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England: Rugby world cup champions

What an amazing game. What an amazing number of mistakes. What an amazing result. Jonny Wilkinson, can I have your babies, please? What a star. I’ve just aged about 300 years, watching the match, which went into overtime, and I’m just about to watch the post-match commentary, but what a sensational result. England. Rugby world cup champions. Fantastic.

Oh, and a few words for David Campese. No worries, mate.

And did those feeeeeet in ancient tiiiiimes...

24 comments to England: Rugby world cup champions

  • yellerGal

    How do you square libertarianism with the petty nationalism of this post? Especially since RU has been fully professional for some years now…

  • Brian Micklethwait


    What’s to square? Nobody died. England aren’t about to rule Western Australia on the strength of this. Petty nationalism is one of life’s petty pleasures. It’s the unpetty variety that you have to watch out for.

    Hurrah England!!

  • Brian Micklethwait

    Petty nationalist that I am, I’ve just done a piece for Ubersportingpundit about this great occasion, and great England win, here

  • Eamon Brennan

    Unfortunately there is no moment so sublime that the English cannot be depended up on to lower it.

    I have just watched the finest game of Rugby (either code) that I have ever had the pleasure to behold, The aftermath, unfortunately, was totally spoiled by the churlishness of the celebrations in the pub where I watched the game.

    I know you don’t have a lot of experience here, but the English really ought to learn to win with some grace.

    But that’s probably just wishful thinking.

    Eamon Brennan

  • A Massey

    We just don’t get enough practice 🙂

  • In the pub where I watched it, the crowd showed plenty of grace. At the ends we shook hands, the Australians congratulated the English, and both sets of supporters acknowledged that it had been a stupendous game of rugby. (My apologies to the lady whose foot I trod on when getting out of the crowded pub before the presentation, however). It was probably right that a goal from Wilkinson in the final seconds won it, as his goalkicking was the greatest individual skill we saw in the tournament. (Certainly I prefer losing like that to the tournament being decided by some silly goal shoot-out, which is what we would have seen if he had not done it. I will write something on the experience later, either here or the other place, but wow. Even though my team lost, what a wonderful morning. You watch a lot of sport for one occasion like this one. Although I should perhaps not drink three pints before lunchtime on an empty stomach.

    And Andy, I didn’t think the number of errors was excessive given the wet conditions. In the circumstances, I thought both sides played pretty well. And you English supporters should enjoy watching Wilkinson for the next few years. Players that good don’t come along often.

    And by all means take Western Australia, although Adam Gilchrist needs to return to New South Wales before it is handed over.

  • yellerGal: I agree with what Brian said… and the fact they are professional teams, rather than state funded organisations, just reinforces the fact this is in fact a social affair rather than a matter of nation-states (after all, England is not a nation-state, it is just a national region within one called the United Kingdom).

    Sports are the perfect outlet for the tribal impulses we all have from time to time.

  • Tony

    Gotta agree with Perry there, it helps to have these outlets for what could be nasty impulses.

    But come on YellerGal, even if you’re not into rugby, that was one hell of a game!

    Slightly OT, Chirac is saying this is “a victory for Europe”. Cheek!

  • Chris

    Eamon Brennan you are a pompous tw*t.

  • Eh? Win with some grace?

    The Aussies have been acting like a bunch of sore losers and whiners for a good month. Read an Aussie newspaper, it was just merciless, constant character assassination.

    I think in the face of such a background the team (both teams) behaved superbly.

  • Congratulations to England – that’s the second time they win a world championship in something, isn’t it? I mean, except for 1966… 😉

  • Yeah but besides sporting prowess what do Aussies have…not much really. They just lost to the Poms by a drop goal.

  • Shaun Bourke

    Rugby Union…….A football game for Ruffins played by Gentlemen.

    Soccer……A football game for Gentlemen played by Ruffins.

    This applies at ALL levels of the game…….any questions ??

  • Never mind all this nonsense.

    At least Chelsea beat Southampton.

    Naaaaaaah just kidding. Congratulations!!!


    The Ex-South African Yank

  • Brian Micklethwait


    The Australian I particularly had in mind when saying that they lost with good grace was Aussie captain George Gregan. His (immediately!) post-match interview was an extraordinary effort. It would have been dignified and eloquent under any circumstances. Under those, it was truly amazing. Martin Johnson said nothing wrong, but the basic thing he said was: well done everybody, and I’m far too puffed to say it properly. Fair enough. But Gregan did say it properly.

    As to the Aussia press coverage, see Michael Jennings’ comment on my previous piece here, to the effect that it hasn’t so much been the Aussie press whingeing, as the Pommy press whingeing about the Aussie press. Have you been reading the Aussie press direct, or have you merely been relying on the Pom press to tell you about it?

    As to the Europe thing, the point is: Northern Hemisphere. It matters a lot to rugby up here that the world champions will for the next four years be playing in the Six Nations, not down there. For decades, NZ/Australia/South Africa has felt like the dominant axis of rugby, as the first four World Cups confirmed (NZ, Aus, SA, Aus). Chirac is tapping in to a genuine rugby feeling.

    Remember how Twickenham cheered en masse for France against New Zealand in the 1999 semi-final so amazingly won by France with a purple passage of 33 (I think it was) unanswered second-half points.

    But you mustn’t read too much into this politically. If New Zealand played France at Wembley in the soccer world cup, Wembley would go mad for New Zealand if they made any sort of game of it.

  • How very English that in this, our greatest moment of national sporting triumph for 37 long, long years, we are discussing grace in victory. That surely says something for us.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am still on cloud nine after the win. Fantastic stuff to have done it to those sports-arrogant Aussies on THEIR OWN TURF! hahahahaha!
    Seriously though it was high time for a change, though no doubt Australia will be back.

    One thing stuck in my mind as I watched the sports television channels on Saturday. When a group of football commentators were asked initially to congratulate the rugby team before getting down to soccer, they looked almost embarrassed. Do I detect sense in which rugby, which fora while has operated in the shadows of super-rich soccer, could supplant soccer as our national game?

    once again, hahahahahah!

  • Verity

    I too thought the Aussie captain was absolutely superb in his impromptu comments. That, my friends, is true sporting elegance and frankly, is confined to the Anglosphere. The England captain was good in victory too, but Gregan’s spontaneous remarks, just a few minutes after his team lost, were a model of true sportsmanship.

    By the way, for those of you who missed it, Jacques Chirac hailed England’s win as “a victory for Europe”. Dans vos rêves, froggie boy!

  • Andy Duncan

    Verity writes:

    By the way, for those of you who missed it, Jacques Chirac hailed England’s win as “a victory for Europe”. Dans vos rêves, froggie boy!

    I rather think I know who I’d have been supporting in a France vs. Australia contest. I rather fear it wouldn’t have been the team in blue! 🙂

    Vive l’Anglosphere! 😉

  • We Wilkinson-Americans are proud of our strapping English brethren.

  • Talia Jackson

    We all love Rugby, and Jonny Wilkinson has done us proved that point, Rugby lives on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Talia Jackson

    We all love Rugby, and Jonny Wilkinson has proved that point!so let Rugby live on!!!!


  • Ciara Jackson

    Marry Me JONNY!!!!!!!

  • james muckmarn