RWC Final: England v Springboks



  • @Old-Samurai-Jack As everyone does old chap. As everyone does, we are none of us immune to the twat factor.



  • @Catogrande said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Old-Samurai-Jack As everyone does old chap. As everyone does, we are none of us immune to the twat factor.

    England is. They are "rugby men", after all ...



  • @TeWaio said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    My favourite moment was Am recovering Mapimipi's kick then throwing a no-look pass back to him, then not even looking at him dot it down. Ice cold.

    My favourite:

    • A coach with a strategy hidden all 2019, reinforcing old patterns of defense only and essentially a 9-man game, weighing on opposition decisions and options at the final; And showing some real steel in the SF to not show his hand;

    • A defensive effort second to? Well... none;

    • A forward battle to keep all forward fans smiling for a while yet;

    • An accurate kicking game on both sides;

    • Two tries by two wings planted on both sides of the posts;

    • No too-iffy ref decisions and a final margin that leaves no doubt as to the correct result;

    • A host nation where common people could sing all the national anthems on a whim in the streets - enough said;

    A proud rugby nation building a proud WC record of no WC final ever lost, nor any tries leaked in a WC final and a win ratio of 3 from 7; Handing in the process the SH 8 from 9 WCs;

    The only controversy really: how the Boks ever got labelled underdogs beforehand? They had 2 from 2 WC finals in the bag and hail from, and manage to end on top in 2019, the SH? England 2019 was a worthy adversary, but objectively, how do they really compare against the oiled machine that was WC winners, England 2003? Imho, and even though we'll never know, I think they do not. What we do have is stats of the games leading up to the WC for each though. Before the WC Eng2003 played 10, lost by 1 point to France in France and gave everyone else a hiding during 2003, which included playing AB (ok, 2 points not a hiding!) and OZ in their own backyards. In contrast, Eng2019 played just 9, lost to Wales twice and drew the Scots in 2019 before WC and stayed clear of the SH and opted to play touch rugby with the Barbarians instead;

    Handing the Boks even a 50:50 shot would have been, and will always be, illogical - they are even more ruthless in a WC Final than the ABs are normally in every game.

    Even though every minute of the game will no doubt not be to everyone's taste, the final was as perfect, complete and well balanced game of rugby (thanks to both teams' spirit on the day) as all fans together could have ever ordered beforehand and hope to materialize.



  • @MajorRage said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Catogrande said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Old-Samurai-Jack As everyone does old chap. As everyone does, we are none of us immune to the twat factor.

    England is. They are "rugby men", after all ...

    We ought to be immune but, you know, the immigrant factor.



  • @Catogrande said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @MajorRage said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Catogrande said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Old-Samurai-Jack As everyone does old chap. As everyone does, we are none of us immune to the twat factor.

    England is. They are "rugby men", after all ...

    We ought to be immune but, you know, the immigrant factor.

    Fair enough old son.



  • Is it worth a watch? Only watched 10 minutes of the 2007 final after I knew the result. Is this better?



  • @ACT-Crusader tough to say....certainly watching England get shut out reminded me too much of the ABs the week prior...



  • @ACT-Crusader said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    Is it worth a watch? Only watched 10 minutes of the 2007 final after I knew the result. Is this better?

    Depends.

    Depends on whether, knowing the end result, you want to see how SA got to be in a position of ascendancy by the time of the final quarter.

    If you want the action bits only - fast forward to circa 60 minute mark and watch the final 20.



  • @Greener said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @TeWaio said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    My favourite moment was Am recovering Mapimipi's kick then throwing a no-look pass back to him, then not even looking at him dot it down. Ice cold.

