Cape Town - Former Springbok assistant coach Brendan Venter believes England got their tactics wrong in the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.
England were tipped as favourites after beating New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-finals, but were upstaged 32-12 by a determined Springbok outfit in the final.
Venter, a World Cup winner with the Boks in 1995, shared his views on the final via a column for New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz website.
"There was plenty of uninformed analysis on how the Springboks changed their game plan in six days and one training session. However, that was definitely not the case. The men in green and gold instead executed their original plan to perfection. The victory was underpinned by scrum dominance, heroic defence and winning the aerial battle. And then when the opportunity presented itself the Springboks scored," Venter wrote.
Venter added that England went into the contest with the wrong plan.
"They definitely thought they could outflank and outwit the South African defence. They tried to carry the ball early on and it was a disaster. They gave a hungry, underdog Springbok team something to smash which was ludicrous. Moreover, the energy South Africa generated from their scrum dominance turned the final on its head and it's tough to win a World Cup when your scrum is under pressure."
England impressed with their ball-in-hand approach against the All Blacks but it didn't work against staunch Springbok defensive system that leaked only four tries the entire tournament.
"England literally held out a red flag to the bull and said, 'Here we are, tackle us!' And that is what South Africa did. The fact is that the South African forward unity beat the English pack. For me, that is 100 percent where the World Cup was won."
- Compiled by Sport24 staff