Preview: The Rugby World Cup Final!
"The Boks are still in Japan and with only game 48 remaining at Rugby World Cup 2019 there are only 2 more teams who could possibly take home The William Webb Ellis trophy, the rest will be watching at home. "
We have really seen it all during this year`s tournament and no one could have predicted the way it eventually would turn out at the start of this tournament. We did say that there are a number of teams who could on their day beat any opposing team and that was at least one thing we got right.
When The Boks lost their opening game against pre-tournament favourites, The All Blacks, many suggested that it might be an easier route, if there is such a thing at a Rugby World Cup. Most of us had no doubt that Ireland would top their pool ahead of Scotland and Japan and that The Boks would face them in the quarters. We all know what happened next and the whole tournament was turned on its head. In saying this I also strongly believe that if Rassie and his coaching team was offered the route The Boks eventually had to follow to make it to the final they would have jumped at the opportunity.
Tomorrow The Boks will face arguably the best team at the tournament thus far. England is a team incredibly well coached and with Edddie Jones at the helm that’s absolutely no surprise. His game plan against The All Black was masterfully planned in the team room and faultlessly executed on the field. Many believe that he will have another few aces up his sleeve but also had doubts that England could play and lift themselves again like they did in the semi-final.
The Boks has an equally astute coach although a lot younger and less experienced in the coaching department. His game plan is very simple, based on a massive pack of forwards and dominance in the set pieces namely line outs and scrums. Throw into that mix a predominantly kick orientated 9 and 10 and a blend of brutal and uncompromising defence and you will recognize the blueprint of a South African national rugby team who for years ruled and terrorized the international rugby scene with just that.
Will Eddie spring a surprise or will Rassie and the team decide to change their plan, play more attacking rugby and to have a go from their own half? We can only really speculate and in doing so we build and add some more fire to a fixture rich in history and some immense battles in the past.
I can say one thing for certain and that’s a fact. In the last 2 years Bok supporters have seen an incredible turnaround in this team. The Boks have gone from no-hopers losing to Italy, to World Cup finalist and currently ranked as the number 2 team in world rugby-strangely enough we are just behind England and I think a fitting end to a wonderful tournament- The Best team in the world playing the second best team to lift The William Webb Ellis Trophy.
For most players and in both teams tomorrow will be the biggest games of their lives and for some it will be a life changing experience. Days like tomorrow are what dreams are made of and the many test matches played in their backyards growing up as kids will tomorrow become a reality.
What more could any avid rugby supporter ask for on a weekend that will no doubt have us on the edge of our seats.