England revels in World Cup glory


England revels in World Cup glory

Full match report
England’s historic 20-17 victory over Australia in the Rugby World Cup final has drawn praise from all quarters of the rugby world.
Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson secured the game for England with a last-gasp drop goal in extra-time, and in doing so sealed the nation’s greatest sporting triumph since 1966.

Skipper Martin Johnson produced one of the performances of his career to become the first player to lead a northern hemipshere side to the world title.

And while the defending champions Australia fought valiantly, they were ultimately undone by the unerring accuracy of England’s vice captain, who finished the match with an individual tally of 15 points.

In extra-time it can go any way but who would you rether have than Wilko?

Martin Johnson hails his fly half
More Johnson reaction
More Wilkinson reaction
“It was a huge effort by the entire squad of players, coaches and backroom staff, everybody,” Johnson said.

“Thanks to the fans, they were incredible.”

Woodward himself was understandably delighted and happy to look to the future with confidence.

“We’re on a roll and winning the World Cup is massive,” he said.

“But we have to keep up the momentum. We’ll start with the Six Nations and keep this going.”

Match winner Wilkinson was typically modest, despite his brilliant personal display with the boot.

“It’s indescribable,” he said.

“It’s something we’ve wanted, we’ve worked for so long both individually and as a team.”

Back in England, streets and roads across the country were deserted, with millions glued to the television to watch the action.

Pubs up and down the country opened early to allow punters to watch the game and British prime minister Tony Blair hailed the result as a “fantastic day for England”.

England sport timeline:
Ups and downs since 1966

Blair sent congratulations to the team after watching the match at his country home of Chequers.

“This was a fantastic day for English rugby and for England,” he said.

“The team can be proud of their performance, their spirit and above all their character.”

Sports Minister Richard Caborn was unable to attend the game and had to fly home from Sydney for a crucial House of Commons vote.

But he said: "What a fantastic victory for England. Credit has to go to Clive Woodward as coach.


Photos of fans’ celebrations
An estimated 10m people watched the game on TV
Traffic estimated to be 60% lower than usual
National Grid report a 2,100 megawatt surge at half-time - the equivalent of 850,000 kettles going on at the same time
Bookmakers William Hill make Woodward 6-4 to be knighted, with Wilkinson 4-1 to become a sir
Wilkinson favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
“All 15 on the park and the entire squad put this memorable win on the same par as the World Cup of 1966 - a great moment for English sport.”

The victory was hailed by a host of former England rugby greats, including Will Carling, who captained his country during the 1991 World Cup final defeat to Australia.

“These are just incredible scenes and it’s a great day for English rugby,” he said, before paying tribute to Johnson.

“His leadership skills are extraordinary, he’s not flash - just an incredible rugby player.”

Francois Pienaar, who captained South Africa to victory in the 1995 tournament, added: "At the moment the players and those fans are emotionally drained.

“But tomorrow things will get better and better and better. They won’t know yet what hit them, the enormity of it all is just going to grow through the rest of this year.”

Former Australia star Michael Lynagh was also quick to add his praise.

“Australia were outmuscled but kept on coming back, kicking unbelievable penalties under pressure,” he said.

“But at the end of day the power of England told.”

Wilko’s mother misses match
Wilkinson’s mother Philippa, who was too nervous to watch her son playing, admitted she was out shopping when she heard the result.

“I was in the supermarket and the lady on the vegetable counter heard it,” she confessed.

“I just heard him talking on the radio just now and he is obviously delighted. I am pleased for the whole team.”

Awesome - what a match - nearly gave me heart failure -

I can’t believe we won it - I was 2 when we won the other world cup - so can’t remember it ( altho I watched it apparently lol )

Great for English rugby and British sport - lets hope it makes the impact it deserves :smiley: - wickedness

What a match!

Maybe now the Poms will stop going on and on about '66 :smiley:

England certainly tried their best to lose it as they made an unusual amount of errors and Andre Watson clamped down pretty hard on some of their infringing. I thought at times England looked rattled and unsure of their plan which is unusual for them. Australia gritted it out and played very well especially after the excellent way they played the week before, would have been hard to back up the way they did.

I doubt the All Blacks would have beaten either team last night :eek:

That was the most exciting, most competitive World Cup final game ever played. (Although in terms of a spectacle, the 2000 Bledisloe Cup was better).

A drop goal in the last minute of extra time to break the deadlock… Wow. And contrary to what Southern Hemisphere fans were saying, England did try to spin the ball wide and got a good try to Jason Robinson.

it’s been a wild ride with clive and the boys from perennial underachievers to world champs, and anyone who has been there the whole time will understand what I mean. We have finally fulfilled our potential as have this group of players. We are the best team in the world, on paper, on form, on record - it was a tough game but the big names stood up to be counted. Dallaligo had a stormer, as did backy and richard hill, tindall played well, wilko of course played well. But without a doubt the man who has led england to this world cup is the man who deserves it most. Martin Johnson was simply immense in that game. One of the best performaces I have ever seen him deliver. Man of the match without a shadow of a doubt. As for eddie jones saying we are the best team by one minute - come up to twickers and see what a spanking we give you. thats 5/5, so that minute is obviously a long time. Watching that game took almost as much out of me as playing - probably more in fact. Now we have to wait 4 years again :frowning: tho I might make it to France final hopefully :slight_smile:
Rugby really is the best game in the world.
Also, I have to congratulate Australia for hosting a superb world cup, great sports fans alike, and gotta give respect to all the fans there - how many? any trouble? great atmosphere.

WE DID IT :slight_smile:

An absolutely incredible game. I really felt like I was going to throw up in extra time. I was mentally and physically exhausted at the end of it. And all that from sitting on my lounge :eek:

On the stroke of fulltime when Elton Flatley was taking that penalty shot at goal I got up out of my seat and went through the motions with him. :o

I was alone in the living room.

Well done England.

I was best man at a wedding and the speeches where on at the start of the match, and during my speech I had to update teh score. During extra time there where 70 guests yelling there lungs out for Australia.

Great match. Well done to both sides.

I had a great night.

great game.I think that rugby will rise higher and higher after this win…great for all european and world rugby…