Watching the 2007 WC Final

Forum » Rugby » Watching the 2007 WC Final

Apr 28, 2020, 20:11

It is sometimes necessary to look back again ay games of the past and the coronavirus cause continuous rebroadcast of past matches again.   This afternoon I watched the 2007 again and was surprised how lucky the Springboks were surprised as to why the Springbpks actually managed to win the game.

Let me give you a breakdown of what happened during the game that let me to the above conclusion:-

*   The SA scrumming was almost as bad as the English were in Japan.  The Springbok scrum was a shambles and under present laws they would have been penalized a number of times.  The result was that Rossouw at number 8 constantly had to pick up the ball in a retreating scrum with resultant maul resulting from it.

*    The English was a lot better than the Springboks at breakdowns - reason the Springboks were too slow to get to breakdowns.

*    The Springbok kicking out of hand were poor and inaccurate, never finding touch when they make relieving kicks giving the English the opportunity to run at them, because follow up was slow and  the English backline of 2017 had some geriatrics in and they ere slowed down and ineffective,  If they had the backline of the 2019 team they would have score plenty tries,                 

*    The fact  is that the ball skills of the players was somewhat deficient.  Balls kicked  in by the English was not always secured and in one instance the English even got the ball back.  Other kicks was also poorly handled only Montgomery was secure in catching the ball.   

*    Ball retention by both sides were poor. I was not impressed to see how players like Juan Smith and Frans Steyn (two each in the first half)  lost balls when they were tackled allowing the English to make turnovers,

*    In general the defense was good - but not very effective.  The fact is there was a mess when Frans Steyn missed a routine tackle on his opponent and after being slowed down by Habana and Montgomery Matfield managed to tackle the guy about three meters out,  What followed was also questionable.  The tackle of Rossouw on the English wing forcing him out him out was not really true.   Rossouw looked like he touched the legs of the player and not even holding on to him but landed outside of the field of play and technically it would be given as a missed tackle.   With modern technology it would have been given as a try.

*    The Springbok backline was rather toothless had no real threat to the English though in one case they got bery near to scoring a try,  In the resultant breakdown the ball was killed and the English rewarded a scrum  

The above is just a few observations of what I saw looking at the game objectively,  

If I look at a joint team with the  2019 Springboks based purely on the two finals the team would look like the following:-

15    Percy Montgomery
14    Cheslyn Kolbe
13    Lukhanjo Am
12    Damian de Allende
11    Makazole Mapimpi
10    Handre Pollard
  9    Faf de Klerk
  8    Duane Vermeulen
  7    Pieter-Steff du Toit
  6    Sija Kolisi
  5    Victor Matfield
  4    Eben Etzebth
  3    Frans Malherbe
  2    Malcolm Marx
  1    Tendau Mtawarira

16   Bongi Mbonambi 
17   Steven Kitshoff
18   Vincent Koch
19   Bakkies Boitha
20   Schalk Burger
21   Fourie du Preez
22   Butch James
23   Willie le Roux  

Coach  -  Johan Erasmus

The English team was in the main a holdover from the 2003 WC team and not as strong as the 2019 English team is,                          



Apr 29, 2020, 01:44

If you look a little further on the internet, you will find that the English wing, Cueto’s  foot clipped the touch line, there is clear visual are being influenced by the breathless Pom commentary.

The rest of course is biased. For example, the tackle Frans missed came about because the Poms fumbled the ball, he was rushing to recover it and when it was picked up by Tait, Frans overran the tackle.

A predictable hit job on the 2007 team, and given how many supposed mistakes they made according to you, it’s amazing we were relatively comfortable 9 point winners.

Apr 29, 2020, 02:03

Cueto was definitely in touch, boot on the line proves it

Apr 29, 2020, 07:34

Well, well, well. Another tribute to Lügnerin's crush Josè Erasmusó. :D

Apr 29, 2020, 08:59

general the defense was good - but not very effective.

Yet England scored no tries.

So by the way, in a short doccie on the final on Youtube, referee Alain Roland calls not awarding the try "absolutely, unquestionable the right decision."

and technically it would be given as a missed tackle

Why does this even matter? Rossouw did enough to make Cueto's foot touch the line. It was a try saving intervention, whether it would have "technically" counted as a tackle or a missed tackle is not even relevant.

