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Ranking the Most Unforgettable Moments in Rugby World Cup History

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Greetings, fellow fans of the oval ball! The Rugby World Cup has provided us with countless heart-pounding moments over the years, and it’s time to take a trip down memory lane as we rank the top 10 moments that have left us in awe. Join us as we relive the excitement, the drama, and the unforgettable memories that have shaped the history of this beloved sport.

1. The Opening Game – Where It All Began
Let’s start at the beginning – 1987, New Zealand. The inaugural Rugby World Cup kicked off with a bang as the hosts dominated Italy with a jaw-dropping 70-6 victory. This was the moment that put rugby on the global stage, setting the foundation for the grand spectacle we cherish today. As World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana put it, “It put it on the global stage to creating a showpiece for the sport we dearly love.”

2. Lomu Runs Over Catt and France
The 1995 World Cup introduced us to the powerhouse that was Jonah Lomu. The New Zealand wing bulldozed his way through England’s Mike Catt, leaving us in awe of his sheer strength and speed. His performance showcased what it truly means to be a rugby superstar. As Matt Dawson reflects, “No-one has never done that before, and I don’t think they will do it again.”

3. Brooke’s Huge Drop-Goal
In the same 1995 semi-final match, Zinzan Brooke of New Zealand pulled off the unexpected – a drop-goal from a massive 45 meters out. For a forward to accomplish such a feat was nothing short of extraordinary, and as Bryan Habana puts it, “For a forward to take a drop kick from 45 metres on the angle, it was just effortless…”

4. Mandela Presents Pienaar with the Trophy
The image of Nelson Mandela handing the Rugby World Cup to South Africa’s captain Francois Pienaar in 1995 remains etched in history. This powerful moment symbolized unity and reconciliation, transcending the sport itself. Bryan Habana rightly emphasizes, “The visual moment and what it meant for the game of rugby and South Africa.”

5. De Beer’s Five Drop-Goals Against England
Jannie de Beer’s five drop-goals during the 1999 World Cup quarter-final against England showcased strategy and precision at its finest. His unexpected approach left everyone astonished, and as Matt Dawson recalls, “After two, we were like: ‘This is ridiculous.'”

6. Gregan’s ‘Four More Years, Boys’
Australia’s George Gregan made history with a single phrase during the 2003 semi-final against New Zealand. His “four more years, boys” comment perfectly encapsulated the intensity of the Australia-New Zealand rivalry. As Bryan Habana describes it, “You try to say things and do things in a game but for George to literally make Byron Kelleher not have any rebuttal or response – it is in the most pure form.”

7. Wilkinson’s Winning Drop-Goal in 2003
Jonny Wilkinson’s iconic last-minute drop-goal secured England’s victory over Australia in the 2003 final. This unforgettable moment showcased not only skill but also nerves of steel. As Bryan Habana highlights, “He did it with his weak foot, in a World Cup final, to win the game. It shows the class of the player.”

8. France Haka Response in 2007
France’s unforgettable quarter-final victory over New Zealand in 2007 was preceded by a spine-tingling moment – they stared down the haka. This act of defiance set the tone for an incredible upset, leaving us in awe of their determination.

9. England Haka Response in 2019 Semi-Final
In 2019, England showed their mettle by forming a unique V formation in response to the haka. This bold move displayed their readiness to take on the challenge, and it worked in their favor as they emerged victorious in the semi-final.

10. Kolisi Lifting the 2019 World Cup
Siya Kolisi’s lifting of the World Cup trophy in 2019 marked a historic moment for South Africa. As the first black South African captain to achieve this feat, Kolisi’s victory united a nation and showed the power of sports to transcend boundaries.

So, there you have it – our ranking of the top 10 moments that have defined the Rugby World Cup. Each of these moments holds a special place in the hearts of fans worldwide, reminding us of the sheer magic and camaraderie that make rugby the incredible sport it is today. Now, dear readers, it’s your turn to rank them yourselves and share the excitement with your friends. Let the debates begin! And until the next thrilling World Cup, keep the rugby spirit alive!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unforgettable

What is the Rugby World Cup Top 10s series?

The Rugby World Cup Top 10s series is a podcast on BBC Sounds where World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana, along with rugby union correspondent Chris Jones, discuss and rank the greatest moments in Rugby World Cup history.

How are the moments ranked in the series?

The moments are ranked chronologically, showcasing the timeline of memorable events that have shaped the history of the Rugby World Cup.

Who are the hosts of the podcast series?

The podcast is hosted by Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana, both of whom are Rugby World Cup winners, along with Chris Jones, a rugby union correspondent.

How can I listen to the Rugby World Cup Top 10s series?

You can listen to the podcast series on BBC Sounds, where the hosts delve into the most iconic moments, thrilling victories, and unforgettable experiences from Rugby World Cup history.

Can I share my own rankings of these moments?

Absolutely! The podcast encourages listeners to rank the moments themselves and share their rankings with friends and fellow rugby enthusiasts.

What kind of moments are discussed in the series?

The podcast covers a wide range of moments, including iconic tries, historic victories, unexpected upsets, and the emotions that have defined the Rugby World Cup over the years.

Are there any moments related to notable players or personalities?

Yes, the series discusses moments involving legendary players like Jonah Lomu and Jonny Wilkinson, as well as historic events featuring figures like Nelson Mandela.

How do these moments resonate beyond the world of rugby?

Many of these moments hold significance beyond the sport, symbolizing unity, breaking barriers, and showcasing the power of sports to bring people together.

What’s the significance of these moments for rugby enthusiasts?

These moments are cherished by rugby enthusiasts as they encapsulate the essence of the sport – its thrill, camaraderie, and the remarkable feats that make rugby a beloved game worldwide.

Is this podcast suitable for both casual fans and dedicated followers of rugby?

Absolutely, the podcast is designed to appeal to a wide audience – from those new to rugby to die-hard fans who want to relive the most iconic moments in the sport’s history.

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