell of a difference, so England were not free flowing, FOR GODS SAKE its a final and you play to your oppositon. All credit to a squad of players that was written off before they got to France, the development and structure needs to be worked on, but nobody can take away from that squad the passion and heart they played with. I am pround to be an England supporter and to have watched that game. Nobody rolled over.
Unlike football we don't look elsewhere, Corry faced it up and was true in his comments. C'MON THE CHARIOT!

  • 9.
  • At 12:02 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Water Vole wrote:

You forgot the ref - he was worth 15 points in anyone's book!

  • 10.
  • At 12:03 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Phil James wrote:


Very fair comments and ratings, although Percy deserves more than a 7.

Kicked the points, took all the high balls, injured, smashed into a camera and was outstanding.

He, Jon Smit and Matfield were deserved winners, and please do me a big favour - re-iterate that it was not a try. No excuses best team won.

  • 11.
  • At 12:15 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jared Field wrote:

I disagree with your rating of the players. The England players plied all the pressure during the second half and the majority of them deserve more the rating you've given them.

The fact that they failed to break the Boks line to score (yes everyone saw Cueto score a try, but the ref's word is final so lets not dwell on that)I feel that no one should be down hearted from this game because for a team that should never have progressed beyond the quarter finals they punched above their weight and gave good account of themselves to the last minute. Anyone who says otherwise had unrealistic expectations.

I've never been prouder of the men that represented my country than now! (and i was down-under playing rugby in 2003/2004)

  • 12.
  • At 12:18 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

Matthew Tait was outstanding....so glad to see him really step up to the occasion. Not just his great run, but also some thumping tackles and tremendous kicking.
I'm gutted that we weren't quite good enough on the night, but performances like those of Tait bode well for the Six Nations and next year's autumn internationals...a rematch with South Africa at Twickenham next october sounds good!

  • 13.
  • At 12:26 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Northern Mick wrote:

Think you’ve been far too generous to the England team there.

We showed no imagination or flair. Handling skills were poor. Lineouts were awful. As soon as South Africa went 9 points up, our inability to be creative was cruelly exposed. The players set a bad example spending too much time trying to argue with the referee, who was right in not awarding a try. Then some of our supporters followed this poor example and tried to disrupt the Cup presentation to South Africa - disgraceful. Please accept decisions gracefully and don’t let your country down.

Martin Johnson spoke sense – no try - get on with the game – no point in arguing about it.

Tait missed quite a few tackles and was lucky that the South Africans showed poor technique trying to tackle him when he did get through – he didn’t exactly evade them!
Moody should have been off for his dirty trip.
In fact I think only Robinson deserved more than a score of 2.

No tries. Think I’ll stick to watching Rugby League in future.

By the way - Who is Gavin Henson? Isn’t he a model?!!! The commentator referred to him giving Tait a torrid time - What did he do?

  • 14.
  • At 12:35 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Humphriss wrote:

The World Cup is over. South Africa have gained, for four years, the right to end every rugby-based discussion with the all-powerful, all-defeating phrase "We are the World Champions".

England must content themselves with the title of 'World Cup finalists'. Not much of a consolation but enough to silence the Home Nations until 2011.

But 'World Cup Finalists' doesn't quite do justice to 15 men who raised themselves above all expectations, who stood up to a storm of media criticism and made their relatives, their friends, their nation proud.

When it mattered, really mattered, they fought as if their lives depended on it. That they were able to discover previously undiscovered depths when all about them were wailing and blaming, speaks volumes about the inner strength of those 15 Englishmen. 15 Englishmen who represent all that is good about their homeland.

And somehow we all knew that when the stakes were high, when it really mattered, they wouldn't disgrace us. And they didn't.
When it really mattered, they stood up and stood proud.

  • 15.
  • At 12:42 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Shane wrote:

All credit to England, they have surpassed all expectations in this competition and to have finished second considering where they have been for the past 4 years is a truly remarkable achievement.

South Africa are the best team in the world, they have been relentless throughout the tournament (demonstrated by the fact that they did not lose a game) and although they have not been perfect in all games they have always done enough to win, and that is what they did today.

As an Irishman, I would love to know what it feels like to lose a World Cup Final. Well done South Africa above all - but well done England as well.

(See you at Twickenham!!)

  • 16.
  • At 12:49 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Gordon wrote:

While I admit the Boks win was deserved I think you have been far too generous with their ratings for a team that was outplayed for 60% of the game - Shalke Burger for instance was nondescript you wouldn't have known he was playing if you hadn't read the team sheet. Same for Habana and a few others. However they did defend manfully

That game should have had the aggregate SA ratings only +1 to the aggregate English ratings that's how close it was - if your honest about it.

  • 17.
  • At 12:52 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • George Cantlay wrote:

These artings are harsh on the English players. Sure they didn't all have the greatest game but remember they were playing South Africa. Giving Tait a 7 was, in my opinion, wrong. He played the best he has ever played for England and was one of, if not th, best players on the pitch. Just because we lost does not mean the English played badly

i really enjoyed watching england play tonight, i watched the final 4 years ago and was so impressed with how they played but this year i was stunned by how much the team had grown closer together through out the tournament you could tell how much it meant 2 each player, playing for their team it was so emotional 2 watch if the team didn't play well and lost they would have been booed but they played brilliantly and for that they deserve the best and im soo happy playing for dover has made me realise wat rugby to the nation is worth and this team has proved that brilliantly well done ladz am soo proud this is a memory that will always b rememered you done the fans pround and ur country xxx

  • 19.
  • At 12:53 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Greg wrote:

Low ratings overall, but it was the kind of match where no one really shined. Wilkinson didn't have any kind of impact, and Tait was probabaly the better kicker on the night. Plus he made that startling run that nearly produced a try.

England had a lot of bad luck on the night but South Africa probabaly deserved the win, they were solid throughout the tournament.

  • 20.
  • At 12:53 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Pete Nichols wrote:

Lewis Moody gets a SEVEN?
You give that to a player who, three minutes after England draw level in the 11th minute, deliberately trips Butch James, concedes a pointless penalty (there was no threat) and puts England on the back foot - a position from which the team never recovers.
Moody should get a MINUS SEVEN - at best.

  • 21.
  • At 01:00 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew Humphriss wrote:

The World Cup is over. South Africa have gained, for four years, the right to end every rugby-based discussion with the all-powerful, all-defeating phrase "We are the World Champions".

England must content themselves with the title of 'World Cup finalists'. Not much of a consolation but enough to silence the Home Nations until 2011.

But 'World Cup Finalists' doesn't quite do justice to 15 men who raised themselves above all expectations, who stood up to a storm of media criticism and made their relatives, their friends, their nation proud.

When it mattered, really mattered, they fought as if their lives depended on it. That they were able to discover previously undiscovered depths when all about them were wailing and blaming, speaks volumes about the inner strength of those 15 Englishmen. 15 Englishmen who represent all that is good about their homeland.

And somehow we all knew that when the stakes were high, when it really mattered, they wouldn't disgrace us. And they didn't.
When it really mattered, they stood up and stood proud.

  • 22.
  • At 01:02 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • gary.freer wrote:

Disagree about the ratings for Tait and Moody whose mistakes gifted the Saffers 6 points early on.Corry had a terrific game.

The South Africans rode their luck and had the rub of the green on the key decisions - not only the try but also getting away with some pretty obvious obstructions which wasn't penalised - but they made fewer mistakes on the day and fair play to them. The English players showed how to take defeat with dignity - no public tears like the French and Aussies, no whinging about referees like the All Blacks.

  • 23.
  • At 01:04 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Tony Watson wrote:

i really enjoyed watching england play tonight, i watched the final 4 years ago and was so impressed with how they played i was only 13, but this year i was stunned by how much the team had grown closer together through out the tournament you could tell how much it meant 2 each player, playing for their team and nation it was so emotional 2 watch if the team didn't play well and lost they would have been booed ff the field but they played brilliantly frm being 36-0 to 6-15 is stunning in such a short period ov time and for that they deserve the best and im soo happy playing for dover has made me realise wat rugby to the nation is worth and this team has proved that brilliantly well done ladz am soo proud this is a memory that will always b rememered you done the fans proud and ur country no1 fort u wud go this far but u prved every1 rong xxx

  • 24.
  • At 01:04 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • lucy wrote:

I don't agree with all of them. Obviously England weren't given much room to attack, but i would have rated Tait atleast an 8 and also throughout this world cup Gomarsall has really made a huge impact, however unexpected that was, but i think he deserved a higher mark. Overall i'm very proud to be English, but am gutted at the ame time

  • 25.
  • At 01:17 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • xpat73 wrote:

Northern Mick...it's pretty obvious you are a league supporter with a massive chip on his shoulder that League has no international tournament worth speaking of!

As an England supporter, we were never going to win this by throwing the ball around...and neither were South Africa. To be fair, with Lewsey out, and Catt and Robinson leaving just after halftime the backs were never going to fire.

Seven for Habana? Was he even on the pitch? Burger is a truly great player around the park and desrves his eight. When you consider that he had a serious neck injury two years ago he is a revelation. Matfield is a lineout genius.

Overall SA had the better lineout, kicked better, and had the edge at the breakdown. When you couple this with kicking all their goals, they deserved to win.

As for the try that wasn't, as an England supporter it was disappointing. But as Vickery said, u win some, u lose some. We have had our fair share of luck it this tournament....it finally ran out. I am proud of the boys...we have over acheved this tournament.

Well done SA!!

  • 26.
  • At 01:19 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • AndyD wrote:

Well done to SA. A good team who deserved the title.

Disappointed nonetheless, as an England win was on the cards.

  • 27.
  • At 01:22 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Johnno wrote:

Hey England,

Great game - sometimes it's a pity someone has to lose. All the same, I am glad that S.A have won the cup. This means a lot to us and, though we were afraid that Australia and New Zealand's exit would make it a walk in the park for us, the sheer fighting spirit of Argentina and England have made it a truly memorable World Cup. Thanks again - we'll see you in 2011!

  • 28.
  • At 01:25 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Daniel Fernandes wrote:

Sorry but you are being generous on Moody. His trip on the Bok player that gave the Boks a penalty kick was completely out of order and cost England dearly. This sort of indiscipline must not happen in the game especially in a final. I was almost in tears when Robinson was replaced. It was just so strange to think I would not see him on pitch anymore after so many memorable performances from him. Anyway well done to every single English player for giving their all. True things did not turn out the way they desired but their determination took them farther than anyone had predicted. Congratulations. And thank you very much Robinson for all you have done for the England team. You're a legend!

  • 29.
  • At 01:28 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • MARK wrote:

England were on a par with S.A for the first 60 mins, maybe edged them but the last 20 mins we were clueless & disjointed and S.A were in total control. Thought Wilkinson was probably England's poorest starter - never got the back-line moving at any pace at all.

All the talk about England being "in it if they were within 3 points on the hour" and us having the stronger bench was nonsense.

A better bench & we'd have had a sniff - although I can see 100% why Ashton didn't alter it from the QF & SF. A midfield & back three including Flood, Hipkiss, Tait & Cueto in fairness is not a back line that warrants finishing off a world cup victory so for game as a whole it may have been for the best regrettably.

The starting 15 (+Stevens) all deserve 6's or 7's. Thought Robinson was the pick of the backs, Shaw the best player by a long way. Tait was a mixed bag - still not as convinced by him as many are but he can be proud of himself tonight.

Chuter did nothing wrong & Richard was left to play at openside but Hipkiss, Dallaglio & Flood contributed nothing really in their time on - only 4/10 for me.

Dallaglio was a little anonymous again, Flood never had the command of the game Catt had & Hipkiss while he is good at breaking for the first tackle & getting over the gain line he seems to have little ability to beat his man bar a predictable side step.

Exceptional World Cup by England. I'm very hopeful for the future - although as an aside the better crop of potential England 2008-2015 players are NOT in this squad (Turner-Hall, Haskell, Robshaw, Cipriani, Hartley, JSD, Erinle, Croft, Strettle, Foden, Morgan, Scarborough, Varndell) rather than Rees, Tait, Hipkiss, Flood, Abendanon who shouldn't be automatics in the 6 Nations purely as they were in this WC squad.

  • 30.
  • At 01:31 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • sean wrote:

the first commnent is pathetic... rugby league isnt a patch on union! pretty fair ratings i feel possibly slightly harsh on some england players
the match itself hinged on the decision from the TMO which i feel he got wrong.... it seemed to me that Cueto's foot was in the air but it is refreshing to see the players accepting the decision. If a similar thing had happened when England were competiting in a football world cup we'd never hear the end of it!!
overall a wonderful world cup and the blogs of dirsy and his mate have only enhanced it... thanks

  • 31.
  • At 01:39 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

Soutth Afrca won the game with their kicking.

I look forward to the kiwi and aussie press slating them for this.

