By scoring 16 points in the small final won against Argentina, English fly-half Owen Farrell rose to the top of the best scorers of this World Cup with 75 points, a very small unit in front of the back of the Blues, Thomas Ramos (74). In 2015, the Saracens player had already scored 43 points and, four years ago in Japan, he finished in second place in this ranking (58 points) behind South African Handré Pollard (69). During this World Cup, the captain of the XV de la Rose entered the annals of English rugby by erasing from the shelves the record established by Jonny Wilkinson to become the best director in the history of the XV de la Rose (now 1,237 points against 1,179) .
It didn't amount to anything. To this oversight of his fly-half Richie Mo'unga, who forgot it to score in a corner against the Argentinian Pumas. Without this, Will Jordan could have become the best try scorer in a World Cup edition. In the final, he remained silent against the Springboks. His counter therefore remained stuck at eight tries. The All Blacks winger failed to do better than his compatriots Jonah Lomu (1999) and Julian Savea (2015) as well as Bryan Habana (2007), the former South African arrow. See you in four years, in Australia, for Will Jordan?
Forever the first. South Africa won its fourth world title on Saturday. Knowing that the Boks were only allowed to participate in world games from 1995 (after the end of apartheid), they have therefore won four crowns in eight editions. One out of two. They also managed to retain their title, something only the All Blacks managed to do in 2011 and 2015. Also note that the South Africans won half of their titles at the Stade de France (2007 and 2023). Like at home.
Certainly, the Springboks won in the final against the All Blacks. But, for the first time in four finals, they conceded a try, which had never happened to them in 1995, 2007 and 2019. In the 59th minute of the match, Beauden Barrett, at the end of the line, indeed found the flaw in the South African defense, following a magnificent jump pass from Jordie Barrett and a little festival from Mark Telea. Insufficient to force the destiny of his team... Note, moreover, that Beauden Barrett, voted best player in the world in 2016 and 2017, became the first player to score in two World Cup finals, after scoring a try at the end of the match against the Wallabies in 2015.
At the kick-off of this All Blacks-Springboks final, there were 10 South Africans lined up at the kick-off of the 2019 final against England. In the end, nineteen Boks present in the group became double world champions, after defeating New Zealand. A sign of the enormous experience within the team made up of Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus, respectively coach and director of rugby for the Boks.
Courageous captain of the All Blacks, Sam Cane will remain - sadly - in the annals of the World Cup. The New Zealand flanker became the first player to receive a red card in a final. For a shock against the head of South African center three-quarter Jesse Kriel, from the 26th minute. “I let myself get caught. I know that the head is a heavily guarded area. I’m going to have to live with this forever,” he confided, beaten, in a post-match press conference. A harsh decision, especially since Eben Etzebeth could have received the same sanction for a similar gesture...
This is definitely the big failure of this World Cup. For the first time in its history, Australia, the historic nation of this sacred sport in 1991 and 1999, did not make it past the group stage. Arriving in complete decline in France and lacking results, the Wallabies - certainly rejuvenated - were unable to reverse the trend. Just like Eddie Jones, called to the rescue, who was unable to restart forward gear. And the former mentor of Japan and England submitted his resignation on Sunday, arguing that he did not have the means to make this team competitive within four years. Everything needs to be rebuilt for Australia, which will host the next World Cup in 2027. World Cup was recently concerned about this bad situation for the next host country. This should not help rugby union to break through on the island continent where “footy” (or called Australian rules) and rugby union reign supreme.
This tenth World Cup will have been a popular success for France 2023. With full stadiums, even for the less prestigious posters. The organizers revealed that 2.5 million tickets were sold for this second World Cup organized in France after that of 2007. The (already very good) figures for the previous edition in Japan were improved by 6%. A real success. The organizers also revealed that nearly 600,000 foreign visitors came to France. For direct economic benefits which were estimated at 2 billion euros. And we can regret that Ireland did not go further in the competition, when we remember the green tides which swept over Paris during the matches against South Africa, in the group, and the All Blacks , in the quarter-finals.
Among the records that fell during this World Cup, there was that of... the greatest number of beers drunk. It was during the match between the Irish and the Scots on October 7 that nearly 137,000 pints were drunk, according to Midi Olympique. For comparison, an average of 80,000 pints are sold during Six Nations Tournament matches in Saint-Denis. In the Dyonisian enclosure, the record was until then relaxed, not by rugby supporters, but by fans of big, strong rock: 90,000 pints were in fact sold during a Metallica concert. Yeah!