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RWC 2007

Carl Mullen signs rugby ball for small boy

RWC 2007 Hosted by France

The staging of the 2007 Rugby World Cup returned to the Northern Hemisphere as France took its turn to host rugby's most prestigious event. Although a small number of matches would by played out at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and Edinburgh's Murrayfield, the lion's share of the tournament belonged to France, and a nation expected. With the trophy being clinched by a northern Hemisphere team four years previously, the weight of expectation on Les Bleus as host nation was enormous.

Using the same four pools of five teams format as the previous tournament, with the four-try bonus point and losing bonus point systems also employed, Pool A saw heavy weights South Africa and England matched with South Sea island giants Samoa and Tonga, with minnows the USA rounding off the five. Wales, in Pool B, were drawn against former two times world champions Australia, with Fiji, Canada and Japan completing the draw. Pool C saw the favourites New Zealand pitted against Six Nations rivals Scotland and Italy, and developing rugby nations Portugal and Romania whilst the Pool of Death saw hosts France, Ireland and Argentina included with smaller nations Namibia and Georgia; with only two quarter-final berths up for grabs from each pool, it was a certainty that one of the top rugby nations would make a premature exit form the World Cup in Pool D.

France was awarded the right to host the 2007 Rugby World Cup following a vote of 18 to three. The French bid included place for matches to be played outside France.

The Tournament took place from 7 September 2007 - 20 October 2007.

Rugby World Cup 2007 was staged across 13 cities in France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and drew upon a number of strategies and themes developed for Rugby World Cup 2003.

Rugby World Cup 2007 in France was the most successful Rugby World Cup ever. The tournament was broadcast to a global television audience of over 4 billion and generated a record net surplus of £122.4 million. RWC 2007 enjoyed 2.2 million public ticket sales with an attendance rate of 97% for the matches in France, a full corporate sponsorship inventory and unprecedented corporate hospitality sales with over 100,000 packages sold (greater than the last two tournaments combined).

An independent Deloitte report identified the total economic benefits for the host nation as being up to £2.1 billion. Other major attractions of hosting the tournament include promotion of the country, a Rugby and sports legacy and a feel good factor.


Matches were played in Saint-Denis, Paris, Nantes, Lyons, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier, Marseilles, Saint-Etienne, Lens, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh.


The 2007 Rugby World Cup finalists met for the second time in the campaign having earlier faced each other as Pool A contenders. Though keen to restore pride after their 36-0 beating by the Boks, the defending champions conceded early points in the match as Percy Montgomery slotted a penalty. Wilkinson responded but Montgomery fired back almost immediately and stretched the Springboks' lead to 9-3 at the break as he secured another on the stroke of half time. The restart brought a sensational move from youngster Matthew Tait, who snaked between the Boks' defenders to set up a 'try' for fullback Mark Cueto. After much deliberation the TMO adjudged the fullback's left leg to be in touch when the ball was grounded; Wilkinson slotted a penalty in consolation. Montgomery extended the lead minutes later to 12-6 with young star Francois Steyn adding a penalty early in the final quarter. The tense game ran out with each team unable to add any further points to the scoreboard; closing at 6-15 the final was the lowest scoring match of the whole 2007 tournament, an inconsequential statistic to the heartbroken English and new World Champions South Africa.

Springbok captain John Smit raised the Webb Ellis Trophy in front of a capacity crowd at the Stade de France in Saint Denis. With a series of parades already organised for the squad's return, South Africa (flanked by President Thabo Mbeki) celebrated the mantle of World Champions for the second time in the history of the World Cup tournament. The win ensured that they climbed to the top of the IRB World Rankings, knocking New Zealand off the top spot perch that they had occupied for an unprecedented forty months. As if to hark back to their previous victory in the Rugby World Cup, the first team South Africa would face as Champions would be Wales, in Cardiff the following November.

