A firsthand account of the Rugby World Cup

Think Montrealers get a little crazy when the Montreal Canadiens make the Stanley Cup playoffs? That is nothing compared to the frenzy in England surrounding the Rugby World Cup. Held every four years, England reached the finals by beating France 14-9. As defending champions, the pressure was on the English team and their star player Jonny Wilkinson to pull off another victory.

Think Montrealers get a little crazy when the Montreal Canadiens make the Stanley Cup playoffs? That is nothing compared to the frenzy in England surrounding the Rugby World Cup. Held every four years, England reached the finals by beating France 14-9. As defending champions, the pressure was on the English team and their star player Jonny Wilkinson to pull off another victory.
Held in Paris, France last Saturday, the match aired in almost every pub across England. In Newcastle Upon Tyne, standing room only in pubs made for an incredible ambiance, with people in queues outside pubs crouching down to catch a glimpse of the match on TV screens inside.
Hopes were high at the kickoff, with patrons supporting the red and white clad players with rousing renditions of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, the unofficial anthem for England’s boys.
South Africa’s team, the Springboks, led the game after the first 40 minutes of play with a 9-3 advantage. The second half saw England try to make a come-back as Mark Cueto dove for a try, but it was disallowed because he had put a foot in touch.
After 80 minutes of play, South Africa had its victory and officially became second time winners of the Webb Ellis Cup. English pride now rests with the football team in the 2008 EuroCup, where the home team now stands in second place in Group E in the qualifying rounds.

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