Apr 29, 2020, 10:06

Obviously I looked at the real situation and the rest are dreaming.  I may be wrong on the try -but definitely not on the tackle attempt by Steyn.   There was no rushing up by Steyn as Mozart alleges - a real make believe attempt to cover for Steyn,    Tait ran at east ten meters with the ball before getting to and running past Steyn,   It was a miserably poor tackle attempt by Steyn,  

I did not look at the shortened version or highlight package  I looked at the full game,  I believe that the ball was already scored when the leg went out and the KNEE touched the sideline. It could not have been the foot.  Both feet was in the air - the knees were bent with the feet in the air.  - so if anything touched the sideline - it was the left knee - not any of the feet.

As Pakie said - the English never scored a try in 2007 - but with a much better backline in 2019 they never scored a try either,   There never was in 2019 any case debatable like there was in 2007.  There were no reviews if he 2019 final as to a try situation by the English  like there was in 2007.   

Be it as it may - the rest of the summing up by me was basically correct and not even disputed by anybody,   The English controlled the scrums and breakdowns - which was not the case in 2019.   

The Springbok backline of 2019 showed much more flair in 2019 than they did in 2007 and the fact that they scored two tries proved  the difference.   Kolbe and Mapimpi on the wing did twice as much in the game than the 2007 wings did.   And the kicking out of hand game was not really up to standard,   Constantly trying to kick long kicks downfield not finding touch with inadequate follow ups were definitely not on.  

I found the game frustrating to watch - it was just not the best final I ever saw - comparing it with the 1995 final the latter one was much better than the 2007 one too. - with the players showing much more flair than the 2007 players displayed.  

I once wrote on site that after comprehensively beating the English team  36 - 0 in the round robin stage of the tournament - when the Jones impact was clear -  the game plan of White took over and the Springboks tried to beat the English team by playing them at their own game of  ten man rugby and the forwards did come short,   In that I was correct when looking at the full game.   The English forwards dominated the Springbok forwards in virtually everything bar the line-outs.

We had so many attacks by especially Mozart and  AO on the 2019 players and coach that I thought a comparisons should be made between the two finals to see what the real comparison between the two finals would look like  and in fact the situation was precisely as I outlined.  The Springboks were lucky to win the 2007 final - they were easily the best team on the field in 2019.    The other problem with the English team was that they were basically handicapped by their reliance on players from their 1999 and 2003 squads with many of their top players like Wilkinson, Robertson and Catt for example being not on the same form level as they were in their prime.

Recently there was an opinion pole on which of the three coaches in charge were the best and the findings were by an over-whelming margin that it was Erasmus - followed by Christie and the worst rating was in respect of White.  The general public apparently shared my opnion as To the team performance in 2007 compared to the 1995 and 2019 ones.        



Apr 29, 2020, 10:56

His foot clipped the line before it went into the air. By the time his knee clipped the line he had grounded the ball.

Not a good effort by Steyn on Tait.

Apr 29, 2020, 11:21

As I said with modern technology it may be a lot clearer than it was in 2007.   I believe after that incident the camera angles were adjusted to stop uncertainty on touching of the the ball carrier - if the foot did touch the line it did so before the Rossouw tackle attempt- not during and after the tackle attempt..   

However the issue I really dealt with was more the question of the tackle attempt by Rossouw, of which much was made of after the match.   I really doubt whether it was as effective as it was made out to be after the game.     .       

Apr 29, 2020, 11:56

This is one of the most disgraceful posts I have seen yet. Lügnerin will tarnish entire eras of Bok rugby, with some of its greatest achievements in order to raise his unrequited love Josè Erasmusó up to the heavens. Shameful. 

Apr 29, 2020, 12:38

No dimness - tarnishing was nothing - reality is what counts.   The English dominated the scrums and the breakdown situation in the 2007 test - even a blind man would see that clearly.   None of the forwards were up to standard - bar Matfiekd and  Bakkies in the line-outs,

The fact is that the out of hand kicking was poor and the follow-ups worse - too slow to be effective.   The ball skills were below par as well.