All kick-off times are local French local time (UK+1)
Pool A
Date - Time ------------------ Result ------------------ Venue 
08 Sep - 18:00 England England 28-10 USA USA Lens 
09 Sep - 16:00 South Africa South Africa 59-7 Samoa Samoa Paris 
12 Sep - 14:00 USA USA 15-25 Tonga Tonga Montpellier 
14 Sep - 21:00 England England 0-36 South Africa South Africa Saint-Denis 
16 Sep - 16:00 Samoa Samoa 15-19 Tonga Tonga Montpellier 
22 Sep - 14:00 South Africa South Africa 30-25 Tonga Tonga Lens 
22 Sep - 16:00 England England 44-22 Samoa Samoa Nantes 
26 Sep - 20:00 Samoa Samoa 25-21 USA USA St-Etienne 
28 Sep - 21:00 England England 36-20 Tonga Tonga Paris 
30 Sep - 20:00 South Africa South Africa 64-15 USA USA Montpellier 
Pool B
Date - Time ------------------ Result ------------------ Venue 
08 Sep - 15:45 Australia Australia 91-3 Japan Japan Lyon 
09 Sep - 14:00 Wales Wales 42-17 Canada Canada Nantes 
12 Sep - 18:00 Japan Japan 31-35 Fiji Fiji Toulouse 
15 Sep - 15:00 Wales Wales 20-32 Australia Australia Cardiff 
16 Sep - 14:00 Fiji Fiji 29-16 Canada Canada Cardiff 
20 Sep - 21:00 Wales Wales 72-18 Japan Japan Cardiff 
23 Sep - 14:30 Australia Australia 55-12 Fiji Fiji Montpellier 
25 Sep - 18:00 Canada Canada 12-12 Japan Japan Bordeaux 
29 Sep - 15:00 Australia Australia 37-6 Canada Canada Bordeaux 
29 Sep - 17:00 Wales Wales 34-38 Fiji Fiji Nantes 
Pool C
Date - Time ------------------ Result ------------------ Venue 
08 Sep - 13:45 New Zealand New Zealand 76-14 Italy Italy Marseille 
09 Sep - 18:00 Scotland Scotland 56-10 Portugal Portugal St-Etienne 
12 Sep - 20:00 Italy Italy 24-18 Romania Romania Marseille 
15 Sep - 13:00 New Zealand New Zealand 108-13 Portugal Portugal Lyon 
18 Sep - 21:00 Scotland Scotland 42-0 Romania Romania Edinburgh 
19 Sep - 20:00 Italy Italy 31-5 Portugal Portugal Paris 
23 Sep - 17:00 Scotland Scotland 0-40 New Zealand New Zealand Edinburgh 
25 Sep - 20:00 Romania Romania 14-10 Portugal Portugal Toulouse 
29 Sep - 13:00 New Zealand New Zealand 85-8 Romania Romania Toulouse 
29 Sep - 21:00 Scotland Scotland 18-16 Italy Italy St-Etienne 
Pool D
Date - Time ------------------ Result ------------------ Venue 
07 Sep - 21:00 France France 12-17 Argentina Argentina Saint-Denis 
09 Sep - 20:00 Ireland Ireland 32-17 Namibia Namibia Bordeaux 
11 Sep - 20:00 Argentina Argentina 33-3 Georgia Georgia Lyon 
15 Sep - 21:00 Ireland Ireland 14-10 Georgia Georgia Bordeaux 
16 Sep - 21:00 France France 87-10 Namibia Namibia Toulouse 
21 Sep - 21:00 France France 25-3 Ireland Ireland Saint-Denis 
22 Sep - 21:00 Argentina Argentina 63-3 Namibia Namibia Marseille 
26 Sep - 18:00 Georgia Georgia 30-0 Namibia Namibia Lens 
30 Sep - 15:00 France France 64-7 Georgia Georgia Marseille 
30 Sep - 17:00 Ireland Ireland 15-30 Argentina Argentina Paris 
Quarter finals
Date - Time Result Venue 
06 Oct - 15:00 Australia Australia 10-12 England England Marseille 
06 Oct - 21:00 New Zealand New Zealand 18-20 France France Cardiff 
07 Oct - 15:00 South Africa South Africa 37-20 Fiji Fiji Marseille 
07 Oct - 21:00 Argentina Argentina 19-13 Scotland Scotland Saint-Denis 
Semi finals
Date - Time Result Venue 
13 Oct - 21:00 England England 14 - 9 France France Saint-Denis 
14 Oct - 21:00 South Africa South Africa 37 - 13 Argentina Argentina Saint-Denis 
Bronze Final
Date - Time Result Venue 
19 Oct - 21:00 France France 10 - 34 Argentina Argentina Paris 
Date - Time Result Venue 
20 Oct - 21:00 England England 6 - 15 South Africa South Africa Saint-Denis 

