The 2015 Rugby World Cup was without a doubt the best such tournament ever. It delivered in every respect, and although it saw some of its actors fall flat and go home with the proverbial wooden spoon, the final tally was a massively positive one. Here’s a quick look at some of the interesting and significant moments of this unbridled rugby-fest.
The biggest “aww” moment of the tournament came after the final, when the All Blacks were doing their victory laps. At one point, a young fan got onto the pitch and he got promptly KOed by one of the security guards. Sonny Bill Williams witnessed the scuffle and he went over, to pick the kid up. He embraced him and he gifted him his medal, thus probably making the guy’s day. He then walked the kid back to his mother.
Not everyone ended up with memories to cherish from the tournament though. South Africa’s Rudy Paige will probably want to forget all about it for instance. He got to play all of 120 seconds, in the Springboks’ Bronze Medal playoff game against Argentina. Regardless how the decision was made to play him three minutes, and regardless of the intentions behind the decision, everyone agreed in the end that it was an insult to him.
Above and beyond such personal tales of disappointment and exhilaration though, the tournament made a few essential things clear in regards to the present and future of the game. The “minnows” are no longer the “jobbers” they used to be. They won’t lose by 100+ point margins. The game has grown and it has matured, and those playing it at World Cup level are no longer pushovers. This is the most positive thing about the event. The future of the game is bright. Heavy-weights such as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa may soon see their thrones threatened.