I was looking exactly what happened in the game - the most glaring example was the scrums going backwards every time.   The control of the English at breakdowns were evident as well.   I could name other examples than I did also.   

Let me be clear - I looked at the game objectively and did not imagine things like you did,  I dealt only with that game - not the career performances of the players overall.   

Was I fair - probably so.   In the earlier Tri-Nations games against New Zealand and Australia in 2007 the results were as follows:-

Against New Zealand   

 Both games were lost against New Zealand  - scores 26-21 and  33-6 respectively

Against Australia  

Won 1 game 22 - 19 and lost the other one 25 - 17

In 2008 the picture was very much the same:-

Against New Zealand   

 Won the 1 game 30 - 28  lost the other one 19 -0

Against Australia  

Lost both games  with scores of 16 - 9  and   27 - 15 respecctively

In 8 games played in the Tri-nations in 2007 and 2008 the Springboks lost 6 and won only 2.  That to my mind confirmed that there were deficiencies in the Springbok team that was exposed by both Australia and New Zealand in the RC - but was evident against Tonga and  Fiji in the WC and not used to the maximum by the English in the final.   

 If I was tarnishing the players of  2007 - what are you doing in tarnishing the names of the 2019 team and the present coaching set-up?   At least I have some real grounds for criticizing the 2007 team - you just lie outright about the 2019 team  If anybody needs to be SHAMEFUL you are the real qualifier for it,        

Apr 29, 2020, 16:06

“ Posted by: clevermike (41019 posts)

Apr 29, 2020, 11:21

As I said with modern technology it may be a lot clearer than it was in 2007.   I believe after that incident the camera angles were adjusted to stop uncertainty on touching of the the ball carrier - if the foot did touch the line it did so before the Rossouw tackle attempt- not during and after the tackle attempt..   

Apr 29, 2020, 16:22


For me it was not clear what happened from the angles I saw on the English version of the broadcast.   Thanks for the video clip you posted,  

What I said about the incident is obviously wrong about the issue about touching of the line - but Mozart assertion that a foot touch the line was also wrong - it always was the knee and not the foot.   He was also totally wrong about the poor tackle attempt of Steyn,   

Anyway the real point of the tread was not concentrated on that issue only - the more important part had to do with the scrumming and breakdown issues,    

Apr 29, 2020, 17:14

Uhmmmm. It actually was his foot that touched the line. His knee didn’t even touch the line  

Apr 29, 2020, 17:20


Apr 29, 2020, 17:32


Thanks for that second pic it as not obvious in the first pic either.   .     

Apr 29, 2020, 17:46

Glad that I could end almost thirteen years of emotional agony, thinking that we did not deserve the win. 

Apr 29, 2020, 17:51


You obviously was talking total BS about the Steyn missed tackle on Tait,   It was a poor attempt and inexcusable,    Steyn missed at least two other tackles in the game as well.

The rest of your comments are about as senseless as can only be expected from you. As far as I am concerned the Springboks was extremely lucky in winning the WC taking into account -

*   the substandard geriatric team of the English in 2007; and 

*   not having the meet the AB's and Wallabies in the series,

The latter two teams wiped the floor with the Springboks in the Tri-nations in both 2007 and 2008.    To think that you like Meyer wanted players from 2007 in the WC squad  in 2015 actually showed  100% stupidity and is a great joke as well  - LMAO.                    

Apr 29, 2020, 18:12


It was just logical stemming from what I saw in the games against Tonga and Fiji  which were poor performance against minion teams.   I obviously did not see the angles you posted - so I accepted it that I was wrong about that issue.      .

I was always a loyal Springbok supporter and never was agonizing over anything,  I as delighted by the world cup win, bit it was only when I analyzed what really happened I realized how lucky the team was in winning the WC 2007,   

Unlike Mozart and AO I never posted endless garbage what happened in 2007 like they do about what happened in 2019,

The other thing which I believe is a fact is that the English team of 2019 was a much stronger  team than they had in 2007,  The great English players they had was a bit over-the hill by 2007,  Any thoughts on that one,         

Apr 29, 2020, 18:35

‘....not having the meet the AB's and Wallabies in the series’ .

Well let’s see we didn’t meet the Wallabies in WC 2019, but we did meet the ABs and lost. 