Note: Results table courtesy of the IRB

Read the official IRB Statistical Review and Match Analysis


2007 champs
South Africa 2007 World Champions

England (3) 6
Pens: Wilkinson 2

South Africa (9) 15
Pens: Montgomery 4, Steyn

England: Robinson; Sackey, Tait, Catt, Cueto; Wilkinson, Gomarsall, Sheridan, Regan, Vickery, Shaw, Kay, Corry, Moody, Easter.
Replacements: Chuter, Stevens, Dallaglio, Worsley, Richards, Flood, Hipkiss.

South Africa: Montgomery; Pietersen, Fourie, Steyn, Habana; James, Du Preez; Du Randt, Smit, Van der Linde, B Botha, Matfield, Burger, Smith, Rossouw.
Replacements: B du Plessis, J du Plessis, Muller, Van Heerden, Pienaar, Pretorius, Olivier.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Springboks skipper John Smit said that he would have settled for any margin of victory in the World Cup final as long as he was hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup after the final whistle. Both Smit and South African coach Jake White were full of praise for England and its remarkable comeback from the 0-36 thrashing it took from the Springboks in pool play.
"We had 45-million-odd South Africans and the rest of the world shouting for us tonight," Smit said during his post match interview.
"They were a completely different side tonight. It really was anyone's game and they (England) played particularly well. But I would have taken 3-0," the captain added.
Coach White also agreed England was "much better" than people were giving it credit for and believed Brian Ashton’s men put up a hugely competitive performance in Paris.
"Again, it just shows you how tough World Cups are," White said.
"I always knew we had to play well to win it, but what more can I say - I'm obviously delighted with the result. This was important for our country and all credit to the players, they have been unbelievable for South African rugby in last four years."
White praised his team's defence, saying it was a huge factor in the second World Cup title for South Africa.
"That's what wins World Cups.”
Smit also was full of praise for his coach.
"Jake White, what he's done in four years is unbelievable. He has given us the direction and confidence to win this Cup."

Jonny Wilkinson said after the game:
"The South Africa team deserved to win - they've been fantastic all tournament," he said. Big respect to them - it's well-deserved. It's disappointing. We gave it the best we had and at times we got close enough - and we didn't feel we were going to lose."
England’s goalkicker, who clinched the 2003 RWC for his side, was also asked what he thought of Mar Cueto’s disallowed try.
"It looked okay, but I'm sure the guy making the decision made a good one," he said. Maybe in other games it would have gone our way - but this one didn't."
His teammate and loose forward Martin Corry also spoke of his team's "heartbreak" following the loss. I can't fault the fight and heart - it's just such a shame when it counts for nothing," Corry said in a post-match interview. It all didn't go to plan - but it was so disappointing. We've come so far, and all the fans have been unbelievable. To be so close and not do it is heartbreaking."

England captain Phil Vickery was quick to heap the praise on his players following their Rugby World Cup final defeat, admiring the courage they displayed in the 15-6 loss to South Africa at Stade de France.
"I can't fault anyone - the players, the supporters - we've had a magical time here," said Vickery.
"But fair play to South Africa - they were the better team and this is their victory. Now we have to wait for four years' time, so they'd better enjoy it. "A big thank you to all our supporters. It has been a special time for all."
Mark Cueto was denied a near try by the video referee but Vickery refused to shift any of the blame onto the match officials.
"You get decisions like that in a game. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't. I'm not going to stand here and blame the referee. South Africa deserved their win."
One of the big positives to come out of the match was the performance of young Mathew Tait. The centre was England’s most dangerous player on the park but was left ruing what might have been following the final whistle.
"We're devastated at the moment," he said.
"The missed opportunity in the final hurts, but from a personal point of view, I'm just delighted to be part of it. We've had a tough three weeks and we have pulled together. It's just disappointing that we couldn't quite finish it off. Sport is about winning and we haven't got the ultimate prize. It's up to me and the younger guys in the future. Myself, Toby (Flood) and the other young guys must now work our arses off over the next four years to make sure it doesn't happen again. But overall, South Africa deserved this. Throughout the tournament they have been the better side. We thought we could do it, but we didn't, so we've got to take it on the chin. Certainly we came into the game thinking we could win it."