  • 32.
  • At 01:50 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Andydoug wrote:

England ratings high as we have come to expect. The 'try' was correctly ruled invalid. England tried their best to kill the game but were outplayed, outkicked and outmuscled bt the only unbeaten team in the competition.

So, in my opinion, the best team won the competition for a change!

And as a proud irishman, the game we had to win this year, vs England at Croke park, we put them to the sword! - given the choice of that against scoring 4 tries against Argentina and I'd take the Croker victor every time.

As has been said many times, this was an England team shored up by old has-beens and has no future after today. They had huge luck to get to the final but no hope of winning it.

Here's my prediction for 6-nations 2008:
1: France - bauxis is fab
2: Scotland - Paterson is the best goal kicker in the world and they are definitely on the up and up
3: Ireland - the 'great' players are still there. Eddie should have gone and pride will have been restored but still a building year
4: Italy - they just keep improving
5: England: a team in transition. No strong leaders and one-dimensional. For nay-sayers - prove me wrong!
6: Wales - chaos reigns. Too many old playeres will have retired and no noteworthy new ones.

So, we shall see, huh?

  • 33.
  • At 02:01 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • William Corry wrote:

I am appalled at the messages left here, England played the best rugby on the day, unlucky with a few decisions ok 4 decisions which cost us the match, the referee who did well earlier in the tournament should re-look at a few a of his whistle blows how an offside was not given in the first half god only knows, let alone the obstruction in the 2nd. Oh and lets not forget the none existent obstruction that we considered. The try should have stood the foot bounced over the touch line which is fine. Every single England player should stand proud they not only played the more attractive rugby but they did the basics better SA where left on scraps and it should have been a lot closer if the ref has not made the for mentioned errors.

  • 34.
  • At 02:06 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

SA forwards did the job- Englands didnt- lost territory game and gave away too many penalties. Extra point each for the SA forwards- only Shaw was in their league.
SA backs- worse than Enland on a bad day- Steyn needs to learn to pass. Habana did nothing - best back for SA was Percy- he nailed his kicks and kept the lead- only he deserved more than 6.
England backs- well there is hope- maybe 4 years of trying to use them more throughout the game might result in finishing moves that should lead to tries. Forgetting the slip Tait's best game- finally showed why he is in the team! Flood and Hipkiss also show the makings of a versatile backline - but we need to trust them and use them.

Well done England, but you must build on this success!

  • 35.
  • At 02:17 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Robinson wrote:

"thank god that the better team won. Rugby union would ave been a farce if one of the northen hemisphere teams won, they have been playing catch up with the south since england won 4 years ago"

Did you check the kick\pass stats? You'll be surprised to see which team tried to play and which team kicked more. I think you'll find in tournament rugby you have to front up. Playing ballet in a world cup final just makes you look stupid (and generally the teams that do that go home before the final).

The reason we lost is because the Bok lineout was far superior. If you play a kicking game for field position, you have to compete at the lineout and the SA lineout is the best in the world, so we weren't going to get much change out of it. Other than that is was very competitive in all other aspects of the game, except England made more mistakes giving SA points every time they visited our 22.

Good news for the future. Sackey and Tait have been revelations.


England played well and proved all those doubters wrong, South Africa won the game, but I love England and fair play lads, I applaud both sides efforts.

  • 37.
  • At 02:32 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Alex Trickett wrote:

Personally, I thought Corry was really good tonight. And none of the England boys let themselves down. A few annoying errors, the odd 50-50 decision and South Africa's discipline and line-out control cost us dear. (Still think NZ would have beaten the Boks though!)

  • 38.
  • At 02:46 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • royalaussiefan123 wrote:

england kicked far too much ball away they have to learn how touse it and stop kicking it away

  • 39.
  • At 02:55 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Dan Minnis (NEW YORK) wrote:

To me... These boys are billiant! admiration for every 1 of the 30 guys on the park except the REF! from where i was watching there were 3 instances of frankly missed calls! (Truck and trailer, the try ((which from what was on my screen was defo a try))... the crossing incident!!!! no crossintg there from englang but SA were crossing but NO MENTION!

In my mind a great game for both sides... SA played with real pinache, passion and charisma.... same with england! but! we made basic errors... first time tacles in my opinion lost us the game... Line outs! c'mon boys... this is basic!
Kicking from deep was poor on both sides... But in conclusion! A BLOODY GOOD ROUND OF APPLAUSE TO ALL THE BOYS ON THAT PARK BECAUSE IT REALLY MADE MY WEEKEND! A big thankyou.... you are all heros in my book... thanks for an awesome world cup campaign!
DAN MINNIS. NEW YORK.

  • 40.
  • At 03:18 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Lewis Robertson wrote:

Andrew Humphriss hit the nail on the head. That team out there gave everything they had - more than any other England "sporting" team could have done.
I doth my cap to the 15 outfield players and all the subs. Magnificent. True English fighting spirit - no criticism here. Jason Robinson, thank you for your inspirational performances , you will be missed.
Im distraught at the defeat but every single player in that team ran and played like his life depended on it. I can ask no more and can only congratulate a team of heroes.

  • 41.
  • At 03:21 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Real Critique wrote:

The try was a try, but SA did win by a bigger margin than that anyway... For the fools that say:

a) England are not a great team
and
b) Rugby League is better

Well... they did themselves proud and could have won

And if the rugby league team is so good why is the best guys in the GB team Welsh and they cant beat NZ or Australia... UNLIKE THE UNION BOYS!!!

  • 42.
  • At 03:33 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Dominic wrote:

Well... what a night eh? As a south african I must say that tonight's game was an amazing experience . Ratings? everyone has an opinion and I wont go into that. Just wanted to say that I watched the game with some English friends and we were all in bits until the final whisle blew. Fair play to England for coming back from the first couple of games and really showing what they are capable of. South africa... consistant and did the job. credit to both teams! It was a world cup that had a lot of upsets and suprises. I can finally take a breath and relax. Well done England and well done the boks! cheers.

  • 43.
  • At 04:15 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Celtic Fringe wrote:

Commiserations to Brian Ashton and England...this team surprised many, myself included.

I also applaud their graciousness in defeat. They showed a lot of class.

That being said I think the best team won on the night. The SA forwards outplayed the English pack and that was a big part of the difference.

As for those criticising the ref...the blatant shove on Montgomery which carried him into the TV camera, which nobody seems to hae picked up on, went unpunished...this and the trip could have seen England down to 14 men on 2 occassions. Ref's decisions tend to balance out by the end of the game.

With so many retirements, transfers and coaching changes it will be interesting to see what happens to all the teams inthe competition in the year(s) ahead.

Looking forward to 2011!

  • 44.
  • At 04:18 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Toby Pearson wrote:

Have read through the comments and think everyone's comments are pretty
fair. With regard to ratings that's a different matter.
What is true and fundamental to me is that every south african and every englishman rate 10's on effort and determination here.
I'm english and very disappointed but proud of the boys.
It's been the best and most competitive competition I've ever seen. I can't wait to experience it all again. Hat's off to France as well for a superbly organised and atmospheric event.

  • 45.
  • At 04:46 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

To be honest, this game was won and lost in the forwards - just like England's games against Australia and France. This time though, the England forwards met their match. Everyone will talk about the South African line-out - which was imperious - but I give most credit to the front 3. The work from the loose was outstanding. England were out-rucked; SA ball was clean from the break-down; whereas England ball was slow and messy. Set piece scrums were clearly won by SA as well - largely thanks to the front row.

It seems that both last time in 2003 and this time, the team with the best forwards won the world cup. Maybe that should be a lesson to the Australians and New Zealanders. You can't play flowing rugby and win from the back line unless the forwards win their battle. What I like most about Rugby is the interplay between forwards and backs. This game won't be remembered as greats because the backs didn't fire - but you also don't get a great game without great play in the forwards as well. If I want to watch all fast runs and sidesteps I would watch 7s. What we saw today was a lesson in how you should play in the forwards. Scrums, rucks, mauls and line-outs were all outstanding by SA.

  • 46.
  • At 05:04 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • paul wrote:

How can anyone think cueto's foot wasn't in touch? Well considering the english thought wayne barnes was good and fair in his disaster quarter some delusional fans would be inclined to think that. The ref this morning wasn't perfect but he was consistently average. I was hoping he would make a shocking call against the english so that i could dish the same that we kiwis received for blaming barnes. Unfortunately one cannot say he cost england the game! A complete lack of attacking ideas did that.

In the end the best team in the tournament won, which is a relief, considering the farce england reduced the game to. Go ahead and call me bitter for the quarter final loss, but Saf deserved to win and England didn't deserve to leave their group.

Steyn was my man of the match, that guy is a real talent!

Go the Southern Hemisphere teams, may you dominate the game for many years to come!

  • 47.
  • At 05:29 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Anna Bird wrote:

Bring back Ben Cohen I say!!!! Some eye candy is always a bonus, especially when we're losing and continually kicking into touch!!! I also thought Paul Sackey and Simon Shaw put in great tackles and saved us from conceding even more points.

  • 48.
  • At 06:25 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Huge wrote:

England are very uncreative. I can't see us scoring a try against the best sides. Our whole team is predictable and unimaginative. Tait is coming on well though and has really improved as a player. Our back row are also too slow and don't get to the break down quick enough. Tom Rees needs to play and we need some other quick forwards there at the breakdown quickly. Able to turn over well.

  • 49.
  • At 06:58 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

A great World cup final?. Sorry I thought I was watching tennis at one stage, it was dreadful, both teams were obsessed with kicking away hard one possession for what purpose. England couldnt win anyline out ball, and SA couldnt break the English defence. Where was the freeflowing Spingboks we were expecting to see, Habana was redundant all game. Tait makes a break, and runs with the ball tucked under his arm, so he couldnt even pass it to the overlap, schoolboy errors ultimately costly.This was watched by millions around the world, and was a complete non-advert for the greatest game, no converts after this I feel. England played above themselves the last couple of weeks, and SA were disappointing on the night, thats what we really saw here, no advert for Rugby and a poor dour match for any neutral.

  • 50.
  • At 07:04 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

I just got home, still with tears in my eyes..... not because we gave up our crown, but because we have had it taken away from us unfairly.
The ANTIENGLISHISM ( a new word i just made up ) is clear to see around the world. A DODGY Irish Ref, an even dodgier Australian Video Ref, and changed the fortunes of our PROUD men.

The Try.......... tell me anyone how you can say he was in touch....... the video cheat sorry ref. took nearly 15 views from differant angles and then decided he was in touch...... how so - isnt the benefit of doubt supposed to go the attacking team. If he can hold his head up and tell me and the rest of the supporting Rugby fans how he was in touch then fine. I dont think he can honestly do that. A BITTER AUSTRALIAN, dissapointed his nation were not there. ENOUGH SAID....

An Irish Ref, did not give England any split decisions. The penalty to make it 12-6 - accidental offside, did the same thing not happen 15 minutes later when South Africa were allowed to clear, in a more blatent offside situation. Running around your own player and runnning straight forward are two differant things...... unless your South African, Irish or Australian obviuosly.

Well I Will Finish Off with Saying

THE BEST TEAM IN RUGBY WORLD CUP 2007
has Won...

But

THE BEST Team, in the Final have been Robbed.

England, Im Proud To Hold My Head Up High.

WELL DONE THE BOYS -

OUR NATION IS PROUD OF YOU!!!

  • 51.
  • At 07:12 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • glyn gatland wrote:

If there is anybody out there who still believes that is was a try take a look at the picture on the BBC web site. Clearly Cueto's foot is on the line (and therefore in touch) and clearly the ball has not been grounded. It was close. But no try. The ref got it right.

  • 52.
  • At 07:44 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Graham wrote:

I for one see no reason to be negative, England overperformed and shocked everyone by reaching the final. I think some comments are just unecessary.

  • 53.
  • At 08:09 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • olibish wrote:

It’s the calm after the storm and I’m a gutted England fan. All that way just to lose…. But what a rollercoaster of a ride to get there. Many teams in this tournament showed that you don’t have to have the best players to progress and impress, and showed what a TEAM can achieve fighting for each other. Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Canada, Japan, Georgia, USA and the mighty Argentina all showed fantastic team spirit, some amazing tries, chariots and chariots of fire and overflowing buckets of talent. Who’d have thought it? What a tournament. Can’t believe it’s all over, and I’m absolutely gutted about that. Please don’t anyone let the IRB reduce the number of teams in the finals in 2011, it would be a disgrace. Well done SA. A clinical victory, but a great one none the less. Well done Percy (a faultless performance, you floppy-haired wuss), Steyn, and the SA lineout, but most of all, thank you England for remembering how to play like a team. Once again you deserved to put on that shirt. Try of the tournament? Takudzwa Ngwenya’s, the USA winger, gassing Habana. The whole move, from an interception on the five yard line, even through the hands of a second row, was an absolute pleasure to watch. Gotta be the one. P.S. Jason Robinson, you’re a legend, you’ll be sorely missed. (P.P.S. ITV - every game on Free view, that was a pleasure too, thanks!)