    My favourite:

    • A coach with a strategy hidden all 2019, reinforcing old patterns of defense only and essentially a 9-man game, weighing on opposition decisions and options at the final; And showing some real steel in the SF to not show his hand;

    • A defensive effort second to? Well... none;

    • A forward battle to keep all forward fans smiling for a while yet;

    • An accurate kicking game on both sides;

    • Two tries by two wings planted on both sides of the posts;

    • No too-iffy ref decisions and a final margin that leaves no doubt as to the correct result;

    • A host nation where common people could sing all the national anthems on a whim in the streets - enough said;

    A proud rugby nation building a proud WC record of no WC final ever lost, nor any tries leaked in a WC final and a win ratio of 3 from 7; Handing in the process the SH 8 from 9 WCs;

    The only controversy really: how the Boks ever got labelled underdogs beforehand? They had 2 from 2 WC finals in the bag and hail from, and manage to end on top in 2019, the SH? England 2019 was a worthy adversary, but objectively, how do they really compare against the oiled machine that was WC winners, England 2003? Imho, and even though we'll never know, I think they do not. What we do have is stats of the games leading up to the WC for each though. Before the WC Eng2003 played 10, lost by 1 point to France in France and gave everyone else a hiding during 2003, which included playing AB (ok, 2 points not a hiding!) and OZ in their own backyards. In contrast, Eng2019 played just 9, lost to Wales twice and drew the Scots in 2019 before WC and stayed clear of the SH and opted to play touch rugby with the Barbarians instead;

    Handing the Boks even a 50:50 shot would have been, and will always be, illogical - they are even more ruthless in a WC Final than the ABs are normally in every game.

    Even though every minute of the game will no doubt not be to everyone's taste, the final was as perfect, complete and well balanced game of rugby (thanks to both teams' spirit on the day) as all fans together could have ever ordered beforehand and hope to materialize.

    Hear hear



  • @ACT-Crusader said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    Is it worth a watch? Only watched 10 minutes of the 2007 final after I knew the result. Is this better?

    It's absolutely worth watching.



  • @voodoo said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @ACT-Crusader said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    Is it worth a watch? Only watched 10 minutes of the 2007 final after I knew the result. Is this better?

    It's absolutely worth watching.

    I will admit that I have watched it, in full, 4 times already.
    Once as it happened.
    Did a repeat on Sunday - just to check it was all real.
    Then I caught a replay that had an international commentary team, so I watched again. (Great fun to hear a different set of comms).
    So on that basis, I watched it again, but this time with the Afrikaans commentators. Best of the lot!

    Late in the game they even refer to England as the "Khakis". Quite by accident it seemed.
    And for those that aren't from SA, "Khakis" was what the Boers called the British soldiers in the Second Anglo Boer War.



  • @voodoo said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @ACT-Crusader said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    Is it worth a watch? Only watched 10 minutes of the 2007 final after I knew the result. Is this better?

    It's absolutely worth watching.

    It was a great game of rugby. All the English in my office are saying it was a crap game and really dull, just smacks of sour grapes.



  • I watched it live with USA commentary, later on Saturday with World Feed commentary, and then once again on Sunday with the ITV commentary (I admit there was a little schadenfreude for that viewing). I just need to get my hands on a copy with the South African commentary team.





  • The indecent and controversial proposal:

    Just for fun ok.

    Before we get to conspiracies, some background: the Rassie-mind. A man who played most of his test rugby in a team near invincible, until they were not. The important point being, that it was a team specifically that were able to, if things didn't go their way before the break, would come out the tunnel playing and force feeding a completely different strategy. And yes, it helped they had a lot of above average players. Add to this, later on as coach, Rassie being a very sly operator that took a Cheetah team from always ending up at the bottom of the CurrieCup and have them win it for the first time in 3 decades. An innovator, causing controversy every other day: sitting on the stadium roof (seemingly for a better view of the patterns) and sending signals by coloured lights to the field. You really just have to listen to his post WC final match interview, posted earlier, to get insight into how his mind works, i.e. so and so many days, hours, minutes to the final, so many minutes of load this or that prop had in the run up. Nothing strange right? Every team has those stats, but how many head coaches can quote it on a whim and be spot on? Rassie likes numbers, stats and patterns above all else. The rugby gods simply saved him from a life of damnation becoming a beancounter.

