Siya Kolisi lifts Rugby World Cup as South Africa defeat England to enjoy own momentous occasion

Mirror Online Sports 1 month ago

To the millions watching back here at home, much of it was probably impenetrable, unfathomable.

Jerome Garces was some sort of villain, according to social media, but the truth is the rules and intricacies of the game are fairly foreign to the casual sports-lover.

If you knew the reasoning behind a quarter of the penalties awarded by Garces, count yourself a bona fide expert.

And if you enjoyed the first three-quarters of this contest for its quality, you are a serious aficionado, someone steeped in rugby union’s attritional qualities.

England's players react as the final whistle is blown
 

Let’s face it, before two magical, late South African tries, this was a tough watch - and not just because England lost. And lost comprehensively.

It was a World Cup Final in which most of the world did not have much of a clue what was going on for much of the time.

Even those who at least thought a forward pass was a no-no might be scratching their heads.

The interpretation of the laws will be the broader issue the sport’s governing bodies will have to consider when they have their debrief.

But I’m sure those watching in South Africa were not obsessing with the referee.

South Africa were deserved winners
 

Nor should England fans.

Their team was comprehensively outplayed in all departments and Warren Gatland was probably right when intimating their final was against the All Blacks last weekend.

And even for those watching who did not have much of an idea about the finer, subtler details of a superb Springboks performance, there was one clear joy.

Siya Kolisi lifts the World Cup for South Africa

Rugby Union was a sport that once symbolised the evil of apartheid in South Africa.

Now a black South African has captained his country to World Cup glory.

That is why - for all the English disappointment, for all the chatter about the man with the whistle - it was still a momentous occasion.


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