As South Africa kicked, smashed, wrestled and sprinted their way into the history books with a thrilling and thoroughly deserved Rugby World Cup victory over England at Yokohama they became the first nation to win the Webb Ellis trophy after losing a pool game.
Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe became the first players to score tries for the Springboks in a World Cup final. This was their nation's third and they haven't lost one yet. To the 1995 and 2007 triumphs, add the glory of 2019.
In doing so, Siya Kolisi became the first black captain to hoist the cup for South Africa. So there were firsts, yes, but also a confirmation of some hard truths, the most obvious being that you can't win any test match on the big stage without a good pack of forwards, and this wasn't a contest in the end - the English, hamstrung by the horrible third-minute concussion to tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler embarrassed at scrum time and often around the field, too.
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Apart from one significant scrum win in the second half, that overall England set piece performance was one of the worst witnessed in a World Cup final. You just can't come back from that.
The second is that the team which handles the pressure better in a final will win the final. South Africa, lessons truly learned from their first pool game defeat to the All Blacks on this ground way back on September 21, certainly did that, and to hear their coach Rassie Erasmus discuss this afterwards was illuminating. Pressure, he said, was having a close relative murdered, and far too many have experienced that in the Republic.
And the third is that a nation which rises to the immense challenge of knocking the All Blacks out of contention to win the World Cup generally cannot maintain that level of intensity and will fall at the next hurdle.
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England were a shadow of the team who dominated the All Blacks all over the Yokohama Stadium pitch seven days earlier. Whereas back then they were assured, skillful, committed and utterly in charge, against the Boks they second-guessed themselves, threw silly passes or dropped good ones, and were generally on the back foot the entire 80 minutes. They kicked poorly and their discipline was off. They looked nervous and a little fearful. The change was remarkable.
And it's the continuation of a theme; France, after playing the games of their lives against New Zealand, ultimately failed in 1999 and 2007, as did Australia in 2003 and now England. The 1991 Wallabies, who beat the All Blacks in their semifinal in Dublin before beating England in the final, are the only nation to manage it.
Watching the Boks outplay the English was to be reminded that the margins at this level really are very small, and that success on the rugby field generally doesn't happen without adversity. And that luck plays a part too.
They learned plenty from that defeat to the All Blacks, who failed despite being probably the best team at the tournament, but it also sent them on to what has to be considered an easier route to the final.
Instead of playing Ireland in their quarter-final, they played Japan. Instead of playing England in their semifinal, they played Wales.
So they were perfectly placed to deliver their best performance of the tournament. That they did was a credit to their important players – little Faf de Klerk, a man with quick feet and a quicker brain, big Pieter-Steph du Toit, a tackling colossus, the calm Damian de Allende in the midfield and their slippery little wing Kolbe.
They did it against the odds and in front of a crowd of 70,000 most of which was cheering for the opposition. They did it with skill and heart and the support of a nation united for 80 minutes and maybe a little longer now. They did it when it truly counted.