    It is my contention that Rassie made a plan in 2018 how to win the WC and stuck to it (as everyone would have done). But how exactly did it go? Well, easiest would have been to stick to patterns that won our first two - 10-man game and defense only. Predictable, sound advise, so start practicing, but reduced to a 9-man game. You can also get glimpses of this in the post-match video, how they targeted this or that test to practice as if they were already in the WC playoffs. But they had to enforce the norm assumption of what SA will be doing at the WC. Remember, we're talking about the general strategy now, not to about this knock nor that try. And so, on average, preparing for SA would require preparing your team for the general, overall patterns and strategy seen all season from the Boks? Logical thing to do.

    What Rassie could of course not predict in 2018, was who would play the final, nor which injuries could happen. Ergo, he knew less than a week, it would be the fox Eddie they had to prepare and be prepared for, but could just as well have been Hansen. His hidden strategy would have to have been something that could be applied universally to any team that happens on the final. As it happened on the day though, the early prop injury for England simply made the work easier.... far, far too easy actually. What should have remained a solid scrum for England in spite of the injury turned into 5metre gains and penalties to SA the whole day. I can tell you right now, there were many, many a household in SA not saying too loudly (in case Eddie could hear), what if Eddie calls for another prop to take a knee and make the scrums uncontested? Desperate times, desperate measures? And so breaths were held, whispers made, etc. Now, hopefully as a result of pure respect for the game, he never did. But did Rassie help him make the choice, or rather ensuring it won't be considered at all? Gave him a nudge? Rassie had a card up the sleeve, he always does, but he could not have foreseen these events, and surely also not factor in that a uncontested scrum final could in fact become a real possibility if/when Eddie becomes desperate for the win in the final half. If so, surely it would negate Rassie's best laid trap and designs in the process. What to do?

    Roll on the conspiracy, minute 51. Scrum Eng 10m line of SA, SA up by 9. Context: SA literally destroyed the Eng scrum at minute 44 and again at minute 47, as was the case the whole match. Minute 51 had the same front rows. What happens? Kitshoff, by mistake or design, slip/land on a knee - SA doesn't bother to counter or stabilize, but virtually as a pack simply standup and have Eng push against no one. Result: penalty Eng, costing 3 points. Bigger result though: Eng forwards high fives and smiles all around, game on, right? Wrong! The single scrum Eng won all day, so much against the play that even Stransky - giving live comms at the time - went "How on earth does a scrum dominated the whole day, go to dominating in 60 seconds?". And my answer - purely for the fun of it - is to make the controversial suggestion, that it doesn't. The implied suggestion is even more controversial though - because if it doesn't, then Rassie gave Eng the scrum knowing it would, with 80% probability, result in 3 for Eng. That being said, SA being up by 9, the risk was and would have been huge if anyone won by 3, but maybe an acceptable risk to virtually guarantee the result in the process? A small sacrifice for the bigger goal?

    Minute 51 cemented two things. One, it reinforced everyone's belief in the Eng forwards (after all, they saw it in the SF). Most importantly in Eddie's mind, a belief that "Now, game on!? 30mins to go, stick to the game plan that we prepared for". Two, it also let lose what Rassie had up his sleeve. Nothing magical then, no bunnies from hats, still keeping it simple, but definitely a deliberate shift towards attacking. Kickoffs no longer deep, but high instead. Suddenly Faf hardly kicks again (no more free balls to Eng, drying up a tap everyone playing SA counted on the whole of 2019), passing to Pollard instead who suddenly found legs to run and do what we all know he can. Willie never missed an easy high ball again (in fact, those freebies started to dry up in the SF already - he magically found form, which he somehow lost in a position he played in all his life?). Bok scrums suddenly and ironically did become virtually uncontested affairs, as the ball was flying out to 10 to run it. Too many coincidences? More likely then, a strategy was changed on the fly whilst reinforcing a "dummy pass" that the Eng forwards had the upper hand now. What Eng was not prepared for, was playing a different team/a new strategy that was not on display in 2019. Not as easy to change game plan from attack to defense if you prepared to attack the Boks the whole week and suddenly find yourself without the ball? Surely not as easy as telling Faf not to kick and having all the Boks know what to do when the call is made. The result became inevitable. Kolbe's try telling, 5 in front of him, he only had to beat 1, the forwards having been minced all day, as useful as streetcones in the final 10.