  • 54.
  • At 08:20 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Wesley Burger wrote:

We've won the Rugby World Cup 2007. South Africa are the rugby world champions. The game was extremely tactical and hard. The English played really well, a lot better than I expected them to. Well done to England. The Boks, well, I'm proud to be a South African and the boys were amazing throughout the tournament!

'Hiere kom die Bokke, hiere kom dir Bokke'

  • 55.
  • At 08:33 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • olibish wrote:

It’s the calm after the storm and I’m a gutted England fan. All that way just to lose…. But what a rollercoaster of a ride to get there. Many teams in this tournament showed that you don’t have to have the best players to progress and impress, and showed what a TEAM can achieve fighting for each other. Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Canada, Japan, Georgia, USA and the mighty Argentina all showed fantastic team spirit, some amazing tries, chariots and chariots of fire and overflowing buckets of talent. Who’d have thought it? What a tournament. Can’t believe it’s all over, and I’m absolutely gutted about that. Please don’t anyone let the IRB reduce the number of teams in the finals in 2011, it would be a disgrace. Well done SA. A clinical victory, but a great one none the less. Well done Percy (a faultless performance, you floppy-haired wuss), Steyn, and the SA lineout, but most of all, thank you England for remembering how to play like a team. Once again you deserved to put on that shirt. Try of the tournament? Takudzwa Ngwenya’s, the USA winger, gassing Habana. The whole move, from an interception on the five yard line, even through the hands of a second row, was an absolute pleasure to watch. Gotta be the one. P.S. Jason Robinson, you’re a legend, you’ll be sorely missed. (P.P.S. ITV - every game on Free view, that was a pleasure too, thanks!)

  • 56.
  • At 08:35 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

A lot of you don't deserve to watch rugby. This side put its heart and soul into the game and got a fair result. The anti-English stuff from so many is sad.

Well played South Africa, deserving champions.

  • 57.
  • At 08:42 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • SuperGrover wrote:


Commiserations to the Poms - unfortunately you were outplayed by a better side in SA on the day...Interesting to compare the final of the 2003 World Cup to this one...beaten finalist (AUS/ENG) performed above expectations only to lose the decider.

Your ratings for the English players are roughly 2 points too generous per player...how Ben Kay can be "taken apart" (your words) by Matfield (who absolutely dominated) and still score a 5 simply underscores your biases...and you seem to hand out "6's" as some bizarre form of compensation for the fact the English players were clearly beaten by their opponents...

As a spectator I would much prefer to watch free flowing backs running and scoring tries rather than dull and ugly grinds ending with an inevitable penalty...

  • 58.
  • At 08:55 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Raymond wrote:

Being South African I can say that the English rugby team can hold their heads high. The only ones that believed in you, were you. I cant believe that your countrymen and your press can write you off during the pool stages, and then all of a sudden become patriotic when you advance to the Final. Shame on all of you supporters to give up on your team so easily. If you had to stand behind your boys through all the difficult times, maybe they would have been able to defend the Cup with honour. Well done to the South African supporters who always stand behind their boys. England can cry for the next 4 years, because we are the Champions.

  • 59.
  • At 08:55 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • charles owen wrote:

As an English expat living in New Zealand & haviing had to listen to an enormous amount of bigoted drivel by local media types. I am truly proud of what England achieved in this tournament. Their determination, passion and self belief was a source of pride for many of us here. Lets only hope that over the next four years the players are better served by the RFU and the clubs to enable them to build on this for the next world cup.
Well done players, coaches and all connected with club England.
Finally, a big thank you to Jason Robinson, Lawrence Delallio and Mike Catt for all you have contributed.
P.S. Captain Phil Vickary's inteveiw at the end was great, so much dignity and generosity toward South Africa & no wingeing about the referee.

  • 60.
  • At 09:03 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Raymond wrote:

Being South African i can say that the England team can hold their heads up high. It is a shame their supporters and countrymen write them off in the pool stages and then all of a sudden become very patriotic. Shame on you, your boys needed you to believe in them, and didnt get your support when they needed it. Teh Boks were hungrier for the Cup than England. Cheers to the World Champion Springboks!

  • 61.
  • At 09:05 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Alec wrote:

Hi Mike Post 49.
Had the ref been using ANTIENGLISHISM (your word) tactics, surely he would have sent Toby Flood to the sin bin for the dangerous push on Percy Montgomery???? I think that its sad when people like you just try put blame on the ref's who have a difficult job as it is. Maybe its you that is anti everyone? Have you ever considered that?

I watched the game and was expecting a clash of the titans! To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Both of these teams have during the course of the tournament shown courage, intelligence and both deserved to make the final, however, they were both so scared to lose that they didn't play a good game of rugby, they played it safe and with the talent on the pitch it could have been a heart pounding jaw dropping performance instead we were hardly watching World Class Rugby. I got more enjoyment watching Friday's Argentina France game.

Mike (comment 49), it's always someone elses fault isn't it!! Yes so England lost, even if the try was awarded you would have lost anyway, you lost by more than 7 points..."so dry your eyes and move on". They , and Jonny wasn't on form and lets face it when he is on form England win, when he isn't they loose. I am not denying they did amazingly well to get to the final, lets face it no one expected them to get through. The tournament started badly for them, but they played their hearts out. The English Team and fans have a lot to be proud of.

My abiding memory however is not a good one I think Jonny Wilkinson showed poor sportsmanship in the end, to walk past the South African president and not be willing to shake his hand, I was disgusted, it looked like he was a toodler about to take a temper tantrum!

I wouldn't say the better team won...On Saturdays lackluster performance neither team deserved to be world champs.

  • 63.
  • At 09:09 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

Glad to see the Southern Hemisphere still smarting from early exits, supposedly superior to the Northern game, but two of the tri-nations out in the quarters, the deserved winners run close by an underperforming england, and the team they refuse to let into the tri-nations the out-performer of the tournament.

Here is a thought, both groups are playing a different style, and the expansive style is easily snuffed out under pressure, suggest Aus and NZ start to think about forward control.

Well done SA, for not only performing throughout the tournament and winning the final, but showing some grace and humility in the run-up to the game - shame your tri-nations colleagues lack this.

  • 64.
  • At 09:12 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • GE wrote:

Well played England in getting to the final - great character and commitment throughout the knock out stages Well played South Africa in out Englanding England in what was a close game, but I think that no one would claim a classic game of Rugby.

I thought this was the most exciting World Cup of any - some of the smaller nations made a name for themselves and perhaps gained the ambition (Georgia?) to move up a tier. I thought France were great hosts, two great weekends in Nantes for me, despite being Welsh!

Lets hope 2011 is half as good and exciting.

  • 65.
  • At 09:15 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

A great World cup final?. Sorry I thought I was watching tennis at one stage, it was dreadful, both teams were obsessed with kicking away hard one possession for what purpose. England couldnt win anyline out ball, and SA couldnt break the English defence. Where was the freeflowing Spingboks we were expecting to see, Habana was redundant all game. Tait makes a break, and runs with the ball tucked under his arm, so he couldnt even pass it to the overlap, schoolboy errors ultimately costly.This was watched by millions around the world, and was a complete non-advert for the greatest game, no converts after this I feel. England played above themselves the last couple of weeks, and SA were disappointing on the night, thats what we really saw here, no advert for Rugby and a poor dour match for any neutral.

  • 66.
  • At 09:22 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Shack wrote:

Generally sensible comments on here -particulary from Mike (Comment 49). No it wasn't a great final from a rugby point of view but what passion! England were marginally the better team on the night but that's the way it goes. We have nothing to be ashamed of and SA were the best team over the whole tournament so all credit to them. But they will know they were in a game tonight last night! But typical that the usual anti- Englishness has to rear its ugly head (though not from all in all fairness). What a shame some of you have to define your own nationality by the level of hatred another. It's time you grew up and lost your sense of inferiority. I will continue to support the other home nations (as long as they are not playing England) despite you. As for NZ Paul (Comment 45); no final appearance since 1995 for a nation that defines itself through its rugby team. Sixteen years at best before the next one. Shame! There isn't much else for you down there is there? And Andydoug (Comment 31; have Ireland ever even made it out of the Group stages? Certainly no semi-final appearance in six World Cups! You can have your Croke Park victory (and Twickenham next year for that matter)). We perform when it really matters - four appearances in the semi-finals and beyond! Well done England and congratulations to South Africa.

  • 67.
  • At 09:34 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • David wrote:

You don't like Sackey do you guys ? Yet another wonder, smother tackle to save a try when the opposition were running a 2 man overlap at him. A couple of crunching tackles, especially the first one on 'wonder-wing' which left the SA backs wondering all night; released the ball from the tackle consistently; took hit after hit when receiving the ball shovelled at him with 3 boks in his face. At least a 6.

  • 68.
  • At 09:44 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Shack wrote:

Generally sensible comments on here -particulary from Mike (Comment 49). No it wasn't a great final from a rugby point of view but what passion! England were marginally the better team on the night but that's the way it goes. We have nothing to be ashamed of and SA were the best team over the whole tournament so all credit to them. But they will know they were in a game tonight last night! But typical that the usual anti- Englishness has to rear its ugly head (though not from all in all fairness). What a shame some of you have to define your own nationality by the level of hatred another. It's time you grew up and lost your sense of inferiority. I will continue to support the other home nations (as long as they are not playing England) despite you. As for NZ Paul (Comment 45); no final appearance since 1995 for a nation that defines itself through its rugby team. Sixteen years at best before the next one. Shame! There isn't much else for you down there is there? And Andydoug (Comment 31; have Ireland ever even made it out of the Group stages? Certainly no semi-final appearance in six World Cups! You can have your Croke Park victory (and Twickenham next year for that matter)). We perform when it really matters - four appearances in the semi-finals and beyond! Well done England and congratulations to South Africa.

  • 69.
  • At 09:45 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jonathan wrote:

How can Butch have won the battle of the flyhalves but not scored better than Wilkinson!? Butch was at least 1 point better than the over-hyped Wilko who's kicking and decision making were both suspect last night. No other flyhalf in the world worth his salt would choose to attempt a dropgoal when his team is on the front-foot and recycling ball quickly inside the opposition 22. Negative negative England.

  • 70.
  • At 09:45 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • JB wrote:

Northern Mick - what are you on about? Firstly, we gave the best team in the World Cup and damn good run for their money, and should Cueto's disallowed try have been given (which, having seen the replays I still maintain it should), England could have had the momentum to beat South Africa. Secondly, Tait was the best player in an England shirt in my opinion, even filling in at full back with some excellent kicking. Tait's defence was impeccable as it has been for most of the tournament, so at least try and get your facts right. Yeah, you should stick to Rugby League in the future - don't leave comments like that when England far surpassed even the most patriotic fans wildest dreams...oh, and Gavin Henson nailed Tait in his first ever England match a few years back.
England...you did us all proud

  • 71.
  • At 09:47 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

Tait 8 - not Wilko's best game - Lewsey might have had the physical size to score Cueto's disallowed one but not Cueto's fault -

I think England need a few more months - that's all to finally gel - 2 stupid penalties - missed drop goal maybe - a disallowed try that in the more generous world of rugby would usually be given - but actually - onthe night the better team won.

White seems to be quite a savvy coach - he had worked out England's weaknesses so I think he won the batle of the coaches.

Was good to see Tait do his stuff - at least the management got that right - he looks a class above Hiokiss which isn't to say Hipkiss is bad - just that Tait is a match-winner.

  • 72.
  • At 10:18 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • jambob wrote:

Can someone explain offside. Moody got pinged for nothing then habana blatenly cut across his manand gets away with it then shaw gets penalised for standing still. Rolain was appauling and the TMO needs an eyetest

  • 73.
  • At 10:30 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Rugga B wrote:

Mike, Look at the picture of the 'try'. His foot is clearly on the chalk and he is still in the air. Even your one-eyed vision has to accept the truth:

https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/7052822.stm

And besides, Kiwi's were sent home on a forward pass.

  • 74.
  • At 10:32 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Bruce wrote:

One recalls the same sort of TMO decision in the semi-final in 2003. The AB goes over in the corner - the TMO decides against a try (maybe even closer a call - less surety the player was in touch). The next play from the lineout an intercept by Mortlock pulls Oz away.

It was no great issue at the time, as such calls can go either way and generally the Wallabies won the game in the forward struggle (with Mortlock's go forward the edge with Umaga out injured).

In this game, South Africa played it as they did the SF - they fed off the other teams errors (their first 6 points here) while playing to win the possession (securing and denying)and pressure (applying and resisting) struggle. It was all a bit like trench warfare - but then this what happens when defence dominates offence. South Africa had the better game of this kind and this is why they won.

Which will make any rule changes to be tried out in the southern hemishpere season all the more interesting.

At least with Hipkiss and Tait, as the new Carling and Guscott combination, England might remain competitive should extra space be ensured by rule changes.

