Two titans collide in the final of the Rugby World Cup 2019, England versus South Africa. After stellar campaigns for both teams, this was seemingly the best two teams in the competition.
There’s plenty of places to view Saturday’s morning game across Nottingham. Nottingham Rugby Football Club are hosting a large screen event from their stadium, Lady Bay Bridge, with all parking and entry – available from 8am ready for the 9am start, being free for visitors.
A few of Nottingham’s sports bars are specifically opening early. Bierkeller and O’Neill’s, based in Old Market Square, are providing package deals for attendee’s.
Historically, the Springboks have had the edge over England. They’ve won 25 of the 42 head-to-head games, although recent times have marginally favoured England.
England have also gone unbeaten throughout this tournament, their closest game was against their semi-final opponent, New Zealand, which finished 19-7.
Recent history and tournament form would give England the slight advantage going into the final tomorrow; however, this isn’t the first time they’ve met at this stage of the competition.
England finished pool play this year only conceding 20 points over four games, one of which was cancelled against France, they have also scored 119 points in that time. During 2007, three of England’s pool play games ended with the team conceding 20 or more points.
In 2007, South Africa lifted the Rugby World Cup title after beating England, 15-6, in the final, with all points scored from penalty kicks. Since then, neither side have made it to a World Cup final.
The 2019 campaign has a more optimistic feel for England. They had already lost to South Africa in pool play during the 2007 tournament, whereas this year’s campaign hasn’t seen a single slip-up for Eddie Jones’ men.
The difference between the two finals is substantial, England look prepared and ready for their first World Cup final in 12 years. Even more prepared than Japan were to host the prestigious tournament.
Three of the fixtures were cancelled due to the tournament overlapping with typhoon season in Japan. Super Typhoon Hagibis drifted over from the south of Japan, before hitting the Pacific Ocean.
England’s meeting with France was cancelled, due to be played in Yokohama on the 12th October. New Zealand’s match against Italy was cancelled on the same day, due to be played in Toyota.
The last of three games cancelled was, Namibia versus Canada. The game was due to be played on the 13th October, one day after the other two fixtures were cancelled.
Even after squad members from both nations attempted to clear the pitch and the surrounding area of Kamaishi, the game couldn’t go ahead.
It is a testament to the community and governing bodies that the tournament has managed to fight through these conditions and still provide a fascinating spectacle.
The Super Typhoon that devastated Japan, had a confirmed 86 casualties and eight people missing. It’s the worst Pacific typhoon to hit the Asian country in decades, with an estimated £7 billion in damages.
The revenue formed from the tournament will be reimbursed into Japan’s search for those still missing, whilst also rebuilding the communities that were destroyed by the horrific storm.