You might not know, or you might now, but you might not care, that tonight is the finals of the Rugby World Cup. It’s a big deal amongst Rugby playing nations as it will determine the current champions of Rugby. Often expect the unexpected.
Rugby World Cup History
In 2003 (the World Cup comes around every 4 years), England beat Australia in a controversial game (controversial because Australia was expected to whoop their asses). Here’s a rundown of what happened in previous World Cups:
- 2003 – Autralia lets the World Cup go to the Northern Hemisphere for the first time when they loose against England 17-20 in the finals. Obviously nobody was instructed to crash-tackle that Wilkinson fellow, and he basically kicks England to victory (and Australia in the face). Australia hasn’t lived that down for the last 4 years, and this year, having their asses handed to them again by England in a 10-12 loss in the quarter finals, will get no reprieve for the next four years either. England becomes the 2003 Rugby World Cup Champions.
- 1999 – In another Northern vs. Southern Hemisphere playoff in the final, Australia manages to stand their ground against France. They keep the rugby trophy in the south when they triumph over France 35-12. South Africa, previous holders of the World Cup Trophy, can only lick their wound after being knocked out by Australia 27-21 in a semi-final game. Australia becomes the 1999 Rugby World Cup Champions.
- 1995 – In a euphoric South Africa, following the fall of apartheid and Nelson Mandela being elected the first president of the free South Africa the year before, the Springboks can’t help but win their very first Rugby World Cup. First they defeat Samoa in the Quarter Finals and France in the semi’s, before they beat New Zealand in the finals at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in a 15-12 nail biting match. The country triumphs in a unison that has not been experienced in the country since. South Africa becomes the 1995 Rugby World Cup Champions.
- 1991 -A previous meet of Australia and England and, on this occasion, the Wallabies beat the Roses 6-12. Clearly Wilkinson was still in diapers and not on the field in that game. Australia becomes the 1991 Rugby World Cup Champions.
- 1987 – In the first ever Rugby World cup, jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia, Australia gets eliminated in the semi finals in a 24-30 defeat by France, and sees New Zealand claim the first ever cup in a 29-9 beating of France in the final game held in Auckland. New Zealand becomes the 1987 and first ever Rugby World Cup Champions.
Present Time Rugby
Now that you’ve caught up on a bit of history, it’s important to note that the big 5 in rugby (according to their International Rugby Board ranking), is considered to be New Zealand, South Africa (only 0.31 behind), England, France and Australia. So far in the the world cup, the Springboks have been performing exceptionally well. I’m not lying, look.
It has been another controversial Rugby World cup as both New Zealand and Australia got eliminated in the Quarter finals, when they lost 18-20 to France, and 10-12 to England respectively.
South Africa, the only team from the bastion of Rugby, the Southern Hemisphere, is still standing, facing their final battle tonight against the reigning world champions, England.
On the one hand power to the Boks as South Africa is undefeated in this world cup, having so far won every single one of their games. Most notably was the savage beating of England in their second pool game, during which they brutally humiliated the current World Cup Champions in a 36-0 walk over. Note that Wilkinson was absent from that match. They are hungry for the World Cup, only having bragging rights for being the 1995 World Cup Champions for the last 12 years, the team, South Africa and everyone else, really wants them to stop living in 1995 and update their glory.
On the other hand, power to England as they are the current champions and they’re near home, which means they will possibly have strong support in the crowd. And that Wilkinson fellow is in good health.
It therefore seems as if the Springboks have their work cut out for them, but they should know that South Africans everywhere are rooting for them, so is a fare good slice of Australians and New Zealanders and loads of fans who can’t stand seeing England win it for the second time.
And then there’s this (thanks for sharing, Blondie):
I’m here in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and although Rugby does exist here, it’s hardly noticed by the locals and it’s most certainly not too prominent on the football dominated sport screens around town. I have, for the last two weeks, done good work with my Asian friends, and last the last two weekends we stayed up until 3am (which is when the games screen here) to watch the games live! To be fair, they did nod off during the England vs. France game, but so did hardcore rugby fans.
Tonight, we’re gathering at Bob & Sue’s house (they’re England supporters, but they have a big-screen TV and Bob does a killer South African accent, so I’ll let it slide this time) for a serious finale.
Tune in to your favourite sports station tonight at 9pm (French Time, GMT:+2) and cheer for the Springboks (or jeer for England, which ever way you would like to contribute). See you for a happy-happy post or a depro post tomorrow.