  • 75.
  • At 10:34 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • glyn gatland wrote:

If there is anybody out there who still believes that is was a try take a look at the picture on the BBC web site. Clearly Cueto's foot is on the line (and therefore in touch) and clearly the ball has not been grounded. It was close. But no try. The ref got it right.

  • 76.
  • At 10:39 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • olibish wrote:

It’s the calm after the storm and I’m a gutted England fan. All that way just to lose…. But what a rollercoaster of a ride to get there. Many teams in this tournament showed that you don’t have to have the best players to progress and impress, and showed what a TEAM can achieve fighting for each other. Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Canada, Japan, Georgia, USA and the mighty Argentina all showed fantastic team spirit, some amazing tries, chariots and chariots of fire and overflowing buckets of talent. Who’d have thought it? What a tournament. Can’t believe it’s all over, and I’m absolutely gutted about that. Please don’t anyone let the IRB reduce the number of teams in the finals in 2011, it would be a disgrace. Well done SA. A clinical victory, but a great one none the less. Well done Percy (a faultless performance, you floppy-haired wuss), Steyn, and the SA lineout, but most of all, thank you England for remembering how to play like a team. Once again you deserved to put on that shirt. Try of the tournament? Takudzwa Ngwenya’s, the USA winger, gassing Habana. The whole move, from an interception on the five yard line, even through the hands of a second row, was an absolute pleasure to watch. Gotta be the one. P.S. Jason Robinson, you’re a legend, you’ll be sorely missed.

  • 77.
  • At 10:52 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Paul Holloway wrote:

Why does nobody metion the disallowed try and the two clear penalty decisions that should have been awarded to England.It was just like the last world cup,we had the ref against us as well

  • 78.
  • At 11:00 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

What a lot of comments! Maybe a few too many beers in some of them.

South Africa were the consistently best team in the tournament. They have a settled self selecting team.

England peaked in 2003 and there was no plan after that. For nearly four years it has been a mess.

For the quarter and semi finals they picked themselves up and were transformed - their opponents were surprised into defeat. And the English pack pushed them to victory.

Comparisons with rugby league are facile - if people prefer league go watch it. Union is gruelling and complex - some players have no idea how the referee makes a particular decision, quite often they clearly do especially when they raise their hands in innocence.

The English and South African teams, especially the packs, worked incredibly hard, the way they put their bodies on the line match after match deserves more credit from armchair pundits - some of you should try it some time. There is so much stuff going on mistakes must happen as do errors of judgement.

It was an ugly match, there was no flow and the South African backs did nothing to attack - Habana opted not to run so why give him 7? Cueto at least tried the basics so he should have scored more.

Robinson is fabulous what a sad end.

Sheridan was undermined by his captain being vulnerable on the opposite side and also by being turned in on constantly by the South African prop with Burger boring in with him. That was clearly part of a plan and they got away with it.

Victor Matfield and the South African line out were awesome - the only place where South Africa were superior.

Os du Randt was a rock and Simon Shaw the standout English forward of the tournament.

On the night both sides were scared to lose, can you imagine the pressure. I'm sure I can't, but from what the players say it has to be immense.

But on the night England gave stupid penalties away and they paid for them. It doesn't matter about yellow cards etc the points did it.

So far as the match goes England did more to achieve a win than South Africa did. Their backs did more and their forwards tried everything - OK it didn't work but they tried. South Africa just shut the door. They didn't want to make mistakes so Habana did long kicks rather than run.

What next? Let's be honest Jonny Wilkinson is the most decent hard working man in rugby but there are several better stand offs in world rugby, so we need other options; we shouldn't have needed Mike Catt and Matthew Tait just hasn't got the physical presence. And Lawrence! OK he's a legend but come on he shouldn't have been in France as a player.

Play Flood, play Hipkiss etc etc - live dangerously. Look at Sackey he could become special.

Ashton has got lucky; his team has achieved more than he expected so he may well keep his job but if he does for God's sake start building a new team, players with belief talent and an eye to 2011

So on balance South Africa performed best through the tournament but last night just demonstrates how frustrating union can be - England did more both to win and to lose - so they lost. South Africa did less to lose - and they won. That's it!

A fantastic night for South Africa and not too bad a one for England, at least they were there despite all their defects and critics.

And roll on the six nations and come on England really show them what we can do.

  • 79.
  • At 11:00 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • quinten wrote:

funny how we could all expect the english the minute they lost to turn around and say CHEAT, DIRTY, STOLEN, ""ANTIENGLISHISM"" typical I could not expect any better from the english having lived here for 5 years now every time you get beat up comes that horrible old snake some however are man enough to admit it wasn't a try and that you lost fair and square, I say this it was a hard game both teams gave their all and SA won end of, look at the scoreboard and leave it at that try to be man enough as even your former england captain said, It was a fair decision his boot hit the line before the ball was down forget it and carry on, christ it's always someone elses fault never your own the game is over don't spoil it like the 2 idiotic english fans that tried to disrupt the game, it's a beautiful game don't ruin it now. look forward to the next world cup and hope your team makes it to the final again, well done england and south africa and every other country that participated for a fantastic world cup.

  • 80.
  • At 11:01 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Simon Fellerman wrote:

I know these things are a matter of opinion but your ratings show a complete lack of understanding of the game of rugby union. Both teams gave 100% and were awesome. Players from both teams deserve much higher ratings. Nearly all 30+ players on the pitch played at maximum intensity and the skill levels were exemplary.

  • 81.
  • At 11:02 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • springbok boy wrote:

ok so it wasnt the best game of rugby ever..finals never are. But this will teach the english about celebrating before the time.. Stop moaning about "oh but this isnt fair and that wasnt fair". At the end of the day WE WON! deal with it and move on! The entire week the english had all these comments in the newspaper etc, and now??? nothing! hardly any comments including the bbc that had so much to say about the english team, now theres 2 little comments in the paper. Dont be sore losers, it was a fair game and it was won by the team that has played well throughout the world cup and not by a team that was driven by arrogance. SPRINGBOKS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 82.
  • At 11:05 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Robster wrote:

Well done South Africa they showed a ruthless streak that makes you World Champions. I was so proud of the boys and in Tait Flood, Hipkiss and a couple injuerd or just left at home we have the malings of a backline with edge. So now the prep for 2011 has got to start. Out with some of the old boys and start building for the future. Supreme effort just to make the final and I am still a patriotic Englishman who will where the red rose with pride today.
Just a footnote Love you Sally and just so glad tomorrow you become my wife.

  • 83.
  • At 11:08 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • james wrote:

these are fair comments and i dont whether the english players know who mimbeke is but they rudely ignored the World Champions president. South Africans are acussed of being racist if so the english rugby team should take a good look at themselves. to be honest if you were not South African or english that watch would be up there with one of the more boring ones. Mike (comment 49) you were not cheated by the TMO he honestly believed he was out and thank god he did beause watch again his left foot is in touch before he grounds the ball. listen to Martin Johnson he agrees an avid english supporter on all acounts. and what reason would the an irish ref have to biasedly referee the match. matin Corry is the sole reason that you went 12-6 down. south africa the best team in the world and right fully so not losing a single game and brian habana who sackey delt well with last night the equal all time try scorer with jona lomu is my player of the tournment. altough credit where it is due England did well to get to the final but honstly the better team one on the night.

  • 84.
  • At 11:10 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Northern Mick, it might be time to develop a little maturity.

  • 85.
  • At 11:12 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • RIGGER wrote:

I AM SURE THAT ALL the sa FANS WOULD GIVE :-

Alain Rolland 10

Stuart Dickinson 10

AND THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR sa SHOULD HAVE BEEN Alain Rolland PLAYED A GREAT GAME FOR sa!!

  • 86.
  • At 11:16 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Buzzley wrote:

Well I thought that it was a little closer than the 9 point difference suggests although South Africa were the better side. Amazing in defence and at the breakdown!
Best players on the night for me were Steyn, Montgomery, Tait and Shaw.

I feel for the England boys - they gave their all and everyone who supports England are unbelievably proud. I would love to know what Brian Ashton said to them in the huddle after the game!!

  • 87.
  • At 11:32 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Felice wrote:

With regards to some of the comments on here especially #49.

If England were the better team on the night,... they would have won.

They did well to get where they were and put up a good show of what, I thought would have been an SA romp.

Matter of fact is, SA were clinical, and tactically superior.

All this Anti-Englsih comments stuff is really starting to cheese me off. I am Welsh and watched the match with 2 English friends. No problems with England winning or losing and whilst I am not stupid enough to say all Celts are like that, please don't tar all Non English based rugby supporters as Anti England.

Cheers

  • 88.
  • At 11:40 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Chris Turner wrote:

Glyn Gatland (50) is quite wrong. Though the caption to the picture on the BBC web site says that Cueto's foot is "touching the whitewash", the video clearly shows this to be an optical illusion. All the footage - and there is plenty - shows his foot was several centimetres above the white line.
I am fascinated by the way the stiff-upper-lip types believe the world will fall to pieces if an authority figure is found to be incompetent - or, in this case, probably guilty of something worse. Are these the same fragile, "Euro-sceptic" individuals who believe their identities can be crushed by a piece of paper from Brussels? Very odd. The "authoritarian personality" seems to be alive and well and living in the home counties.

  • 89.
  • At 11:43 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

Well there is no pleasing some people. I think Northern Mick and other bloggers are taking completely the wrong attitude - I am not certain he or she is English, given the scathing and rather senseless criticism – only one player to deserve more than a 2? I wonder if we were watching the same game.
I have a different view. I thought England were fantastic given the circumstances and pressures involved. I believe that the score line slightly deceives what was in effect a very close game. And I also think that England were still capable of winning the game until very late on – they just failed to stay within close enough touch for the final quarter, and a couple of key opportunities went begging.
Yes we may have lacked a bit of flair, but we already knew that. And the flair factor didn't help other more "talented" teams that much. We have got to where we got playing a different kind of rugby - and it wasn't that different in 2003.
In actual fact, I thought we were pretty open at times last night. We took the game to SA. And in playing the way we did, we also of course managed to prevent SA crossing over the try line, and in that department, we were the closer to scoring.
I am certain both teams gave all they had and can look at each other in the eye. It was a huge team effort and picking out individuals and very specific moments is really not the full picture.
The whole team played with their hearts and defended their title bravely right to the end. In the end though, SA deserved – both over the 80 minutes, and probably over the tournament – to win. They were certainly better than England during the two games.
So I say congratulations to everyone involved for England, not just the players, also including those who made it to the game. Well done England and perhaps some would be happier to watch rugby league instead.

  • 90.
  • At 11:50 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I'm extrememly disppoined that South Africa are World Champions. For me, England played the better rugby on the night, and South Africa played like everyone expected us to - no imagination, never got it to the wings, just kicked the points.

In the entire World Cup, South Africa put in one performance worthy of World Champions - the group game against Engalnd. Poor against Tonga, very lucky against Fiji in the easiest quarter final, lucky again against an Argentina side that had run out of steam, and still should have beaten them. Then hugely helped by the referee's bizarelly inconsistent officialling in the final. Australia, France and New Zealand must be kicking themselves.

Well done brave England

  • 91.
  • At 11:54 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • South African Chick wrote:

Well done Sprinboks !Well played with class and strength! You are worthy of the Cup.Well done to England as well, who were the World Cup holders - to have come as far as the Finals. A game well played ! A brilliant and fair decision was made about the try and England should get on with it now. 4 Years ago coach Jake White congratulated our Team - saying that they would be the 2007 World Cup winners!! Thank you Springboks for bringing it home and playing as a Nation!!

We love you guys !!

  • 92.
  • At 11:59 AM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • hawkiliam wrote:

Cant believe some of the comments i am seeing from England fans about the ref
I have watched nearly every game of this world cup and it was the most consistant i have seen England could have had 2 players sin bined

It wasnt the ref who disallowed the try it was the TMO based on replays
the REF actually gave you a penalty as he was playing advantage when the try was scored so you still came away with 3 points.


truck and trailer call was spot on
SA got about 3 penalties against argentiana so they had used that tactic before againt a drive

He also gave lots of warning to players shouting their number as well and thier colour when he could see hands on the ball instead of just blowing for a penalty

  • 93.
  • At 12:01 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Murdoch wrote:

The try that was'nt add 2 points touch line conversion [from golden jonnie's wrong side] add 2 more now do the maths!!

  • 94.
  • At 12:01 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

In reference to Northern Mick's comment:

How can you judge how England played when you obviously have very little knowledge of Rugby Union. Is Gavin Henson a model?! WHAT! He plays for Wales! Tait was one of the best players on the pitch. And what is this trip that Moody did? Were we watching the same game?

Though I'm disappointed that we lost, the team gave everything and there were certainly players who playedvery well. Cueto I was very impressed with for a change as was Tait and Moody. Well done lads you did the nation proud. Now lets build on this team and make another World Cup winning squad!

