Springbok Pieter-Steph Du Toit Shocked By England’s “Crazy” Rugby World Cup Final Tactics
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Springboks flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit has revealed he was absolutely shocked by England’s “crazy” Rugby World Cup final tactics that made him think they had the game won within 10 minutes of kick-off.
Eddie Jones’ side ran the ball from their own try-line in the opening minutes and saw several high-risk passes go to ground as they looked to come out of the blocks similar to their semi-final win against the All Blacks.
But the Springboks came at England with much more physicality than New Zealand did, forcing Jones’ side into a number of errors.
In the end, Rassie Erasmus’ side went on to prevail 32-12 to lift the William Webb Ellis Cup for a record-equalling third time.
“For me, when I realised that we’ve got them, they were behind their own tryline and started running from there, and threw a 20 or 30-metre pass,” Du Toit said at the launch of Chasing The Sun, a five-part series following the Boks on their road to World Cup glory.
“I thought ‘Listen, are you guys crazy! This is a World Cup final, and you don’t play like this.’”
“The other one was when (Billy) Vunipola picked up at the back of the scrum and ran into Damian de Allende and Handre Pollard, and he just threw the ball away and no one caught the ball.
“It just showed that we were quite physical in that game, and that they were quite afraid of us. That’s what the plan was at the end of the day.”
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Episode 6 has arrived. 🎧 – Jason & Jamie Heaslip look back at the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals and ahead to this weekend's final. 🏆 – Monday Night Rugby. 🤔 – Stormers, Bulls, Lions and Sharks on their way to a new PRO16? 👀 – Tadhg Beirne on what Munster must do to improve on last season and returning to Thomond Park. 👊🏻 – Stuart Lancaster on the English vs Irish teams power game debate. 💪🏻 – Johann van Graan on Joey Carbery and Munster's goals for this season. 🏉 – And much more. 🙌🏻 Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more.
Prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira added that the opening-round defeat to the All Blacks had made the players wonder whether were good enough to go all they way. But the belief instilled by Rassie Erasmus made them change their tune.
“After we lost to New Zealand, Rassie told us that we are still going to win this World Cup. Despite not starting on the right step, he put that belief in us. Sitting in that change room, most of the guys had doubts,” Mtawarira said.
“But having your coach tell you that you are going to win this World Cup – even though we lost – was so big for the team. He told us that we only have four big games left to hold the trophy: Italy, quarter-final, semi-final and final. Our whole mentality shifted, and we just started to believe.”