The World Champion: Siya Kolisi is the first black captain of the South African rugby team. At the World Cup in Japan he led the "Springboks" to the title. Born in the townships of Port Elizabeth, Kolisi is representative of the rainbow nation that South Africa so much wants to be. The problems in the country have not stopped with the end of apartheid. Rugby is still considered a sport for the white elite in the country, in the 2007 World Cup final were only two non-white players in the field.
That changed when coach Rassie Erasmus took over the "Bokke" in 2018 and finally broke the old structures, making Kolisi the leader of the team. "We had many challenges ahead of us, but we felt the whole country behind us, we are so grateful, I have never experienced anything like that," Kolisi said after the final against England. "We have shown that we can achieve anything if we all stick together."
The Vice World Champion: After the catastrophic World Cup 2015 with the retirement after the preliminary round led with coach Eddie Jones, of all Australians, the English national team back to the top of the world. England and Australia started their rugby rivalry back in 1909. To date, only English Premiership players have been appointed to the national team - and by 2015 that was also true for coaches. Then Jones came - and brought success.
The big set of springboks
The Springboks celebrate after 1995 and 2007 their third title as a rugby world champion. These fans celebrated at the Public Viewing in London their team.
With their triumph in Yokohama, the South Africans are equal to the previous record champion New Zealand.
Former All-Black captain Richie McCaw gave the world champions the Webb Ellis Trophy in gilded silver. The New Zealanders were eliminated in the semi-final against England and had secured by a 40:17 (28:10) against Wales the bronze medal.
The South Africans were led by captain Siya Kolisi (center), who made history as the first black captain of a South African Rugby World Cup team.
Even before the match, fans of the "Bokke" had created a mood - and brought one or the other flag to Japan.
With South Africa and England, the two toughest and physically strongest teams in the rugby world met each other. Among other things, Billy Vunipola got a lot off.
The attempt of the South African Makazole Mapimpi decided the game already a quarter of an hour before the end.
England was the favorite before the match. Therefore, this fan could hardly believe that his team lost in the final.
That it was not enough for the title, was probably in the final on the failure of Kyle Sinckler. The first-row player, in the crush of one of the two foremost and thus key players, seemed unconscious after a clash and was taken out of the game after a treatment break. After that England had big problems with the crowd - an advantage that South Africa used for herself.
The top favorite: The New Zealand "All Blacks" were before the World Cup as the top favorite, they brought but in 2011 and 2015 respectively the title. With their famous "Haka", which they perform before each game, they impress the fans. However not quarterfinal opponent Ireland.
The Haka from behind the sticks. # RWC2019 @AllBlacks pic.twitter.com/3wx0gr4mIh- Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 20, 2019
The "All Blacks" are legendary, as is Jonah Lomu, who is considered the best rugby player in history. That England defeated the New Zealanders sensationally in the semifinals, made the motherland of rugby directly to the favorites in the final against South Africa. For New Zealand and his outgoing coach Steve Hansen the defeat was a big disappointment against Wales secured the team at least bronze.
The host: For the first time the Rugby World Cup took place on the Asian continent. Rugby has a great tradition, especially in Japan, as early as the 19th century was played around Tokyo.
However, the national team was not really successful for a long time. That changed only with a restructuring of the league at the beginning of the new millennium. Better conditions and more money brought international top players to Japan, who after three years in the country for the national team, the "cherry blossoms" were allowed to play. With this multi-culture, 16 players have no Japanese roots, Japan made it into the World Cup quarter-final for the first time in history. Against the eventual champion was there for the team to captain Michael Leitch but final.
more on the subject
Big disappointments: Rugby is a national sport in Australia as well as in Scotland. Accordingly high are the demands on both teams. While Scotland had to say goodbye to Japan and Ireland after the preliminary rounds and defeats, the tournament was over for Australia after the quarterfinal against eventual finalist England. Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was particularly defeated by Japan, but he was allowed to keep his job. Unlike Australia coach Michael Cheika, who announced his retirement after the quarter-finals.
The French rugby team was also disappointed after their quarter-finals, having controlled the game against Wales. The red card against the Frenchman Sébastien Vahaamahina after a hard elbow strike was the beginning of the end, for the French team and coach Jacques Brunel.
The Underdogs: Rugby is a game for everyone: big, small, fat, thin, poor, rich, black or white. To a World Cup also includes the outsider stories. Like the Uruguayans whose national players are amateurs. In the preliminary round, they still won against the favored Rugbynation Fiji - and celebrated their success exuberantly: "Nowadays it is easier in professional rugby, a player from the Pacific than a Uruguayans to commit.We have just as motivated players, but because nobody knows us, Nobody really cares about us, it's changing today, "said captain Juan Manuel Gaminara. With a victory Uruguay retired after the preliminary round.
more on the subject
Wales also surprised at the World Cup in Japan. In the preliminary round, the Welsh won against Australia and beat in the quarterfinals even France. However, because South Africa was too strong in the semi-final, the Welshmers missed a historic duel against their big neighbor England.
The secret stars: Football fans will have noticed at the Rugby World Cup how harmonious the cooperation of referees, video assistants and players can be. In rugby, the referees are equipped with microphones, allowing viewers to experience the decision-making process of the referees live. The Welshman Nigel Owens was also a star. With a moving story.
Although the Canadian team is competitive in bottom-class international rugby, it lost all matches at the World Cup in Japan. The last game against Namibia was canceled because of the typhoon "Hagibis". Instead of standing on the field, the Canadian players helped eliminate the ravages of the storm. A video of the action went viral on Twitter:
Following the cancellation of their match in Kamaishi, @RugbyCanada players headed out to help with recovery efforts, showing the true values of the game.
Amazing scenes and brilliant to see from the team. # RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/jdXQlyD2ZM
All results and information about the Rugby World Cup in Japan can be read here.