  • 95.
  • At 12:04 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Ray wrote:

So Rigger (81), I am a South African and dont believe that Rolland and Dickinson was that great. Cueto's foot was on the line, end of.

Rubbish ratings the english lads lost by 9 points in a tight game with a try that should of stood. Sackey 5 is a disgrace his presentation of the ball and tackling was immense Habana 7 is also a joke he was kept quiet. For england the worst player was wilko
i m not getting on his back but his kicking from hand was poor and he made poor decisions not taking on drop goals when he had a chance and the movement had slowed down while at another time trying one early on when we had forward momentum. His tackling was good though as was everyone to a man on englands side.

  • 97.
  • At 12:13 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Lewis wrote:

South Africa did have a massive game, their forwards really looked in sync. However, I thought we had the lions share of the forward momentum especially towards the end - we just did't do anything with it.

And....Fine you've given Sackey 5, but Habana 7??? The guy is quick undoubtedly but he's so overhyped 'the complete wing'...do me a favour! He was shut down just as much as he shut Sackey down, so level up the scores and don't believe the hype!!

  • 98.
  • At 12:13 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • chris b wrote:

'For the sake of rugby'... my arse. I hope all those 'fans of the running game' will note that one team ran with the ball and one team relied on a great kicking game, a truly great display in the lineout, and ferocious defense to win the game.

Congratulations to SA for the win and congratulations to Eng for doing so much more than 'just making up the numbers'.

I know we have seen the back of some great players, such as Robinson and Catt, and probably Shaw, Regan, Dallaglio and Vickery, but the future has to be bright. All we need now is for Hipkiss to learn how to play at inside center...


Northern Mick- please stay up north!

  • 100.
  • At 12:25 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Adi wrote:

The final summed up our abilities as a team.

In the pack we battled hard and were solid in defence. Against the weak Australian pack, and to a lesser extent the French pack, this allowed us to play good 10 man rugby and kick our way to the final. Whenever we come up against a pack the equal of ours however our limitations as a team are shown.

For all the hyperbole heaped on Wilkinson during this World Cup he hasn't been the messiah he's made out to be. In the final yesterday his goal kicking was unusually wayward, as it has been most of the tournament, and his place kicking was equally short. When you take the kicking side of his game out he unfortunately offers very little else. Creatively he is very poor and this was shown in the second half when despite having numerous phases we merely crabbed sideways across the field. With such a lack of creativity from the #10 we really need someone at #12 to compensate. In the last WC Greenwood was that man and he was great at putting people into holes. Unfortunately in this WC we only had Catt who seems to be in the team largely because he isn't Andy Farrell. With so little creativity coming from 10 and 12 the outside backs had little opportunities and so we were submitted to the drudgery of garryowen after garryowen. Webb-Ellis must be spinning in his grave that the supposed running game he 'invented' as turned into such a kickfest.

So to sum up with the team we have this WC can only be described as a success because they are very limited but dragged themselves to the final through sheer determination and basic 10 man rugby. If we're going to catch the southern hemisphere teams and overtake them however we really need to unearth a half back with the ability and pace to either break the line himself or create space for others to break the line as maul-maul-kick-maul will only get us so far.

  • 101.
  • At 12:28 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jason Hardaker wrote:

Hi
I am From South Africa, and im am very happy S.A Won although England played Very well.
It was amazing to hear the chearing from all over as we won, and if you stood outside you could hear all the exited fans it was great to see so much support, it also gave me goose-bumps just walking around at the mall as every person I saw was supporting our country by wearing green and gold.
Great job S.A and well done England you guys played so well and you gave us a good run for our money.
Jason, South Africa

  • 102.
  • At 12:29 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • A G wrote:

sheridan - 7 tackled all night, england's player of the tournament along with Gomarsal
regan - 5 consumed by boks
Vickery - 6 good early on
Shaw - 7 gave his all but no chance in lineout
Kay - 6 recovered in lineout but not a great game
Corry - 7 all bllod and guts, no mistakes but as a captain when Vickery went off, he had no impact
Moody - 4 - his trip sums up the way we gifted the boks the cup. Idiotic
Easter - 6 tried hard and no disgrage in not being as good as SA back row
Gomarsal - 6 - shame that he had one of his quiter nights
Wilkinson - 5 - strange performance from Johnny, was nowhere to be seen, some great tackles but kicking and decisions were poor
Cueto - 7 solid if unspectacular, nearly had a try and he is a good all round player for us
Catt - 7 one of our better performers on the night kicked better than Johny
Tait 8 considering the start to his international career he showed tremendous maturity last night. His defence has improved drastically, we haven't seen all his attcking yet
Sackey - 6 not a great night but tough against a great defence
Robinson - 6 him coming offf sadly didn't weaken us, great player though he was in his prime

  • 103.
  • At 12:40 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • trevor edwards wrote:

most of these comment are typical of English mentality of the game of RUGBY, considering an English Boy ( Webb Ellis ) started the game by running and handling the ball, something English Rugby has forgotten, the only type of play thats there and has been for years, is a mixture of eightman forward play and half backs that only kick.
Watch teams like the All Blacks, Argentina and Ireland the are entertaining with expansive play of talented players what English supporters and players want is win any old way you can.

  • 104.
  • At 12:48 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

The only photo I can see on the BBC website (and there's a link in a previous post) of the disallowed try in no way shows Cueto's foot "clearly on the chalk" (the foot that is obviously on it is clearly that of the SA player). Seeing as we're all still talking about it, there is obviously a very large degree of doubt. However, the TMO gave a decision and that's that.

But for a couple of moments of English ill-discipline and a different bounce for Flood chasing a high ball against Montgomery the result could have gone the other way in any case - but that's sport and no-one can say that South Africa weren't worthy winners.

  • 105.
  • At 12:52 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Celtic Fringe wrote:

Commiserations to Brian Ashton and England...this team surprised many, myself included.

I also applaud their graciousness in defeat. They showed a lot of class.

That being said I think the best team won on the night. The SA forwards outplayed the English pack and that was a big part of the difference.

As for those criticising the ref...the blatant shove on Montgomery which carried him into the TV camera, which nobody seems to hae picked up on, went unpunished...this and the trip could have seen England down to 14 men on 2 occassions. Ref's decisions tend to balance out by the end of the game.

With so many retirements, transfers and coaching changes it will be interesting to see what happens to all the teams inthe competition in the year(s) ahead.

Looking forward to 2011!

  • 106.
  • At 12:57 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • gerry wrote:

Why is that whenever the English lose at something they always have a bevy of excuses ready?

I remember when England got chucked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal everyone complained about the goal that had been 'disallowed.'

The other night against the Russians it was the penalty that shouldn't have been given.

Now it is the try that never was.

Do you guys have a persecution complex or something?

Gerry the Indian Scot

  • 107.
  • At 01:06 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Lewis wrote:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/rugbyworldcup/2007/10/england_v_south_africa_ratings.html

Fair comment, and I think you're smart disregarding all the erroneous comments such as racial make-up of the team, politcal situation in the home country, who you did or didn't shake hands with after the final whistle, whether the officials were deliberately biased or not. It does not matter, it truly doesn't.

Human error and human brilliance both on and off the pitch have shown in this beautiful tournament. I don't believe the flow and free-running has disappeared from the game, I think we have a new generation to welcome in; one that has emanated from the likes of Wilko - ridiculously accurate percentages, hard and secure defence, and brief moments of - and I mean this in every sense of the word - brilliance.

South Africa have been stellar in the build up to this, regardless of how they won, they won. We however, have so much, SO MUCH to be proud of. Ignore everything else, this game is something special let's not forget that. I feel so proud of how far a down and out England have come, and proud to have seen possibly one of the best SA teams taking a World Cup Final.

4 more years boys, it's only 4 more years.

  • 108.
  • At 01:10 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • BlueinEngland wrote:

1) From a Scot, well done to England for a brave performance, and congratulations to South Africa on winning the Cup. Who 'deserves' it has nothing to do with it. They deserve it only because they actually won it.

2) The fact that there is such a clear divide between those who thought it was a try and those who didn't (many of them objective observers) should make everyone realise what an incredibly difficult decision it was. Replays of cricket catches have proven consistently that the camera can 'lie'. But that's all the TMO has to go on. I think he made the right decision, but who knows?

3) I agree with those who thought it was embarrassing the way some England players seemed to ignore Thabo Mbeki at the end, but I wouldn't blame them. It just wasn't very well staged. Jonny Wilkinson is as sporting as they come (his first concern after the semi was for the devastated French). Unfortunately, Mbeki looked 'unofficial' in his tracksuit top and probably a lot of the players didn't recognise him. He also seemed to be almost behind Gordon Brown and is quite a small man. Was still embarrassing, though.

4) The VAST majority of England fans on this blog and elsewhere, and certainly the England squad, have been gracious and generous in defeat. I don't understand why posters such as Quentin (79) and Springbok Boy (81) are ignoring this and picking up on the few inevitable disgruntled supporters.

Well done to all for a great World Cup. Bring on the 6 Nations, which I think will be the closest for years.

  • 109.
  • At 01:13 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Wally wrote:

This reminded me of the last world cup. A game not worth watching. England has not played rugby for the last 20 years. England could not defend against their own style of play and the fact that South Africa tried their opponents tactics, proved that rugby union is lost. One man can make the team, but when that does become so then the team is not worth its salt. The top 5 rugby nations boasted about their kickers, yet the best matches to watch were those where Samoa, Tonga, Georgia, Fiji and Argentinia were involved. I have always believed that the drop kick should be dropped as it allows one man to take all the glory. It also gives an unfair advantage to the top teams as they can spend money to train a specialist. Rugby should return to its old days of try scoring, not the shoulder padded version which we have today. I agree, that rugby league is more atractive at present, especially when England are playing.

  • 110.
  • At 01:16 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • brian wrote:

Well done ENGLAND and all RUGBY supporters a credit to GOOD SPORT! Well done South Africa a good contest by all. We (England) deserved to be second but such a good contest.

  • 111.
  • At 01:24 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • brian wrote:

Well done ENGLAND and all RUGBY supporters a credit to GOOD SPORT! Well done South Africa a good contest by all. We (England) deserved to be second but such a good contest.

  • 112.
  • At 01:33 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • John wrote:

I think it has been a great world cup. So Proud of what the England team have done. the only northen team to who fought every step of the way whatever the score in my view.
Its a shame many of the northern teams did not turn up.
I look forward to the next 4 years l hope that next world cup all the teams of the northern hemisphere do better in the group stages where world cups are won or lost.
I am proud of England because they never enter a world cup other than to win it. No second team for them in the group stages no despair when they lose a group stage match.
I was annoyed at the PM mr Gordon Brown being there but that's personal. My local school that taught me rugby in the 1970s is to close due to Labour policy and houses built on the Rugby pitches.
Not a lie Further Park School Canvey Island.
Still that's one way to kill English rugby shut down the schools in England. Not that English rugby will ever die Whatever the politicians do.
I thought the 3rd ref took too long to make his decision yesterday and disrupted the game I would like to see a time limit on the decisions where a 3rd ref is brought in. There is nothing worse than standing around in the cold anyway but the 3rd ref in my mind disrupted the flow of the match and he is not there to do that.
I was surprised the ref did not give penalties to England they deserved but he was not sitting in a warm room with a video replay.

John

  • 113.
  • At 01:37 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • rich wrote:

Enough of the chest-thumping from both sides. I watched a game of rugby last night. It had everything imaginable except a try.
Drama, controversy, skill, pride, passion and sheer bloody-mindedness from both teams. Amazing that it was the world cup final. More amazing that one of the teams was England. I had thought them dead and buried after the 36-0 mauling. This was one game too much for them but they should be proud of their record in France 2007.
Now they should look to the future, seriously soul-search the way they play the game. I'm all for the power of the pack but this should only be the basis of the team, they should take the best of their game and incorporate the best of the southern hemispheres as well. The outcome would be pride, power, passion AND flair. What a combination that would be!
This is the time when the powers-that-be need to show the guts and determination that their players have in spades.
Congrats to SA, no sour grapes from me, we have no divine right to expect all decisions to go our way. Roll on NZ 2011 and here's to another great tournament

  • 114.
  • At 01:38 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • gerry wrote:

Why is that whenever the English lose at something they always have an bevy of excuses ready?

I remember when England got chucked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal everyone complained about the goal that had been 'disallowed.'

The other night against the Russians it was the penalty that shouldn't have been given.

Now it is the try that never was.

Do you guys have a persecution complex or something?