    As said, its just for fun, trying to reverse engineer tactics and strategies which definitely went far, far beyond my comprehension. Could just as well have been a coincidence, Eng came together and did in fact won one scrum, and being ahead the "inexperienced" Rassie just allowing everyone to have a bit of a run in the last 30 and enjoy the outing - which, even as I just typed that last sentence, sound even more ridiculous than my proposed conspiracy. It was a WC Final, not a SuperRugby game!

    Either way, we'll factually know when we know, which will most likely only be after all the memoirs were penned. For now any theory is as valid as the next I suppose.



  • @Greener Great post, love the idea they threw a scrum on purpose to stop Golden Oldies. Could be bollocks, but love a conspiracy!



  • @Greener
    You've got it all wrong, they won because they made a pact.



  • @Greener
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading that post. Great conspiracy theory. One which could just maybe grow some legs as time marches on 🙂

    But like most conspiracy theories, I don't buy it.



  • @Greener that post is up there with so called female room service serving dodgy food in a fancy South African hotel...

    Welcome aboard.



  • @Billy-Webb said in RWC Final: England v Springboks:

    @Greener
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading that post. Great conspiracy theory. One which could just maybe grow some legs as time marches on 🙂

    But like most conspiracy theories, I don't buy it.

    🤔 Yes, agreed, a little "out there" for sure.

    What is now obvious to see and is being talked about a lot, and as much came from Rassie's own lips, is that they specifically targeted the scrums in the final, by investing in a 6/2 bench over 7 matches - a long game. It becomes a simple numbers game then, his forwards were freshers and had less to do over 7 weeks than those of any other team - and they counted that advantage in double digit percentages by the end. What is usually simply good player management in other teams, became a weapon in Rassie's. Rassie created a weapon from thin air, if you will. I'm under no illusion that they had stats on each opposing player, knowing exactly what each's workrate was, their total workload, their endurance before they came of their peak in a match - down to the very minute. And for sure the AB's took a heavy tax on those Eng. load numbers. Thank you very much. If Rassie's players could perform at 20%, 30%, 40% higher levels than the opposition and do so for longer stretches, then... well, then the final happens?

    What gasted my flabber though, was how perfectly the Eng scrum was dissected. Even with the injury, one would have expected, if not insisted, the Eng scrum to remain a force to be reckoned with - even if just the first 40 before the long term investments came to the fore. I would have taken a bet of 100:1 before the game that Eng would remain solid in the first half even if they lose a prop. But clearly I would have lost the money. Some dark magic was involved here and a lot of homework, as they had their number from the get go. But they could last directly test their scrum theories in 2018 against Eng (4 times if I remember correctly)? If they somehow knew this would happen and the reaction of the ref - they would also have been able to predict a pretty good score: say, avg. ~10 scrums aside in a game, ~5 in the opposition's territory, 15 on the board. Simple knocks were being converted into points - and not as an exception, but as the rule for this particular game and for the Boks alone (bar the single exception to that rule - which then fell into my conspiracy basket).

    Kudos on Eddie though, I would not have had the morals of the man and would have simply countered and negated Rassie's plans by playing uncontested scrums, and would have considered it a valid and viable option long before the break - and most likely have won in the process - and few, especially no English person, would have blamed me - and more than likely pinned two OBE's on me for being extra cunning. Eddie's reality was simple - he clearly may not have had the guns upfront to arm wrestle all day - but on average, his forwards were most likely more mobile. By hook or by crook, this never happened. Eddie was caught in the headlights of Rassie's strategy and frozen stiff - for Eng, never tried anything else in 80 mins.


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