All Blacks and Springboks set the stage for a humdinger – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (eLanka Sports editor)

All Blacks and Springboks set the stage for a humdinger – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (eLanka Sports editor)

Trevine Rodrigo | elanka

It couldn’t have been scripted better as the All Blacks and Springboks who have been powerhouses in world Rugby clash in what is expected to be one of the most memorable World Cup finals ever.

While the Springboks came to France one of the favourites, the All Blacks were not rated for once, and to make an impact in this edition, they had to produce something special. They did Just that.

But here they are, two of the fiercest rivals on the park in Rugby, going head to head in a proud quest of winning the Willam Webb Ellis Trophy, rugby’s greatest prize on the world stage and the reward puts the winner, one game ahead of each other, and any other nation to win it.

With the stakes so high, expect a humdinger as I predicted, it will certainly be one for the ages.

To make it to where it is, South Africa had to overcome an England team that has been rebuilding and are unpredictable. 

In a rousing encounter, South Africa pulled off a sensational 16-15 victory denying England an unlikely final that was never on the charts pre World Cup. The Springboks were certainly made to work for it.

From an England perspective, they mapped out a strategy that rattled South Africa, stifling a potent Springboks forward dominance and creating errors that gave them ascendency through penalties. 

It was master-class, as they shocked South Africa and the competition with a 12-6 lead at the half and more, suggesting an upset on the cards. At 15 -6 with 13 minutes left on the clock, there was anticipation that suggested a boilover by England.  

South Africa have never been a team to be written off. They underlined that point in more than many ways thereafter. 

Against the run of play spelled the premonition of a change of winds.  It proved to be. Two and  a half minutes from the end, a decisive penalty against England sealed their fate.

The tenacious Springboks never gave up and had other ideas about their dire predicament. Using the unexpected change of weather to exploit the wet ball including substitutions to skipper Koleisi  in the 50th minute, it turned up trumps as the clawed their way back to a memorable World Cup final.

It was a physically draining confrontation and England showed they are worthy of mixing it with the best. 

 But it turned out to be South Africa’s day as they chase a dream as the best in the World Cup. 

England will be devastated at a campaign that nearly reaped maximum reward. The Fijians who were pipped by England in the quarter final will know what it feels to be robbed.

Sadly this time around for England, it was their turn.


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