Wayne Barnes
Stuart Dickinson
Paul Honiss
Marius Jonker
Jöel Jutge
Jonathan Kaplan
Alan Lewis
Nigel Owens
Alain Rolland
Tony Spreadbury
Steve Walsh
Chris White


Full name: Wayne Barnes
Born: Gloucestershire, April 20, 1979
First Test: Fiji v Samoa on June 24, 2006
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Wales v France on August 26, 2007
Number of Tests: Eight
World Cup experience: None - apart from two World Cup qualifiers

He is a barrister by profession, but at present a full-time referee.


Full name: Stuart James Dickinson
Born: Sydney, July 19, 1968
First Test: Tonga v Cook Islands, July 5, 1997
Latest Test (prior to world cup): New Zealand v South Africa on July 14, 2007
Number of Tests: 36
World Cup experience: 1999, 2003. He has refereed five World Cup matches.

He was first a policeman then a manager in a transport business. Now he is a full-time referee.


Full name: Paul Gerard Honiss
Born: Hamilton, June 18, 1963
First Test: Tahiti v Cook Islands on February 20, 1997
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Australia v South Africa on July 7, 2007
Number of Tests: 40
World Cup experience: 1999, 2003. He has refereed five World Cup matches

He is a full-time referee.


Full name: Marius Jonker
Born: Kimberley, June 19, 1968
First Test: Uganda v Zimbabwe on August 20, 005
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Australia v New Zealand on June 30, 2007
Number of Tests: Seven
World Cup experience: None


Full name: Joël Jutge
Born: Lavaur, April 5, 1966
First Test: Spain v Fiji on August 24, 1999
Latest Test (prior to world cup): England v Wales on August 4, 2007
Number of Tests: 29
World Cup experience: 2003. He has refereed two matches
Formerly employed by an electric company, he is now a full-time referee.


Full name: Jonathan Isaac Kaplan
Born: Durban, November 7, 1966
First Test: Zimbabwe v Namibia on May 3, 1996
Latest Test (prior to world cup): South Africa v Namibia on August 15, 2007
Number of Tests: 35
World Cup experience: 2003. He refereed three matches.
Formerly in business, he is now a full-time referee.


Full name: Alan Lewis
Born: County Cork, June 1, 1964
First Test: Argentina v France on June 13, 1998
Latest Test (prior to world cup): England v France on August 11, 2007
Number of Tests: 28
World Cup experience: 1999, 2003. He has refereed one World Cup match.
He is the Managing Director of an insurance brokerage.


Full name: Nigel Owens
Born: Mynyddcerrig on June 18, 1971
First Test: Portugal v Georgia on February 16, 2003
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Ireland v Italy on August 24, 2007
Number of Tests: Nine
World Cup experience: None, apart from World Cup qualifiers


Full name: Alain Colm Pierre Rolland
Born: Dublin, August 22, 1966
First Test: Wales v Romania on September 19, 2001
Latest Test (prior to world cup): France v England on August 18, 2007
Number of Tests: 26
World Cup experience: 2003. He has refereed three World Cup matches.

He is a mortgage broker.


Full name: Anthony John Spreadbury
Born: Bath, March 29, 1962
First Test: France v Italy on February 18, 1990
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Scotland v Ireland on August 11, 2007
Number of Tests: 35
World Cup experience: 2003. He refereed three World Cup matches.

Formerly a paramedic, he is a full-time referee.


Full name: Steve Reid Walsh
Born: Cambridge, Waikato, March 28, 1972
First Test: Argentina v France on June 13, 1998
Latest Test (prior to world cup): South Africa v England on May 26, 2007
Number of Tests: 26
World Cup experience: 2003. He has refereed three World Cup matches.

He is a full-time referee.


Full name: Christopher Robert White
Born: Cheltenham, July 17, 1963
First Test: Georgia v Russia on May 20, 1998
Latest Test (prior to world cup): Wales v Argentina on August 18, 2007
Number of Tests: 40
World Cup experience: 1999, 2003. He has refereed seven World Cup matches.

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