The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final in Japan will take place on the 2nd of November, hosted at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama. Kick-off is at 9 am GMT and will be broadcasted on ITV – though pubs up and down the country are likely to be playing the game, volume turned up to the max.
This isn’t the first time that England and South Africa are going head to head in the Rugby World Cup final. The last time these two teams battled for the trophy was in 2007 when South Africa rose victorious, finishing the tournament with a score of 15-6.
South Africa was a formidable force throughout the competition, having been undefeated until the very last whistle. In winning the trophy, they became the second country to win two World Cups, having previously dominated in 1995. England’s dreams of repeating their 2003 glory was quickly diminished when South Africa stole the ball within minutes of the game.
The entire game consisted of solely penalty points, as neither side were able to land a try – both England and South Africa missed out on try-scoring opportunities. England fell foul to the referee’s keen eye, as Mark Cueto’s try was denied in the 42nd minute, sealing the fate of the game.
England started the competition strong, topping their pool with three bonus points. Despite their match against France being cancelled thanks to Typhoon Hagibis, which resulted in a scoreless draw, England proceeded to play Australia in the quarter-finals.
With an astonishing score of 40 – 16, England advanced to the semi-finals. In their game against Australia, Jonny May, Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson each secured tries, which were then converted by Owen Farrell.
For the first time since 2007, England played in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals – against the infamous All Blacks. Though it was assumed that New Zealand would play with their usual ferocious skill, England’s defensive line proved too much for the team. The final score was 19 – 7 to England, breaking the All Black’s 18-match winning streak at World Cups. Manu Tuilagi earned a try, Owen Farrell proved his converting power and George Ford landed four penalties, sending England soaring to the final.
Head coach Eddie Jones described how “New Zealand are the God of rugby, so we had to take it to them”. It is reported that the England team are now recovering ahead of the final.
England’s Semi-Final Line-Up
Though England’s final team lineup hasn’t been announced, their semi-final team are likely to make another appearance. The semi-final line-up was:
Elliot Daly (15)
Anthony Watson (14)
Manu Tuilagi (13)
Owen Farrell (12)
Jonny May (11)
George Ford (10)
Ben Youngs (9)
Mako Vunipola (1)
Jamie George (2)
Kyle Sinckler (3)
Maro Itoje (4)
Courtney Lawes (5)
Tom Curry (6)
Sam Underhill (7)
Billy Vunipola (8)
What To Expect
Though out of the two teams South Africa were the last to win the Rugby World, England’s performance in the semi-final will have shaken up the predictions. Riding high on their last match, England will be eager to make up for their last defeat against South Africa.
The pace of South Africa’s previous game will be a far cry from their final battle, as some fans were put off by the slow pace. Wales admitted that they were “punching above their weight”, and in the 76th minute, a penalty by South Africa kicked them out of the final.
In their last game, England performed with an equal balance of steely defence and aggressive attack, coupled with their calculated reactions they certainly surprised the consistently triumphant All Blacks. If England can beat the All Blacks, the final match against South Africa will be one for the history books.
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