The Springboks’ Pieter-Steph du Toit says that he felt within ten minutes of the Rugby World Cup final that South Africa would be crowned champions.
“The moment in the final I realised ‘look I think we have got them’ was when they started running from behind their own tryline,” said the flanker Du Toit in an interview with the BBC.
“The other was when Vunipola ran into Damian de Allende and Handre Pollard and just threw the ball away.
“I just thought, ‘are you guys crazy? This a World Cup final, you don’t play like this’
“We were quite physical in that game and they were quite afraid of us. That was what the plan was.”
JOIN THE RUCK:
The worst England XV of all-time
Fullback: Mark Van Gisbergen
Yes, he has a cap – only a fleeting one, as a late replacement for Mark Cueto against Australia in 2005 – but he does boast a 100% winning ratio in international colours, so you can’t knock that. His main strengths were dropping the high ball under limited pressure and getting gassed on the outside.
Winger: Barrie-Jon Mather
He became the first player to represent Great Britain in Rugby League and England in Union. His move to union was part funded by the RFU, who were embarking on a strategy of converting some of leagues best talent. However, Mather struggled to make an impact with Sale and moved back to Castleford in 2000. In spite of his poor form with Sale, Clive Woodward gave Mather his debut against Wales in the famous Grand Slam decider in 1999. However, Mather never played for England again after Wales won the game 32-31, following Scott Gibbs’ superb try.
Centre: Joel Tomkins
Tomkins began his League career with Wigan in 2005 and outside of a short stint with the Widnes Vikings in 2007, played with the Warriors until moving to Saracens in 2011. While Tomkins initially struggled to adapt to union, but his form during the beginning of the 2013/14 season saw him earn an England cap against Australia in November 2013. Although he went on to make two further international appearances, he looked completely out of his depth and returned to league soon after.