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2019 Rugby World Cup Final
International Stadium Yokohama hosted the match
|Event||2019 Rugby World Cup|
|Date||2 November 2019|
|Venue||International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama|
|Player of the match||Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)|
|Referee||Jérôme Garcès (France)|
The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match played on 2 November 2019 at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. It marked the culmination of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and was played between England and South Africa, a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.
The match saw South Africa claim their third Rugby World Cup title with a 32–12 victory, with tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe adding to six penalties and two conversions from Handré Pollard. The official player of the match was South Africa's number eight, Duane Vermeulen.
Route to the final
|Pool C||Pool stage||Pool B|
|Tonga||35–3||Match 1||New Zealand||13–23|
|United States||45–7||Match 2||Namibia||57–3|
England reached the final after topping their pool with bonus point wins against Tonga, the United States and Argentina. Their final group match against France was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis and was recorded as a scoreless draw. In the quarter-finals, England played Australia at Oita Stadium, Ōita. England won 40–16 thanks to two tries from Jonny May and one each from Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson, all converted by Owen Farrell, who also added four penalties. In the semi-final at Yokohama Stadium, England played the reigning champions New Zealand. England beat the All Blacks 19–7, breaking New Zealand's 18-match winning streak at World Cups, with a try from Manu Tuilagi converted by Farrell, and four penalties from George Ford. This was England's fourth appearance in a World Cup final, having last been world champions in 2003. They had also reached the final in 1991, when they lost to Australia, and 2007, losing to South Africa. Prior to the Final, England called up Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer as a late replacement for Willi Heinz who had suffered a hamstring injury during the semi-final against New Zealand. England named an unchanged starting team for the final.
South Africa's World Cup campaign began with a loss to New Zealand in their opening match in the pool, but they followed it up with bonus-point wins over Namibia, Canada and Italy to progress in second place in Pool B. In the quarter-finals, they played the hosts Japan, winning 26–3 through two tries from Makazole Mapimpi and one from Faf de Klerk, with one conversion and three penalties from Handré Pollard. In the semi-final, they played Wales and won 19–16 due to a converted try from Damian de Allende and four penalties from Pollard, including the match-winner in the 76th minute. This was South Africa's third appearance in the World Cup final, following victories over New Zealand on home soil in 1995 and England in France in 2007. South Africa made only one change for the final with Cheslin Kolbe replacing S'busiso Nkosi on the right wing.
Player of the Match:
- Siya Kolisi (South Africa) earned his 50th test cap.
- François Steyn (South Africa) became the second Springbok player to win two World Cups. The first, Os du Randt, was on the Boks' victorious 1995 team and was also a teammate of Steyn in 2007.
- Jérôme Garcès became the first French referee to take charge of a Rugby World Cup final.
- South Africa became the first Southern Hemisphere team to win The Rugby Championship (previously the Tri Nations) and the Rugby World Cup in the same year.
- South Africa became the first team to win the Rugby World Cup having lost a match during the pool stage.
- This was the first final in which South Africa scored a try, and the one in which they scored the most points, more than they had in their previous two finals combined. It was also the most points England had scored in a final when finishing on the losing side.
- England and South Africa became the third pair of nations to face each other on two separate occasions in a World Cup final (previously having contested the 2007 final) after England and Australia (1991 and 2003), as well as France and New Zealand (1987 and 2011).
- South Africa are the only nation to have contested at least one World Cup final never to have lost.
- England joined France on a record three losses in World Cup finals.
- This victory meant South Africa climb to the top of the World Rugby Rankings for the first time since 2009, it also meant England dropped to third. South Africa were the fifth team to top the rankings in 2019, with New Zealand, Ireland, Wales and England all reaching number 1 at various points between June and November.
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