Gerry the Indian Scot

Have read most of the above comments and wonder how many have a clue about the game, ever played, or just jumped on the bandwagon which rolled on after the World cup of 4 years ago. The game is complex, and difficult to referee .. however, Alain Rolland made wrong decisions which cost England 6 points. Whether this would have altered the outcome is opinion, not fact. Look at the game again, and you'll see where those errors were made, and where on the pitch they were made. It would have been astonishing if England had won .. like a Phoenix from the ashes.It's water under the bridge now, lets move on and go forward with Brian Ashton who has motivated his team to play to their potential ... something that Clive Woodward would not understand.As far as he was concerned, his management of an extremely good team was just a means to a gong.Only one real criticism , and that is that English forward handling , relative to other sides, is poor, and needs working on, and despite a generally fair game, Matt Tait's naivety was clear to see. If that can be done, England will again be the best in the World .... amen!

  • 116.
  • At 01:51 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Westy wrote:

it was a good game but i think there is much to be improved on. all those little mistakes seem like nothing, but could eventually lead to a penalty kick or even a try. Its a shame because this will probably be the last world cup most of our squad will ever play in. i think players needed to run it more because for me,there was to much kicking, players like robinson, sackey and even players such as cueto could have made some solid ground with their running. The ref was a bit iffy aswell, some of those penalties against us, tch, what can i say.
This may sound biast but it was a try, look at it as many times as you want but he wasnt in touch. Brian Habana was a bit of a dissapointment aswell as we didnt even see him (apart from when he sacked sackey)

All moaning aside South Africa deserved to win it. and as always we were humble in defeat.

Swing low sweet chariot.

  • 117.
  • At 01:56 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

Will everyone do me favour and take a look at the photo's of the final on this site.... It clearly show's that his foot WAS in touch.

The best team won ! England need to think of new tactics rather than trying to get to 60mins close to the other team, then relying on Wilko to save them. Try learning how to play creative rugby and score tries !!

  • 118.
  • At 01:58 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Anti Sore loser wrote:

I have never heard such sore losers as England. They don't talk about the fact that Eng should have had two players sent off. Or that the ref should have given a penalty try to SA for Eng continually having hands in the ruck when they were 1ft from the Eng tryline. And then to also rule a knock-on by Du Preez when the replay clearly shows it went backward, again at the tryline. If Eng are honest we have to admit that they play negative, boring rugby. They win matches by disruption and slowing down the breakdown area (50% illegally) and then kicking. Boring. And then one good run by Tait and they think they are world cup winners? Look at the stats of the world cup. 33 tries to 12. Last three games for Eng only 1 try and 1 scored against. Low scoring, non-fluid games. What was nice was that England played with a lot of passion and gave it their all. But even if they did score a try, so what 9-8 to SA, with a very difficult conversion. But as usual they left it all down to Johnny as normal to try and drop goal. Boring. What wasn't nice was England ignoring the SA president and then the stupid commentator saying to Martin Corry they did score a try and Martin moaning about it. Try to remember, no matter what: England did NOT score a try and SA won fair and square. And World rugby now have postive playing champions.

  • 119.
  • At 02:21 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Tim Hopkins wrote:

Just read a comment that from a NZ supporter claiming they would have won tonight. What is it about these people? When will they and the Australians learn they are not as good as they think they are?

  • 120.
  • At 02:21 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Simon Fellerman wrote:

I know these things are a matter of opinion but your ratings show a complete lack of understanding of the game of rugby union. Both teams gave 100% and were awesome. Players from both teams deserve much higher ratings. Nearly all 30+ players on the pitch played at maximum intensity and the skill levels were exemplary.

  • 121.
  • At 02:21 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • nd23 wrote:

how can ne1 say that woz not a try? it woz clear as anything...i agree England were outplayed at the lineout nd they gave away 6 very cheap points but that try should hav stood...i jus hope the england players dont make the same mistake as 2003 and all retire very quickly...they've got to bring in the new players slowly, if they throw them in at the deep end we will have to endure another four years of under-achievement

  • 122.
  • At 02:28 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • ash man wrote:

i am glad england lost it is now safe to buy a paper and watch tv it was not a try open your eyes and stop blaming other people i will give u the try and u where still short of the final score problem with u lot u have won the game before it starts u bigheads thats why u r the most hated people in the world as with ireland at least they r brave and try to run the ball thats why they lose games because boring teams like england who kick the ball to death score because of thier mistakes of being to adventreous thank u south africa i dont have to move to the moon because if they had won we would not have heard the end of it

  • 123.
  • At 02:41 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Don't worry, the SOUTH AFRICAN players ignored Thabo Mbeki!

  • 124.
  • At 02:43 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Anon wrote:

Firstly, very exciting world cup. Especially from the minnows like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Scotland. Congratz to SA for what seems to be your best year for rugby from the S14 to the an amazing world cup campaign. This should definately keep the Aussies and ABs on their toes for years of exciting rugby.

I have to say after reading all the current comments, is exactly why I never wanted England to win the final. I would rather see any of the other 7 1/4 finals teams win it than England. Why you ask? Well England are poor winners at times and even poorer losers. Rarely have I met many english who can give the banter but also has the attribute of being able to receive some too. That is why 4/5 people never wants you to win it to begin with.

About the final, cant say it was the most exciting match I have ever watched to be honest it was more like a football game rather than a rugby game. But I guess when coming to the final everyone plays a little more cautious and risky plans are generally not taken like some of the other teams whom did not make it may have. Well done to all the players that played however it was the worst sportsmanship from Jonny I have seen. How you could see him as a role model is beyond me. The thought that rumours of him getting knighted if they win by his boot make that even more of a joke.

About the ref.. well thats a tough one, on any given day in any match, good calls can be made, bad calls can be made and generally comes down to who you as a fan is supporting well decided which is which. If refs were to make each and every call 100% correct then games in the past and results in the past could be totally different than what we know and remember. This coming from an ABs support may mean nothing to some of you but like I said if all calls were 100% England might have never made to the final this year.

Peoples comments on other teams like the French, Aussies, Pumas and ABs about how we need to learn to play better rugby I find quite funny. Seeing as how the English havent any great successful since the last world cup and until the 1/4 finals, and instantly thinks they should be world class champs for making it to final. If the world cup was base on all your 4 years of performance or round robin instead England would not have registered in the top 6. However well done to them in their performance from the 1/4 and semi final. Better performance in a long time.

The Aussies picked up their game from last 2 years of average rugby to the start of the world cup until 1/4 where they play like we know they can.

The ABs as well always failed to retake the cup since 1987 is an on going curse. Having been a top team after each world cup until usually the knockout stages of the next. Our performance against France in the 1/4 was not our best and the French was fantastic in their game. From Shack's comment #68 about our apperances being a rugby nation. Let me point out that England as a football nation hasnt won a major tournament in how long? When was the last time you guys won the football world cup? People like you is the reason for all the so called "ANTIENGLISHISM" and is why I dont support England.

Whatever my comments and views maybe every player that competed in the world cup should be proud that they play the best they can and gave it their all throughout the the tournament and whatever the results maybe they should not think otherwise...

  • 125.
  • At 02:51 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Dave in France wrote:

Thank you England, for giving us reason to dream and believe again.

Thank you for having the courage to be so gracious in defeat when the so many more illustrious nations have gone out whingeing and whining. Especially when some of the ref-ing decisions on the night seemed to favour South Africa (not the try where I think the decision was right, but a number of SA obstructions and high tackles that were never called...).

But the better team won, and congratulations to the Boks, worthy World champs. They played flair rugby when the conditions allowed, but had the strength and will to play the physical game when needed. All round champs.

Finally congratulations to Matthew Tait who has been so criticised ; he was Englands best player and I look forward to watching him develop into a truly world class player in the next couple of years.

  • 126.
  • At 03:02 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Simon Fellerman wrote:

I know these things are a matter of opinion but your ratings show a complete lack of understanding of the game of rugby union. Both teams gave 100% and were awesome. Players from both teams deserve much higher ratings. Nearly all 30+ players on the pitch played at maximum intensity and the skill levels were exemplary.

  • 127.
  • At 03:27 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Christopher Murphy wrote:

This Celt Lost 50euros on England last night.No Anti-English accusations then,OK?
Photos on BBC website prove it was not a try,but has anyone bothered to look at the passage of play leading up to it? If so,how many would agree the people responsible for bad decision making should be held to blame for England not scoring a try, from the position Tait put them in?
The culprits,in my opion,were the English Half-backs.

  • 128.
  • At 03:37 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • craig wrote:

It was always going to be a tough match with absolutely no room for errors and unfortuately, we gave away quite a few unforced penalties which made the difference. I also though Mr Rolland was very quick to jump on anything we did as opposed to S. Africa. In games like last night, you need total objectivity and I'm not sure we had that. In the end, there wasn' that much between the sides and the ref did make the difference!

Try? If you cannot say 100% that it wasn't, you should give it inthe spirit of the game!

I think South Africa deserved to win by the way. They were very strong in all departments and although we tackled superbly we lacked a little cutting edge (although superb run from Tait should have given us a try). I also thought we started to panick when we down 15-6 looking for the try rather than creating enough space for Johnny and Toby.

Anyway, superb WC for England and let's build on this to start dominating the 6N again!

  • 129.
  • At 04:01 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Wally wrote:

This was as bad a game as the final in 2003. I have never liked drop-kicks, as it favours one person in a team. Many can argue that, but kickers practice on their own and it is up to the specific kicker to decide when to kick. The rest of the team has no say. When one man makes a team, the rest of the team is not worth their salt. The top five teams in the RWC seemed to have so much faith in their kickers. They of course have the time and money to train such a specialist.
Teams like Fijy, Tonga, Argentina and Samoa, as well as Wales, made the World Cup worth watching due to their, no shoulder pads, approach to the game.
What I really was amazed at was that South Africa played Englands game against them. The problem is that England had no defense for that type of play. Jonny is a winner, but he is dragging England down. Praise him, because he was good, but get rid of him if England want to play rugby again. This seems to have been missing from their game for the last 20 years.
Rugby League is starting to look so much more attractive if Rugby Union keeps on looking like bad soccer.
And what is it with always blaming the referee. It is becoming a bit pitiful now. Blame the team.

  • 130.
  • At 04:02 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

There may be some sore losers posting on here but there are some even worse gloaters.

Anon (Post 124) "Well England are poor winners at times and even poorer losers."

England have been far more gracious in defeat (and I'm including the team, set-up, media AND fans) than New Zealand could ever dream of being.

  • 131.
  • At 04:04 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Ken Adams wrote:

Northern Mick, yes Gavin Henson is a model. Here he is on the catwalk: https://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QP7LjXRRjUE

Until last night, that was just about the only thing Tait was memorable for.

  • 132.
  • At 04:20 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Ron Elvin wrote:

As a Scot that emigrated to South Africa in 1970, I could be forgiven for rejoicing in an English defeat at the hands of my adopted homeland...Instead, I say, and not grudgingly, England can be proud of the guts and determination they showed in this world cup. SA showed similar guts and determination, and were the winners, but it really could have gone either way.

  • 133.
  • At 04:22 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • darran mather wrote:

ashman

i concur. true greats derserve genuine plaudits but the nonsense that's been spoke about wilkinson in the last 4 weeks has been utterly excruciating. Has a fly-half last night he was simply ineffectual. His back line were static because essentially he's an average player whose kicking game has deterioated over the last 4 years. Statue's of 'Jonny' in Trafalgar Square cannot mask this fact.

Thankgod the better team won. Tait played a blinder, the pack did well but we can now buy our sunday papers safe in the knowledge that when we stride towards the checkout we won't be bombarded with the sycophantic warblings and images from union dominated broadsheets.

Good luck Robinson, Put Catt and wilkinson out to pasture and lets see some flair, style and skill. At least Tait showed the way.

  • 134.
  • At 04:28 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Martin Nosworthy wrote:

It's amazing how ones perspective of the games depends entirely upon which hemisphere you live in. These are the facts:
England have won less than 10% of their games since winning the cup in 2003. The worst performance by a world champion team ever. Certainly a record NOT to be proud of!! You bored everyone to death then, continued to do so for the next 4 years and bored everyone to death again throughout this world cup. So you beat a 2nd rate struggling Australian team by 2 points. Big deal. Japan would have beaten Australia in their current form. You beat an out of form French team by 5 points. Hardly convincing. Consider the margin of victories for South Africa against both Fiji & Argentina. Heart & passion sneaked you into the final. Does England honestly think that they now have the right to call themselves the 2nd best team in the world? I think the next 4 years will prove to be as unconvincing and boring as the last 4. One has to give credit where credit is due though. England did manage to drag South Africa down to the depts of their pathetic "not play rugby" style and South Africa bought into it instead of playing their own game. I was looking forward to SA throwing it wide and running a lot more. Had this been the case you would probably have been staring at a much larger margin of defeat. The whole English approach is push forward, drop goal etc, etc. Even the commentators were saying how England could win if only they were within shooting range of a drop goal with 5 mins left. How boring, how predictable, how sad. I think that you need a few more 36-0 defeats to get you to wake up and start playing serious proper rugby where you can take on the in form Springboks, All Blacks and the Aussies. Southern hemisphere rugby rules. Always has & always will. Winning one world cup followed by the most appaling 4 years does not lift you status in world rugby.
It was NOT a try. His body and the ball were both in the air when his foot touched the touchline. It is so clear that I can't believe anybody can't see it as much as we would like it to be otherwise. A few ref-ing desicions went wrong but that was both ways. England were saved from an almost certain try when SA were wrongly blown for a so-called knock on right on their line. Let's not forget 3 very blatant deliberate professional fouls committed by England in which at least one should have been a yellow card. England had a fairy tale world cup after their bad start but I don't know anyone can be satisfied with that performance. Boring, boring, boring. Anyway, if you want to blame the ref, the TV ref or missed drop goals due to bad match balls go ahead - whatever helps you sleep at night. For those of us in the know - well, the cup is HOME!!

