In Paris in 2007, South Africa played England in the final of the Rugby World Cup and won 15-6. In Yokohama in 2019, South Africa are again playing England in the final of the Rugby World Cup.
When South Africa won the World Cup in 1995, they scored 15 points, all from the boot of Joel Stransky in a try-less final. In 2007, South Africa again scored 15 points, all from the boot in a try-less final.
In both of these matches, tackling made the victory possible. There were many tackles in both matches but three that stood out.
In 1995 big Jonah Lomu was, it seemed, pounding down the left to score, but Japie Mulder tackled him into touch.
In 2007, Mathew Tait broke and raced for the line, but big lock Victor Matfield tackled him short of the line. England went left to wing Mark Cueto who was over in the corner as big Danie Rossouw, usually a lock but playing No.8, tackled him.
The referee referred the incident to the TMO, Stuart Dickinson of Australia, who found that a trailing Cueto foot had gone into touch before he grounded the ball. No try.
That match was played at Stade de France on 20 October 2007, 12 years and 13 days before the Yokohama final.
South Africa’s had gone into the final as serious favourites after beating England 36-0 in their pool match.
All of the match’s 21 points came via penalties.
Percy Montgomery goaled: 3-0
Jonny Wilkinson goaled: 3-3
Montgomery goaled twice: 9-3, the half-time score.
The second half started with the break by Tait and the tackle by Matfield, followed by Rossouw’s tackle on Cueto and the TMO’s decision. But the referee had been playing advantage and went back to the penalty.
Wilkinson goaled: 9-6 after 42 minutes
Montgomery goaled: 12-6 after 48 minutes
Francois Steyn goaled: 15-6 after England were penalised just inside their own half.
In 1995, President Nelson Mandela had been a part of the Springbok victory.
In 2007, President Thabo Mbeki was on hand to celebrate on the field with the Springboks.
In 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa will be at the match.
For South Africa:
Pens: Montgomery 4, Steyn
Pens: Wilkinson 2
South Africa: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 François Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Danie Rossouw, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Os du Randt
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Johann Muller, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 André Pretorius, 22 Wynand Olivier,
Coach: Jake White
England: 15 Jason Robinson, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Mike Catt, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Phil Vickery (c), 2 Mark Regan, 1 Andrew Sheridan
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Lawrence Dallaglio, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Peter Richards, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Dan Hipkiss,
Coach: Brian Ashton
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assitant referees: Joël Jutge (France), Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
TMO: Stuart Dickinson (Australia), one of the referees at the World Cup who was given the job of being the TMO for the match