The Rugby World Cup has given us some amazing entertainment over the past 35 years, so we thought we’d scour the Rugby World Cup news archives to create a rundown of our favourite matches.
1. Australia vs. New Zealand, 1991
This was the first ever Rugby World Cup final, and it did not disappoint. The match went down to the wire, with Australia ultimately winning by just a single point, 12-11. The game was characterized by its intense physicality, with both teams giving everything they had. This set the tone for future Rugby World Cup finals, and remains one of the most iconic matches in the history of the tournament.
2. South Africa vs. New Zealand, 1995
This was the first Rugby World Cup final to be held in South Africa, and it was a momentous occasion. The match was extremely close, with South Africa eventually winning 15-12. This was an emotional victory for South Africa, as it marked their first ever Rugby World Cup title. The game is also remembered for the iconic image of Nelson Mandela wearing a Springboks jersey, which symbolized the healing power of sport.
3. England vs. Australia, 2003
This was one of the most intense matches Rugby World Cup history, as England pipped Australia in the final by a score of 20-17. England were simply unstoppable in this match, and their victory was greeted with jubilation back home. This was the first time that England had won the Rugby World Cup, a feat that they could unfortunately not repeat when they attempted to retain the title in 2007.
4. New Zealand vs. France, 2011
This was one of the most controversial Rugby World Cup finals in history, as New Zealand narrowly beat France 8-7. The match was marred by an incident in which French winger Julien Malzieu was knocked out by a high tackle from New Zealand’s Ma’a Nonu. This led to a mass brawl between the two teams, and the match was only decided in the final minutes. This was New Zealand’s second Rugby World Cup title, and they would go on to retain their crown in 2015.
5. New Zealand vs. Australia, 2015
In 2015 we were treated to another classic match between these two fierce rivals. New Zealand narrowly won the match by a score of 34-17, but Australia put up a brave fight. This was New Zealand’s third Rugby World Cup title, and they became the first team to successfully defend their crown.
6. England vs. New Zealand, 2019
The semi-final of the 2019 world cup gave us an encounter between England and New Zealand. England dominated the match from start to finish, and eventually won by a score of 19-7. This was a sweet victory for England, as they avenged their loss to New Zealand in the 2015 final.
7. Japan vs. Scotland, 2019
This was one of the most surprising results in Rugby World Cup history, as Japan stunned Scotland by a score of 28-21. This was a massive upset, as Scotland were one of the favourites to win the tournament. This was a watershed moment for Japanese rugby, as it showed that they could compete with the best teams in the world.
What would you add to the list? Drop us a comment!