  • 135.
  • At 04:28 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

The better team won, however your ratings for their backs are generous (as it was for our entire team!)- with the exception of the excellent Steyn. Their line out was as impressive as ours was bad. Our lack of creative talent couldn't be hidden by our pack this time. The ref wasn't great, their crossing was accidental/missed, ours was given as the crucial nail in the coffin penalty. That said we must not forget how good the previous 2 weekends have felt, and we should be proud of the players.

  • 136.
  • At 04:32 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • manoj shinh wrote:

interesting comments. i will leave my comments short and simple and to the point. the matter of the fact is that no team deserves or are worthy of the title if they have been beaten 36 - 0.

South Africa were grand. England were lucky to get to the final.

  • 137.
  • At 04:38 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Ollie Micklem wrote:

i think that you have been too harsh on Mathew Tait, he had a stormer, he tackled as well as anyone can, had a fantastic break and that penatly he gave away well it was better then a try which would have happened had he not held on. england played like true champions but were beaten by a better team.

  • 138.
  • At 04:55 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Kit-Blair wrote:

I don't know which game Northern Mick was watching! Amongst the large group of supporters with whom I watched the match, Tait was the best England player. While the match didn't really match the occasion - the fault of BOTH teams - it was a good spectacle. If England had been more thorough in the lineouts, if THAT foot had not been ruled in touch... well done, lads, a great effort from a team given no chance and supposedly in for another thrashing.

  • 139.
  • At 05:15 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Did the SA's ignore their President? My most vivid memory is seeing Thabo Mbeki holding and kissing the Cup whilst hoisted on the shoulders of his winning team! A position any man would dream of! Can't say I can visuallise the Lions doing that for Gordon Brown, but then he ain't a Head of State is he?

Have read most of the above comments and wonder how many have a clue about the game, ever played, or just jumped on the bandwagon which rolled on after the World cup of 4 years ago. The game is complex, and difficult to referee .. however, Alain Rolland made wrong decisions which cost England 6 points. Whether this would have altered the outcome is opinion, not fact. Look at the game again, and you'll see where those errors were made, and where on the pitch they were made. It would have been astonishing if England had won .. like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.It's water under the bridge now, lets move on with Brian Ashton who has motivated his team to play to their potential ... something that Clive Woodward would not understand.As far as he was concerned, his management of an extremely good team was just a means to a gong.Only one real criticism , and that is that English forward handling , relative to other sides, is poor, and needs working on, and despite a generally fair game, Matt Tait's naivety was clear to see. If that can be done, England will again be the best in the World .... amen!

  • 141.
  • At 05:32 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Joe Gosling wrote:

I am an Englishman living in South Africa, and have a lot of respect for the English team last night. They didn't only compete, but they were the width of a touch line and a drop goal away from being the first nation ever to retain a World Cup!
There is no doubt in my mind that South Africa were the best team in the tournament, but on the night England more than matched them.
I agree with the common consensus that the ratings given were too low, with the exception of Lewis Moody's who's was too high. His blatant trip and his handling in the mauls put us on the back foot. However, we must not be too hard on him as he has been a phenomenal servant to English rugby over the past few years.
For the first time in about two years, I can say that I am excited to watch England play Rugby.
A very well done to Brian Ashton and the whole England squad. It has been the first time in a very long while that an English team (in any sport) has performed above what was expected of them!

  • 142.
  • At 05:32 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Jm wrote:

....... re ratings - meant also to say Sackey wasn't England's worst at 5? he just didn't get the ball in good positions.

And how about a 2 for Moody - how utterly stupid was that - at an early crucial stage - probably sowed the seed for the loss......

re: 72 - wasn't the TMO an Australian? After what that Aus RFU bloke said about England how come there were any Aus officials in the game let alone the TMO?

I've watched RFU for absolute years and 9 times out of 10 if not 99 out of 100 the try would have been given -

And I've supported Ireland since I was a boy there a long time ago so I'm not even English

On the playing side what did happend to the English line-out ? Ultimately it is what cost them the game - that line-out near the SA at the end? Couldn't they get it sorted at half-time?

  • 143.
  • At 05:46 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Alex-bokkie Ferguson wrote:

I do think Percy should have been given a higher score, his kicking was superb, and really was all over the field. So proud.
As for the comment on Tait about Henson. Think it was in 2004 during the 6N when Tait came on as a replacement, and within mintues had been massively dump tackeld by gavin heson. Quite literally picked him up and turned him upside down!
x

  • 144.
  • At 05:48 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Trevor wrote:

Congratulations England !!
Your guys played their hearts out and proved that, by playing as a team and each person giving 100% effort every game,that success against all odds is possible.
For England it was a success that you got to the finals after a poor start and not showing much form leading up to the World Cup.

I think the reason South Africa won was the superior level of coaching and planning over the last few years.Each game was played with a certain strategy and although it wasn't always pretty to watch it was clinical and excellently executed.

Congratulations to Jake White !! and to the " BOKKE " who were able to play to those plans.

  • 145.
  • At 06:09 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Mac Eddey wrote:

I am utterly appalled by some of the comments on this blog - both for and against England.

South Africa won and deserved to do so on the back of their line-out performance. Alain Roland had an average game, I think the occasion got to him, but he was not anti-English and erred both ways.

To those morons rubbishing Jonny Wilkinson, please remember that anyone can have a off-day. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Despite all the negative comments emanating from the antipodes about 'boring' England, may I point out that South Africa kicked them to death last night and they were the only team to cross the try-line.

Whatever the merits of the decision, a try was not awarded so therefore it was not a try - look at the scoreboard. As a spectacle of Rugby the game was disappointing but as a piece of incredible theatre, well...

Congratulations to South Africa, the new World Champions. Congratulations also to England. I have to confess that I never thought they would get beyond the quarters but what they thrill they gave us all with their fighting spirit and sportsmanship - a quality that some of the posters here, English and otherwise, could do well to try to acquire.

A special word for the coaches. Jake white set out to win the cup four years ago. Brian Ashton set out (finally) to defend it four weeks ago. Both succeeded admirably. For the sake of English rugby I hope that we can build from here and we can find players of the calibre of Robinson, Catt and Dallaglio who can be proud of what they have given to the game over the years.

The future is with the players like Sheridan and Stevens, Tait and Flood. Add a few more into the mix and who knows what we might achieve? I am certain they will only be better for the experience they have gained throughout this competition.

  • 146.
  • At 06:17 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • dave wrote:

Martin Nosworthy
"
It's amazing how ones perspective of the games depends entirely upon which hemisphere you live in. "

You are so right, now go back and read what you have posted and repeat these words after me, pot kettle black :)

What you have posted are your opinions, please don't confuse those with facts.

The facts are:

SAS won 15-6.
There were no tries in the game, all of SA's points came from kicks,
There was one disallowed try in the game, england attempt.


The best team on the day won (my opinion :) )
England deserved to be in the final (my opinion :) )

France were excellent hosts (my opinion :) )

Roll on another 4 years, lets hope NZ can live up to the France example

  • 147.
  • At 06:24 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Mac Eddey wrote:

I am utterly appalled by some of the comments on this blog - both for and against England.

South Africa won and deserved to do so on the back of their line-out performance. Alain Roland had an average game, I think the occasion got to him, but he was not anti-English and erred both ways.

To those morons rubbishing Jonny Wilkinson, please remember that anyone can have a off-day. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Despite all the negative comments emanating from the antipodes about 'boring' England, may I point out that South Africa kicked them to death last night and they were the only team to cross the try-line.

Whatever the merits of the decision, a try was not awarded so therefore it was not a try - look at the scoreboard. As a spectacle of Rugby the game was disappointing but as a piece of incredible theatre, well...

Congratulations to South Africa, the new World Champions. Congratulations also to England. I have to confess that I never thought they would get beyond the quarters but what they thrill they gave us all with their fighting spirit and sportsmanship - a quality that some of the posters here, English and otherwise, could do well to try to acquire.

A special word for the coaches. Jake white set out to win the cup four years ago. Brian Ashton set out (finally) to defend it four weeks ago. Both succeeded admirably. For the sake of English rugby I hope that we can build from here and we can find players of the calibre of Robinson, Catt and Dallaglio who can be proud of what they have given to the game over the years.

The future is with the players like Sheridan and Stevens, Tait and Flood. Add a few more into the mix and who knows what we might achieve? I am certain they will only be better for the experience they have gained throughout this competition.

  • 148.
  • At 06:51 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • M Anderson wrote:

136. At 04:32 PM on 21 Oct 2007, manoj shinh wrote:
interesting comments. i will leave my comments short and simple and to the point. the matter of the fact is that no team deserves or are worthy of the title if they have been beaten 36 - 0.

South Africa were grand. England were lucky to get to the final.

Oh no pal, you're wrong again. The best scores by far were the following:
Scotland 13 - 19 Argentina
Ireland 15 - 30 Argentina
Wales 34 - 38 Fiji
Scotland 0 - 40 New Zealand
South Africa 30 - 25 Tonga
France 25 - 3 Ireland
Don't you agree?

South Africa were not great against England. The Sth African team got several of their points due to bad luck, i.e. the England player's slip that gave them three points oh and of course the ref seeing the England foul but not seeing the sth african players deliberate blocking of England players trying to tackle!
And of course it was a try! But hey I am English I have integrity so I don't whine about having lost. But no sth African can say they won because they were better than England. They weren't! The world cup final was messed up thanks to a bigoted ref and an australian cheat!

  • 149.
  • At 06:55 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

Congrats to SA and credit to England who had a wonderful tournament.

As an Irishmen, I was most impressed with the English tenacity and spirit.........they gave 200% and raised their game....typically traits we usually see in Ireland. The English had terrific leadership on (Vickery/Wilk) and off the field. (I wish I could say the same about the Irish).

Top highlights from the WC for me :
France beating NZ (NZ fans thought they only had to show up to take the WC!)
England punching way above their division
Ireland's disappointing show
Argentina's superb display , and
SA winning the WC who got their act together in the past two years and are now WC Champs.

  • 150.
  • At 06:59 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • maryan bakker wrote:

England where the better team and deserved to win,south africa where rubbish except for the place kicker,its sad to see such a negative team win.

  • 151.
  • At 07:14 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Aside from 68 and a few other gnomic reactions the comments here seem fair and the ratings are fairly accurate. There seems a rather unfortunate tendency to call criticizing England's play anti-English. It doesn't even deserve a response its so absurd. Get a life.

The final wasn't the best advert for the game it has to be said. England shouldn't have been there, and there's come scope for the suggestion that they kind of ruined the World Cup in many ways. To win, S. Africa had to play England at their own game. Except England finally lost at their own inane game. So well done.

  • 152.
  • At 07:30 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Phil P wrote:

I think you have over-rated several of the Boks squad, in comparison with their English counterparts. There's now way the were a point or more a man better across the squad.

Did no-one else notice Brian Habana's high tackles? He's a great talent, speed/strength/reading the game, but when the pressure comes on in defence he becomes a rash young man. Maturity should help him improve, but he was dangerous on a couple of occasions.

Mountfield deserves his M-o-t-M rating. Excellent game, but none of the other Bok forwards were within 2 points of him. They were consistent, but not that good.

If Alain Rolland had been fair, the points gap would have bee 3 less - by giving the obstruction against the Boks, or by not penalising a banal obstruction by England. As for Dickinson, he bottled it. Colonial jealousy came to the fore like a red mist! He reviewed and reviewed to ensure that he could deny the try, not to award one. He could not prove the foot was in touch from any angle - and most showed it wasn't.

Come on England supporters, get out of the grumpy old man mentality and support the guys who did a sterling job making an Ashton silk purse out of Robinson's sows ear!

  • 153.
  • At 07:43 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Lawrence Dallaglio – Took to the field on 65 minutes to replace Easter but had little chance to make an impact. 6

That earns him a 6? Hardly...

England as ever were over hyped. This ratings don't paint a true picture as ever. The press has been biased for weeks, humble pie anyone?

South Africa rightly deserved to win, but from these ratings could you tell they'd one the cup? Thats right, they one, not England.

Toby Flood should have been red carded for a blatant shove, but hey, its in the past now. Time to move on.

