Although England were considered as slight favourites in the final clash, especially after a victory over New Zealand, South Africa are the ones who got crowned as the champions.
A memorable final clash at International Stadium Yokohama saw the Springboks beating England 31-12. South Africa are the first team to win the Rugby World Cup after losing a game along the way. www.iwca-swca.org had plenty of great betting promotions for this match. Bookmark them and check for new packages in the future.
Interestingly, South Africa was a big underdog going into the duel, priced at 3/1 at GentingBet. They suffered a defeat against the All Black at the tournament opener, which dented their confidence. However, comfortable victories against Namibia, Italy, and Canada helped them build the momentum ahead to quarter-final matches. Japan was a tricky opponent in the first knockout match, but with a rock-solid defense, South Africa celebrated a 26-3 victory. They were facing Wales in the semi-finals, and although they were considered as slight favourites, the match was far from easy. In a thrilling encounter, the Springboks managed to beat their rivals 19-16 and book their place for the title decider.
When it comes to the finals, the first half of the match was pretty close until the very finish of the first period when Pollard scored two penalty kicks for bringing a six-point advantage to his national team. He continued in the same fashion in the second half (man of the match according to TheGuardian.com), and although England were still active in the game, the winner has finally been decided in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Captain Siya Kolisi and Pollard stated out before the clash that South Africa had not shown their full potential yet, and they turned out to be completely right. Indeed, Pollard had a shaky effort in the pool stages, but he managed to improve a lot when it mattered the most, in the knockout stages. Against England, he missed just two shots out of ten, and it is important to state out that he had some difficult penalties. Eventually, he ended the tournament in a great fashion from the individual standpoint as well, since he is the leading scorer of the tournament with 69 points on his account.
Not only that they managed to win the tournament, but the Springboks climbed to the top of the World Rugby Rankings. Since 16 November 2009, they managed to reach the top, so they needed to wait for almost ten years. With a total of 94.19 ranking points, they are slightly more than two points ahead of New Zealand. The victory in the finals brought them 3.48 points, which saw them ahead of New Zealand who temporarily moved to the top spot after beating Wales in the third-place decider.
So, what we can expect from the Boks next? Except for several senior players, the nucleus of their team will remain intact in years to come and we see them as one of the most serious contenders for top spots in the upcoming major tournaments. All other Rugby World Cup 2019 news can be found here.