Try again.

Apr 29, 2020, 18:47

Yet despite the  AB loss we won the WC.   The fact is the team in  2018 and 2019 was very competitive with the two teams named - the 2006 to 2008 Springboks were NOT. 

So the AB's lost badly against the English and we beat the English team by 20  points,  Enough said,  Even the AB's admitted after the game that if they had to face the Springboks in the final playing in the way they did - the Springboks probably would have beaten them,   

Apr 29, 2020, 19:01

So we've had a couple of good calls in two World Cups.95' semi and 07' final.Suppose we can forget that Brycy of 2011 then against the Aussies.....

Apr 29, 2020, 19:20

“ Posted by: clevermike (41026 posts)

Apr 29, 2020, 18:12


It was just logical stemming from what I saw in the games against Tonga and Fiji  which were poor performance against minion teams. “

Minions team photo:

Apr 29, 2020, 19:37

"A predictable hit job on the 2007 team, and given how many supposed mistakes they made according to you, it’s amazing we were relatively comfortable 9 point winners."

Moz if you change the year to 2019 and the winning margin to 20, then this statement directly contradicts your views on Rassie and the winning margin of his team. 

Apr 29, 2020, 19:40


I went to France in 2007 as a total supporter of the Springboks as I still am.  I must admit - I loved the England Round Robin game - they were sublime,  The same cannot be said about two  subsequent minion games against Tonga and Fiji - the Springboks struggled in those two games - it was not good enough at all.   

I did watch replays of the 2007 final and watched it again in Monday,  Bearing in mind  the endless attacks of Mozart and AO on the 2019 team coach and players, I looked at the game more critically that I did in the past.   In fact I realized now than there were weaknesses in the 2007 team which I did not realize then,   

I was wrong about the  Rossouw tackle issue - but correct about the rest and admitted as much p but the rest was true and I was never part if the selective player and coach attack group  and ised the forum straightly what happened in 2007,                

Apr 29, 2020, 19:53

Bloo......just for yooo:

Springbok game in years

Forum » Rugby » The Best Springbok game in years 

Nov 02, 2019, 19:33

Now that was what we were asking for. Not the dull tactics that barely won the Welsh test, but a softening up followed by some excellent running rugby. Perhaps the Welsh test was a rope a dope tactic, or perhaps Rassie realized we had to take a few chances.

The test was won with the massive defensive stand in the first half.....and by the Beast's total destruction of Coles. He did it in  the British Lions series as well. So many questioned his selection ahead of Kitshoff, but he is the best loosehead in the game.

Vermeulen was, however, the rightful man of the match. Massive brave runs, secure kickoff receptions.....unmoveable on the deck. And there were those who wanted a Deysel twin.

Losing Lomp for Mostert, was no problem either, as Mostert was huge in the goal line defence.

Big games also by Etzebeth, Malherbe, and even Kolisi. 

And really all the backs were good today. Allende was solid apart from a bad miss on May in the English in  goal. Am showed great touch in the Mapimpi try. And while Kolbe's try was huge, even better was his  smother tackle on Lawes when England had a big overlap. Willie found his mojo  with one smart early break and fine general fullback play.

But defence was the core of this win.....England, who made a huge mistake playing Ford against this Bok defence, simply had no clue what to do by the second half. They needed Farrell at 10 and Tuilagi at 12. But by the time they made the switch, the Boks were dominant

I was delighted that we were able to score two fine tries to underscore the win.....something we were criticized for not doing in our other WCs. Scoring those tries provided the high the crowd needed.

Our return to success has come  from a rejection of the expansive game and a return to traditional Bok rugby.....with massive defence and physicality. But while last week's performance was dull and risk we added the second bit......subdue and then penetrate!

Well done Rassie that was a master  class. If the Boks stick with this formula we can get back to where we were before our dog.

Apr 29, 2020, 20:11

You started that way and turned nasty afterwards,   I thought that you saw the light at last but unfortunately not continued with.

Apr 29, 2020, 20:25

The above post from last year was refreshing indeed...and accurate to boot...

Apr 29, 2020, 21:53

Ag well, I might have had a few Pharaoh hardening of the heart (if not the arteries) moments afterwards.....but I was in my Springbok shirt flying high on the day.

