Saturday, October 06, 2007
With a couple of hours left before kick off in the Australia vs England Quarter Final of this years tournament, I've realised that there is one very important video that I still don't have in this extensive archive - the 2003 World Cup Final.
Four years ago England were a team that had been built up over a few seasons by their astute coach Sir Clive Woodward. In a leader they had the uncompromising Martin Johnson, and in a flyhalf they had the best player in the tournament - Jonny Wilkinson.
All the ingredients were right for a historical occasion, and with a mix of great play and tremendous courage, England lifted the trophy on that eventful day at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney.
Jason Robinson scored an absolute classic in the corner from a pinpoint pass from Wilkinson, and then right at the end of injury time, Jonny Wilkinson slotted a dropkick with his right foot (he's naturally left footed) to put England in the lead and allow captain Martin Johnson to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy for the first time in England's history.
So when the same two teams meet today at the Stade Velodrome in their crunch quarter final clash, the first game of the knockout stages, will England be able to repeat history and beat the Aussies? Or will the wily Wallabies get some revenge and send the World Champions packing.
With England not on top form in this years tournament, a betting man would say Australia will be too strong. England have suffered a lot of unfortunate injuries of late and Australia are looking strong as usual.
But, lets not forget that England do have World Cup winners in their side. Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jason Robinson all know what it's like to taste victory on the big occasion. As does George Gregan for Australia of course.
Whatever the result, it's going to be a cracking match and could have a great bearing on the outcome of the tournament.