Our series on rugby continues with a look at the most recent Rugby World Cup, which was held in 2019 in Japan.
The 2019 RWC was held in Japan. It was the 1st ever RWC to be held in Asia and also the first time that it was held outside of the traditional rugby nations of Europe, Oceania, and Africa. The 2019 RWC was also the first time that matches had to be cancelled due to safety concerns. The issue was that Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan at the same time as the tournament was being played and it caused the cancellation of 3 matches.
The teams that made it past the pool stage and into the knockout stages were England, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Wales, France, South Africa, and Japan. It was the first time that Japan (or indeed, any team from Asia!) had made it to the quarter-finals in any RWC. Unfortunately for Japan, in their historic quarter-final, they came up against South Africa, who easily beat them 26-3 in Tokyo.
The teams that eventually made it to the RWC final in 2019 were England and South Africa. Despite England going into the game as favourites, South Africa emerged as winners. In the first half, only penalties were scored and the teams went into half-time with the scores at 12-6 to South Africa, thanks to the reliable kicking of Handré Pollard, who successfully converted 4 penalty kicks.
England could only manage 2 from the boot of Owen Farrell. During the 2nd half tries, from wingers, Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe ground England into the Yokohama dirt on a horrendous evening for the northern hemisphere team. However, it was a fantastic night for the Springboks, who won their 3rd Rugby World Cup. South Africa’s 3rd RWC victory put them level on 3 Web Ellis trophies with the mighty New Zealand All Blacks!
To be continued…