Monday, 15 October 2007

It's South Africa versus England

After more than five gruelling weeks of intense rugby, who could have predicted that 2 teams from Group A would filter through to the Final? The Springboks after having blanked England 36-0 in the Group Stage joined their rivals in the Final by defeating the Argentina Pumas, 37-13.

Although past record would count for nothing in a Final, I still I think the Boks will win. The English will have more fire in their bellies but the Boks have the edge in terms of talent. It should be an absorbing contest and my prediction is the margin will not be more than 7 points. However, my predictions in this World Cup have been anything but spot on.

I think the battle will be won or lost in the forwards and both sets are well matched. I watched the South Africa vs Argentina semi-final this morning and the talents of flying winger Bryan Habana were on full display. He is the young version of his opposition number, the inspiring Jason Robinson and it will be an interesting contest. Habana will make the difference in the Final.

Kickers Jonny Wilkinson and Percy Montgomery should cancel each other out though the side that gives away too many penalties will pay the price.

As reigning World Cup champion, England was certainly not the best team in the world over the last four years. An England victory this weekend would not be good for the Rugby World Cup as a competition.

If England does win, it will mean the cementing of the Legend of Jonny Wilkinson. It will be the stuff of rugby folklore and no other player today is more deserving than Wilkinson. Over the last decade, he has been an impeccable role model for Youth the world over.

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