Apr 30, 2020, 04:23

Mine did the same after all what I saw and may both of us were at fault.   However. I saw how much better on the day De Allende was than Steyn and Du Toit than Smith after looking at both matches and seeing the amount of garbage about those two players  and Erasmus on site after the 2019 final,  

Apr 30, 2020, 20:30

Watched that Fiji quarter final....very close 15 min left on the clock and Fiji nearly scored to go maybe 7 points up.Some great kicking gave us territory and Juan Smit peeled of a maul to score brillantly.

Apr 30, 2020, 20:40

Similar to the Wales semi in 2019...almost like white line frver...need to concentrate very hard not to mess up so close to the final.

In 2011 we were too complacent against the Wallies...a bit more urgency and a slightly different approach might have pulled us through. 

Apr 30, 2020, 20:45

And in 1999 and 2015 we were so very close too...only 2003 was a poor show. In hind sight...Boks play more to their potential during RWC's.

Apr 30, 2020, 21:53

World Cups are played very conservatively, that makes the contest more of an arm wrestle....suits the Boks. In the old days the big tests were played very similarly...again suiting us. The modern game where tests are devalued and played as an entertainment suits the ABs.

May 01, 2020, 07:53

It's impossible to the volume and kind of mistakes Steph and Damian make in the 2007 squad. The 2019 side had two real challenges and lost the first. It was a little bit like the England Fifa World Cup schedule in 2018 in that way. 

May 01, 2020, 09:45

The problem with the arm-wrestling approach was that rugby near to totally lost the appeal if had from a viewer perspective which became more and more apparent,  

Teams lost the real objective of the game - namely the scoring of tries and the emphasis since about the period shifted from that to winning games by kicking at goal, either by penalty conversions and dropped goals.

I referred to that elsewhere when I referred to the 1997 British and Ireland Lions  to SA, when ion 3 tests the Lions scored 3 tries, only,   This was not the situation prior to the start of the WC in 1987,  but after that started the deficient number of tries showed a decline and that had to be arrested since it affected especially TV viewership.    Through the years the point system was used to pout the emphasis back on scoring of tries.   Initially a try scored was awarded 1 point and the conversion counted more,   Over the years the try score value increased until at present is 5 with a conversion 2 points added.  In fact a team nowadays needs to convert three kicks at goal to  beat  one converted try,  

The rules were in 2008 changed to make scoring of tries having more emphasis and turning the game from being a kicking contest to a better mix of scoring of tries and of kicking at goal,   that presented a problem of adjustment in the game and the emphasis was moved from the 10 man game rugby became to a 15 man game, where the ball skills of all the players - backs as well as forwards - were to be enhanced and  a cleverer game was to be played to outwit the opposition,  Kicking also had to be adjusted to ensure that it is strategic and part of a vessel to score tries.   

The adjustment needed was not implemented easily.  South Africa and the NH teans did nit adjust to allow for any change in the playing style at all until 2015, while New Zealand led the way and became the world leaders in playing of rugby,  as a game,  They set the trend, followed by Australia and Argentina while the NH teams plunged to a new low when in 2015 there was  no NH team in the WC semi's.   That year the Springboks scored no tries in  the semi and lost the game against the AB's who scored 14 points through tries and the rest were penalties.  

After 2015 the NH teams changed tack and the first signs were the appointment of SH coaches by Ireland, Wales and England.   The teams started to play comprehensive 15 man rugby with the emphasis still be on the previous strength in Tight 5 play.   There was massive growth in NH rugby as a result,

Rugby in SA was in paralysis since the  late 1980's and the return to test rugby in 1992 showed a team with a chronic inability to score sufficient tries.  There was a brief change in 1997-98 when the Du Plessis initiative to put the emphasis on try scoring was implemented and better techniques were applied,  Mallett continued with the process and it resulted in the winning of 17 tests in a row - 16 of which was when he was the Springbok coach,   The problem started when he had to start replacing players from the "Du Plessis squad and teach them the skills and methods Du Plessis emphasized.   He failed in that,

The next coach was White and to his credit realized there was a deficiency in the Springbok game and brought in Eddie Jones to help out in the 2007 WC and there were some signs that the move helped the Springboks, but what was clear was the skill set of players were too set to have a major impact.  That accounts for the inability of the Springboks to score tries in the 2007 final.

