Ben Smith All Blacks show their true colours with Rugby World Cup disappointment

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Ben Smith Kieran Read and his All Blacks team-mates can leave with their heads held high after their classy reaction to their World Cup loss.

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Kieran Read and his All Blacks team-mates can leave with their heads held high after their classy reaction to their World Cup loss.

OPINION: The curtain has now come down on the Rugby World Cup in Japan which was an amazing success. South Africa’s victory over England in the final equalled the All Blacks’ record of three World Cup titles. Rassie Erasmus’ charges without doubt saved their best performance for last. 

There was plenty of uninformed analysis on how the Springboks changed their game plan in six days and one training session. However, that was definitely not the case. The men in green and gold instead executed their original plan to perfection. The victory was underpinned by scrum dominance, heroic defence and winning the aerial battle. And then when the opportunity presented itself the Springboks scored.

In contrast, England went in with the wrong plan. They definitely thought they could outflank and outwit the South African defence. They tried to carry the ball early on and it was a disaster. They gave a hungry, underdog Springbok team something to smash which was ludicrous. Moreover, the energy South Africa generated from their scrum dominance turned the final on its head and it’s tough to win a World Cup when your scrum is under pressure. As I predicted ahead of the final, it was the one area in which the Springboks surprised England, who had no reply.

The South African rugby team arrived home to a warm welcome in Johannesburg on Tuesday following their triumph at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hindsight is an exact science and I think it’s far too simplistic to say that England played their final in the semifinal against the All Blacks. I disagree completely with that school of thought. I believe it’s about

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