  • 154.
  • At 08:03 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • JC wrote:

The packs, and front 5's, are equal weight, but Matfield is 7% lighter than Kay (as well as 2% taller); the heavier (stronger) SA props had a lighter and taller man to throw skywards.
Shaw and Kay may have bulked up too much.
We need to plan now for a front 5 for next time; including 2 locks of at least 6 feet 8 inches, one of whom to weigh no more than 17st 3 lbs..

  • 155.
  • At 08:15 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Big Mack wrote:

South Africa beat the weepy wittle Woses. Who cares what you people rate them.

  • 156.
  • At 08:20 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Big Mack wrote:

South Africa beat the weepy wittle woses. Who cares what you people rate them.

  • 157.
  • At 08:46 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • BUSHY wrote:

A fantastic treble for English sport - The Football team, the Rugby team and now Lewis Hamilton.

What a treble of chokers.

50m folk and nothing to show for it; brilliant !!!

  • 158.
  • At 08:49 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Larry Leopard wrote:

First off, well done England for a great overall effort in this world cup.
Great sportsmanship by the coach and players too, which is always the mark of a man's character. However, some of the posts have left me puzzled. There are still English fans who can't graciously accept defeat and honestly seem to think their team deserved to win the cup and were the better team on the day. Fellas, watch the game again in the cold light of day! We all take our hats off to Vickery and his players for their never say die attitude. However, any rugby aficionado would agree that SA were the team of the tournament and totally shut England down on the day. What happened to the vaunted English scrum? Before the game a lot of Eng fans were convinced their scrum would destroy the Springboks. Didn't happen though.
The BBC have a picture of Cueto's foot in touch, and concede it was the right decision. Before TMO days it would probably have been given. It was deserved in many ways, as a fine effort - but such is life.
So, to the few one-eyed English fans, take a leaf out of your sporting hero's books, and don't begrudge a team their victory. The rest of you have been most magnanimous in defeat, as true fans of this fine sport usually are. It was a wonderful WC and my life will be a little empty for the next few weeks!

  • 159.
  • At 09:01 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Woody wrote:

I believe the RWC final last night provided a spectacle worthy of being classed as such and congratulations to both teams for squeezing the last drops out of many an adrenal gland worldwide....The result stands.

It was close... very close and whilst easy after the final whistle to come through with the whys & wherefores as to why the Boks were invevitably going to win, period, there were 2-3 decisions and occurences that could have changed the whole tempo and dynamics of a great contest (as seen when Tonga put the pressure on). A few ad hoc ratings / issues to dwell on.....

1. Albeit bespoke to the French pitches I believe, the IRB must re-visit its policy on pitch surrounds & safety area sizing. We have seen too many views of players being despatched off the pitch into hoardings etc this RWC and last nights' camera incident highlighted the risks?

2. Match Stewardship. Over a x4 year cycle with such commitment; national pride; passion and marketing$$ at stake, are we not at a point where test matches are arguably too much for the single field referee? Whilst there is now more input + support from linesmen & TMOs etc, the cohesion and technology used should surely be improved to better and more accurately prompt / guide referees in real time... e.g. offsides; crooked put ins; fwd passes; 50-50 tries etc?

3. Physicality. I am concerned about the physical nature of the first class / test level game compared to x30 years ago. The size and physical attrition on the modern crop of players is unbelievable. I trust the IRB & world rugby unions in both hemispheres have got player medical related insurances and aftercare in place for the boys they are asking to make such huge physical commitments now..... esp when bodies start calling in the favours. Did anyone pick up how messrs Robinson; Catt; Vickery and Worsley were actually injured last night by the way?

4. English Rugby. A lot of pride has been restored thankfully but it is now vital that the RFU and Premiership mandarins agree a forward strategy for the benefit of the English game - thereby ensuring that 'English' young player development is top priority; our 6 Nations campaigns are highly successful and that the roadmap to the next RWC in 2011 unfolds seamlessly. The impact of overseas players and coaches on our system must be a key starter for ten question.........??

Well done England; well done to all participating nations........

  • 160.
  • At 09:08 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • ian macdonald wrote:

why the hype about Sheridan he only ever seems to out scrummage the bad aussie props.Wilkinson is a good kicker but is running with the ball is very poor and he never makes any breaks.The try apart i thought the ref was poor giving penalties for obstruction to SA when twice they obstructed England and got away with it.The try was impossible to decided either way but an Aussie was never going to give it to England.But at the end of the day penalties given away by Tait and the stupid trip by Moody cost us dearly.I still think that England need a good coach as the results have only shown that we can out battle teams but not by playing good open rugby.The times our pack does not get well on top we have no other options.

  • 161.
  • At 09:19 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • phildog wrote:

I am not quite sure about the focus on Rolland. The "try" was a TMO decision, not Rolland's. I was watching with a group of friends and the only people who said no try were the only two people who have ever reffed a game. I think tha sums it up.

Moody should have had a yellow card for his trip. Flood should have penalised for his push, but it was never yellow.

Habana's obstruction was not an offence because he did not prevent any English player from moving into a tackling position. De Preez's "obstruction" was not an obstruction because the player in front of him did not move. Nothing wrong with that. Similarly, Smit was done for an obstruction when an English player ran into him. Overall, the obstruction decisions were correct.

Players got away with murder on the ground at rucks, with that probably favouring England.

Great tournament, poor final. Matfield deserved his MoM and Tait was outstanding apart from his first half slip.

Bring on 201 with 20 teams!!!

  • 162.
  • At 10:17 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Theo S wrote:

I'm South African. I think, in all honesty, that the better team won the match, but that they were only superior by a tiny margin: They made a small amount of errors less.

Both teams were highly disciplined, and neither side gave anything in defense. Tait's almost try is fair; SA's Habana lost a try against Argentina with a forward pass that was also only marginally so, and for any English to complain about the ref is simply unjust. The push against Montgomery could have resulted in either a sin-bin or a red card had the ref been anything but fair.

Neither side allowed the opposite side enough room to make any real running rugby possible. Both their defenses were simply too good. Habana was, I think, marked the whole night, as he was challenged split seconds after each time he got the ball. And the same goes for Wilkinson. He only once got a marginal attempt at a drop goal. Both sides obviously did their homework on the opposition's strengths.

I did have the feeling that the Springboks were a small bit physically fitter than the English as the English, especially later in the game, were obviously coming out in worse shape after each maul, ruck and scrum.

In the end, the Springboks won by booting the ball through when they did have penalties, which they got by making a small amount of errors less than the English, and England lost because Johnny Wilkinson simply didn't perform the same way he did against Australia.

I am immensely proud to be South African today, but I think England can hold their head high. They fought with everything they had until the very last second.

  • 163.
  • At 11:53 PM on 21 Oct 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

'As a spectator I would much prefer to watch free flowing backs running and scoring tries rather than dull and ugly grinds ending with an inevitable penalty...'

Well you did not get that from South Africa in the final! Infact England were the more attacking outfit!

  • 164.
  • At 12:41 AM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • arfurwales wrote:

Gavin Henson did this to Matthew Tait - in the 2005 Wales England game. Picture here:

https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/6453755.stm

Hence Tait is known throughout Wales as "Gavin Henson's handbag".

A lot has changed in 2 years though....Henson didn't even make the Welsh squad for the RWC

  • 165.
  • At 12:55 AM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • scotinoz wrote:

Comment 148 - what are you on?? Reckon you should just accept defeat and grow up a bit!!

Congrats England, and to the fans that supported them through thick and thin, you deserved the last few weeks. As for those who jumped on the bandwagon after the Aussie game, I hope you've learned that you never give up on your team.

However, I do get a tad peeved when some, and not the majority, blame the ref for your defeat. He did not have a great game for both teams, and decisions went for and against. To claim there is a bias is ludicrous and petty. The try was a difficult decision, which sometimes goes your way ie. Wilkos against Scotland in the 6 nations this year. For me, I go with Martin Johnson, his foot touched the line.

SA well deserved the title. England ran out of ideas with 20 to go, Wilkos ridiculous attempt at a half way line drop goal proved that.

Like the majority of decent rugby fans around the world, you just accept defeat, feel proud of what your team achieved and look forward to 2011.


  • 166.
  • At 03:47 AM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Carlos wrote:

England did well. They gave their all but can't believe Lewis Moody is rated so highly.
He gave away a soft penalty for no real reason at a critical time and that cost England.
SA were always in control after that and that forced England's hand.

  • 167.
  • At 08:37 AM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • PeterR wrote:

I disagree with your ratings for Flood, Moody and Tait, as Flood was extremely fortunate not to be sent off for his totally pointless pushing of Percy Montgomery. So for Jenny Brassington to blame the ref for Englands defeat, and Water Vole to claim that the ref is worth 15 points; is nothing short of pathetic, and embarrassing. I dare say that if the Springboks had done the same as Cuerto did with the rightly disallowed try. Then you wouldn't be complaining.

As for Andy D (26) saying that an english Win was on the cards, what planet are you on. Nothing is definately on the cards, until the game starts. This shows that the opposite of what Eleanor Oldroyd said, that there is an assumption that South Africa only had to turn up to win, is the case.

Mr Dirs you missed one very important person from your ratings list the coach. Brian Ashton deserves a lot of credit for getting England to the final after the 36, Nil defeat to the champions. The reason for that is down to his hard work, Johnny Wilkinsons boot and Paul Saky.

To fans like Water Vole, AndyD (26) Eleanor Oldroyd and others who said an English Win would be one in the eye for the Scots, Welsh and Irish, Arrogance and Pride comes before a fall! South Africa were definately worthy winners. This is why Mr Dirs has scored them higher than England. Yes Habana didn't get to stretch his legs, but Percy Montgomery excelled inspite of the efforts of Mr Flood.

It would have been a shame for World Rugby if a team that were so roundly defeated in the pool stages went onto win. Especially as England will have another chance, but the Springboks team will take a long time to get to the same standard.

My advice to England is stop playing the old guys, or change the words to Swing Low sweet zimmer frame!

  • 168.
  • At 11:43 AM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • James wrote:

To say that Flood should have been sent off for his push on Montgomery is simply ludicrous. Happens all the time.
Congratulations to South Africa who were the best side in the tournament and the better side on the night. Congratulations to England for getting there at all and for putting up such a good fight. Alain Rolland didn't have a great game but those mistakes that he made were honest mistakes and didn't necessarily favour one side over the other.
Enough of this 'boring' nonsense though. Both sides understood what it takes to win knock out games and played accordingly. I'm afraid that I don't find the spectacle of putting dozens of points on sides such as Portugal, Romania, Italy or Japan desperately enthralling either.
Actually, what am I talking about? I don't care what anybody else thinks of this England rugby team - they have made me very proud.

  • 169.
  • At 12:16 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • craig222 wrote:

I've still to see a photo of his foot over or touching the line... when you zoom in on the BBC photo, shown somewhere above, his foot is NOT out of play!!! The try, if allowed, would have altered the game... but, the ref said "No" and we've gotta accept the outcome... to all the other nations ragging England's play... if you're so good, why weren't you in the final? Well played RSA... you've learned how to play your game well off us... 'till next time.

PS. Gordon Brown looked like someone had wee'd in his beer singing the NA for England at the start.... anyone youtube'd that... or Wilkinson's blanking of him at the end of the match?

  • 170.
  • At 12:32 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

For those who said Habana did nothing: Did you actually watch the game?

Habana was the Burger of this game. At some stage I began to wonder if there was a tackle that he didn’t make.

  • 171.
  • At 01:03 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • MarkG wrote:

Have no problems with the result SA deserved their win as they were the best team throughout the RWC. Am absolutely amazed by Andydougs comment (32) that he would take Irelands win at Croke Park over England than qualifying for the RWC 1/4 Finals. What a small minded Celt you must be!!

  • 172.
  • At 01:08 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • craig222 wrote:

I've still to see a photo of his foot over or touching the line... when you zoom in on the BBC photo, shown somewhere above, his foot is NOT out of play!!! The try, if allowed, would have altered the game... but, the ref said "No" and we've gotta accept the outcome... to all the other nations ragging England's play... if you're so good, why weren't you in the final? Well played RSA... you've learned how to play your game well off us... 'till next time.

PS. Gordon Brown looked like someone had wee'd in his beer singing the NA for England at the start.... anyone youtube'd that... or Wilkinson's blanking of him at the end of the match?

  • 173.
  • At 01:34 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • MarkG wrote:

Have no problems with the result SA deserved their win as they were the best team throughout the RWC. Am absolutely amazed by Andydougs comment (32) that he would take Irelands win at Croke Park over England than qualifying for the RWC 1/4 Finals. What a small minded Celt you must be!!

  • 174.
  • At 02:03 PM on 22 Oct 2007,
  • martin wrote:

agree that Moody should get -7.

the trip was petulant and showed a total lack of discipline, totally unnecessary in light of the threat, he was very lucky not to be sin binned....he has to take a large share of the blame for the defeat

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites