It’s Throwback Thursday and we’ve noticed a big hole in our hearts where the Rugby World Cup used to be. After 6 weeks, 48 matches, 271 tries and a total attendance of nearly 2.5 million spectators, the biggest Rugby World Cup in history culminated with the New Zealand All Blacks beating Australia to retain the William Webb Ellis trophy and, in doing so, became the first ever team to log back-to-back victories in the tournament.
After such an enthralling tournament, we wanted relive some of the greatest moments that made the Rugby World Cup 2015 truly unforgettable.
1. Top referee Nigel Owens admonishes Stuart Hogg for diving
During Scotland’s hard-fought battle with South Africa at St. James’ Park, Nigel Owens reminds Scotland fullback, Stuart Hogg, that he’s not a footballer.
2. Georgian captain, Mamuka Gorgodze, wins man of the match against New Zealand
Nicknamed ‘Gorgodzilla’, Mamuka Gorgodze is a true titan of Georgian rugby and has achieved legendary status in the game. Upon being announced ‘man of the match’ against the New Zealand All Blacks, you will not see a more heartfelt reaction from his fellow players and fans alike.
3. RWC 1995 winning captain, Francois Pienaar, organises Jog The Memory run from Trafalgar Square
Sometimes, sport is about more than just a game and the Jog The Memory run, organised by Francois Pienaar, was exactly that. Before the RWC Final against New Zealand in 1995, the Springbok captain took his team for a run through Sandton, one of the most notorious townships in Johannesburg, an action which went down in rugby folklore and symbolised the unification of a nation behind what was traditionally a ‘white man’s’ sport.
4. Romania notch up a record-breaking win against Canada
Trailing the Canadians 15–0 at half-time in Leicester, a Romanian victory seemed almost impossible. A win would require a world-record points chase for a Rugby World Cup match. This is exactly what the men from Romania delivered, winning 17–15 with a last minute penalty.
5. Dan Carter’s Rugby World Cup Final Drop Goal
In his last game in the famous black jersey, Dan Carter slotted one of the best drop goals you are ever likely to see. With only 10 minutes remaining in the game, and the score poised at 21–17, the imperious All Blacks legend took his opportunity and nailed the 40m drop goal right between the posts whilst under extreme duress from the Australian defenders.
And finally, because we can’t not mention it…
6. Japan beat South Africa in one of sport’s greatest upsets
The Springboks of South Africa are one of rugby’s most dominant forces and were amongst the favourites to win the tournament. They opened up their campaign against an inspired Japanese side and nobody could’ve predicted what happened next. In true David and Goliath fashion, Japanese substitute winger, Karne Hesketh, went over in the corner in the last play of the game to clinch a dramatic and historic win for Japan.