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And the award goes to ...

As with many high calibre tournaments, the history books were always going to be rewritten. New Zealand claimed all the plaudits with their unbeaten run while the tier two nations proved they have what it takes to compete with the best in the business.


We take a look at the performances which caught our eye!

Player of the Tournament: Dan Carter

The All Black flyhalf claimed the majority of the nominations and rightly so, his contribution to his team's success was remarkable and proved that he remains the world's best flyhalf. If ever there was a "how to be the best flyhalf" book, it would be written with him in mind.

Forward of the Tournament: David Pocock

And the award goes to ...Being moved to the back of the scrum enhanced his reputation as the best loose forward in the world. They say a picture paints a thousand words and this phrase perfectly sums him up, just look at any photograph of him after the final –  two bruised eyes and a bloody nose.

Back of the Tournament: Santiago Cordero


The Argentine wing emerged as one of the most deadly finishers in the tournament. Don't agree? Just as Georgia, who were on the wrong end of a 60 sprint of pure pace and elusive stepping, as well as every other team he played against – especially the 31 players who failed to tackle him.

Team of the Tournament: All Blacks

It just has to be the winners, right? Not only did the All Blacks become the first team to win the tournament on three occasions and the first team to defend their title but the manner in which they did it was something to behold.

They cruised their way through the pool phase, with many people believing they looked vulnerable and beatable. But then, they burst into a new dimension in their massive quarterfinal victory over France and the world knew there would be no stopping them. They were simply flawless.


Match of the Tournament: South Africa 32-34 Japan

The opening match of Pool B will go down as one of the biggest upsets in the history of sport. The Springboks were meant to just pitch up on the day and the five points would be there's – at least that is what the world thought.

Japan played the perfect game and showed just how far they have come under Eddie Jones, to claim a two-point victory over the two-time champions.

Try of the Tournament: DTH van der Merwe v Italy

With 271 tries scored, this was always going to be the most hotly contested award. Bernard Foley's sublime score against England failed to grab a mention while Japan's match winner against the Springboks popped its head up. No-one will ever forget Julian Savea running over three French defenders in the quarterfinal as well.

However, it was a minnow nation's South African-born DTH van der Merwe who grabs the honours with a try that started on his 22 with him skinning three Italian defenders.

Moment of the Tournament: Sonny Bill Williams giving his winners medal to a fan

There were plenty of feel good moments that will forever be etched in the minds of those who were fortunate enough to see it. Romanian scrumhalf Florin Surugiu went down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend after his side's loss to Ireland – she said yes. Following the Japan loss, the Springbok fans gave their Japanese counterparts a standing ovation on the tube – massive respect.

However, we could not look further than All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams giving a teenage fan his gold medal, after the young man was flattened by a security guard.

Surprise of the Tournament: Japan

There is no surprise here that the Land of the Rising Sun grabbed the honours here after they became the only team in the history of the competition to not advance to the knock-out stages after picking up three group stage victories.

The victory over the Springboks was by far the highlight of their tournament.

Disappointment of the Tournament: England

England became the first host nation in the history of the competition to not make it out of the pool stage. Victories over Fiji and Uruguay counted for very little as they were upstaged by Australia and Wales, respectively.

Referee of the Tournament: Nigel Owens

Joined an exclusive club of individuals who have officiated the World Cup final – just reward for the man considered by many to be the best in the business.And the award goes to ...

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