For South Africa to walk away with the Webb Ellis Trophy may have been in line with some people’s predictions, however it was the audacious person putting on ‘bets for giggles’ that was most rewarded at the bookies in what was a World Cup of the unbelievably unforeseen. World-beaters and favourites such as New Zealand and Australia were knocked out before the Semi-Final stages, whilst surprise packages such as Fiji and Argentina secured places in the Quarters at the expense of the expectant Home Nations, Wales and Ireland. Outsiders proved that being the underdog does not mean being out of contention; rather it shows that passion and a will to win can pull you through.
Seeing the ‘Kings-of-Hard-Tackles’, in the Tongan and Fijian teams, gathering in a circle in thankful prayer to God after a loss or a win, has brought Muscular Christianity to the fore and shown the benefits of having an inner faith.
England too achieved the unimaginable. Ridiculed by the media and dubbed as ‘Dad’s Army’ they went across the Channel as the greatest underdogs ever to defend a title. Characteristic of all English Sporting Representatives, the team cut it fine in the group stage. In an embarrassing 36-0 defeat to South Africa, Jason Robinson was the only England player to put in a performance worthy of recognition, before pulling up with a hamstring injury during an inspiring attack. He fought back to fitness to reappear in the tournament. After England’s narrow victory over France a fan commented in interview that the only difference between the two teams was Jason Robinson’s legs. For a player who is only 5ft 8in, in literal terms this is not a very big difference; as an expression of the impact Robinson makes for the team, it could not be more accurate.
In the Final however, Robinson left the field with injury. This, combined with a strong appeal for a try turned down, put an end to the dream of a Nation revived with interest and hope. Jason’s dynamism was sorely missed as England continually lost possession: the result of their resorting to kick and run as the only way to breach the solid South African defence. Jason Robinson now retires from professional rugby and admitted in his column in the Mail on Sunday, that he ‘had not foreseen [his] career ending in such desolation’. However this end is not what he will be remembered for, but rather as the player who mastered both rugby codes to perfection and who through his quiet faith in Christ was the man who believed and for England stood tall.
By Emma Kennedy

For South Africa to walk away with the Webb Ellis Trophy may have been in line with some people’s predictions, however it was the audacious person putting on ‘bets for giggles’ that was most rewarded at the bookies in what was a World Cup of the unbelievably unforeseen. World-beaters and favourites such as New Zealand and Australia were knocked out before the Semi-Final stages, whilst surprise packages such as Fiji and Argentina secured places in the Quarters at the expense of the expectant Home Nations, Wales and Ireland. Outsiders proved that being the underdog does not mean being out of contention; rather it shows that passion and a will to win can pull you through.
Seeing the ‘Kings-of-Hard-Tackles’, in the Tongan and Fijian teams, gathering in a circle in thankful prayer to God after a loss or a win, has brought Muscular Christianity to the fore and shown the benefits of having an inner faith.
England too achieved the unimaginable. Ridiculed by the media and dubbed as ‘Dad’s Army’ they went across the Channel as the greatest underdogs ever to defend a title. Characteristic of all English Sporting Representatives, the team cut it fine in the group stage. In an embarrassing 36-0 defeat to South Africa, Jason Robinson was the only England player to put in a performance worthy of recognition, before pulling up with a hamstring injury during an inspiring attack. He fought back to fitness to reappear in the tournament. After England’s narrow victory over France a fan commented in interview that the only difference between the two teams was Jason Robinson’s legs. For a player who is only 5ft 8in, in literal terms this is not a very big difference; as an expression of the impact Robinson makes for the team, it could not be more accurate.
In the Final however, Robinson left the field with injury. This, combined with a strong appeal for a try turned down, put an end to the dream of a Nation revived with interest and hope. Jason’s dynamism was sorely missed as England continually lost possession: the result of their resorting to kick and run as the only way to breach the solid South African defence. Jason Robinson now retires from professional rugby and admitted in his column in the Mail on Sunday, that he ‘had not foreseen [his] career ending in such desolation’. However this end is not what he will be remembered for, but rather as the player who mastered both rugby codes to perfection and who through his quiet faith in Christ was the man who believed and for England stood tall.
By Emma Kennedy

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