White was followed by three below par coaches incapable of coaching anything new,   In his whole coaching period as coach under Meyer the Springboks beat the AB's only once in Johannesburg in 2014.   The backline and loose forward situation was pathetic under Meyer as well.   After the departure of Meyer two years of total disaster under Coetzee followed.  
Then the President and CEO of SA  Rugby specially flew to Ireland to try and convince Erasmus to come back to SA  to coach the Springboks.

Erasmus insisted on a few issues before taking control of the Springbok teams.  He insisted that -
*   that he be appointed as Director of Rugby and that he would have a decisive say in appointment of coaching staff and team selection; 

*   he would take the job only if he could have Nienaber and Felix Jones in the coaching squad - Nienaber was appointed immediately and Jones followed a year later;

*   that there be no Selection Committee in place and that restrictions as to usage of SA players playing for NH clubs be relaxed.

SA rugby was in such a mess that the SA Board  accepted all three conditions.  Other than  Proudfoot the coaching staff was changed and the latter also left in December 2019 when the English paid a fortune for his services and SA Rugby was unable to retain him.  That being said the conditions laid down by Erasmus caused a change in both the playing style and game plan usage.   Nienaber quoted  in anther thread why there was a deficiency in the coaching, but the other problem was the fact that players themselves had to adjust and that effected the 2018 performances.  

By 2019 most problems were eliminated and the players and the team showed through performance that they bought into the game plan.   Many examples could be quoted if the balanced approach followed by Erasmus - while forward domination remained important the emphasis changed to playing comprehensive rugby.   There was a sharp increase in scoring if tries and that was influenced by both forwards and essentially also having advanced skills development.   

That being said the Springboks in 2019 was for the first time since re-admission showing that indeed they can be the top rugby-playing nation in the world,  The margin of victory in the final tells a real story as to what happened in SA Rugby over the last two years,   For the first time in three rugby finals the Springboks scored two tries and in both forwards played a role - so much so that ESPN awarded Du Toit with a try assist in the Kolbe try, 

I personally think that there will likely be no further rugby played in 2020 due to the coronavirus and we will have to wait and see what happens next year.    I think Nienaber is correct when he said that despite the Erasmus methodology the Springboks will probably still lose some matches in future - but that would become a rarity.

In a way I agree with the latest comments of Mozart, but the fact is that more than an arm-wrestle is required in rugby - it essentially must also include the ability and skill sets to play "clever rugby", thus outwitting the opposition.                          


May 01, 2020, 18:08

Rugby lost it’s appeal in the old days? And the empty stadiums these days are evidence of renewed appeal.....let’s have some logic .....puleeeze!

May 01, 2020, 20:20

Mozart for every 1 viewer in the stand  there is a 1000 watching it on TV and it was the 1000 that was shrinking.  That was the finding of World Rugby at the time and widely mentioned as a reason for the rule changes in 2008.    The latest WC final had viewer numbers as much as 1,8 billion world wide,   

Although there is atmosphere at the stadiums rugby  watching is nowadays mainly on TV and the TV channels largely fund professional sport - inclusive of rugby.  

May 01, 2020, 21:37

Which proves my point....huge interest in real contests like the WC, with super tight games like the Welsh semi. No interest in Super Rugby, the poster child for ‘new’ rugby.

People want meaningful contests and real rugby....if they want to only watch running rugby, they would watch 7s.

May 01, 2020, 23:17


We are not talking Super Rugby here - World Rugby deals with TEST rugby.  

Nobody on earth wants tests to turn into running rugby.   You seem to think that comprehensive rugby imply only running rugby and not all components of rugby,  Forward play is still 100% applicable,  but with the additional skills be involved in ball handling and usage - linking play between backs and especially the loosies becomes prominent as a means to punch holes in opposition defense - strategic kicking is an essential requirement .   

What you apparently still believe is that scoring of tries is not important and that backline players are on the field only to defend,   Even Meyer said that the SA backline players do not have the ball skills to play ball in hand rugby - idiocy supreme.         

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top