Sir Clive Woodward looked down his nose again this past weekend after his prediction that England could beat the Boks in the semi-final.
“I believed England were going to win by three points,” Woodward said in his latest Daily Mail– column written.
“I couldn’t see how Steve Borthwick’s team could deal with France or New Zealand, but I honestly thought that they could beat South Africa if they didn’t physically back up the Springboks.”
The Roses did indeed dish out physical play, but the South Africans’ renowned impact players swung the momentum pendulum in their team’s favour.
“However, if I have to be completely honest, it didn’t look like England would score a try and that is something they will have to look at. In the end, South Africa scored the only try of the showdown.”
The English gentleman already missed the mark a few weeks ago when he predicted that teams from the Northern Hemisphere would let their counterparts in the South recite a lesson.
He did have a feather ready for the Springboks’ coaching staff on Monday.
“When Handré Pollard made his appearance on the field after only 31 minutes, he played excellently. It was not only his set-piece work and the important points he scored, but his touchline kicks also won field territory for his team and led to RG Snyman’s try.”
According to Woodward, it was a big decision that Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus had to make and it was undoubtedly the right choice.
“We all wanted England to win, but they didn’t score a try. That was the biggest difference between the two teams.”
He added that the Roses could be proud of their performance and singled out the play of Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and Alex Mitchell.