Both fans and players of England’s rugby team have been criticised for how they acted after losing last night’s World Cup final against South Africa.
England came up short for a second time against the Springboks on rugby’s biggest stage with a 32-12 loss in Yokohama after entering the match as heavy favourites following their clinical win over the All Blacks the week prior.
But South Africa turned the tables and sealed their win with two late tries, leaving England and their fans a wait of at least four more years for another shot at the Webb Ellis Cup.
After the match, the presentations took place to wrap up the tournament but the actions of some English supporters and players have come under fire.
When referee Jerome Garces went to collect his medal during the ceremony for officiating the match, he was meet by jeers and boos from fans in the crowd for his persistent penalising of the English scrum, which gave away five penalties in the Test.
Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan was quick to jump to Garces’ defence in a column for The Daily Telegraph, slamming the supporters for their actions.
“Jerome did not have a perfect match – no referee in a World Cup final ever has – but England’s fans should be questioning their own scrum rather than the officials,” Kaplan said.
“Clearly the scrum was decisive in this match, but Jerome was simply rewarding the dominant team. It is rare to see such superiority in one facet of the game at this level but it was clear from early on that the Springboks were far more powerful at the set piece.
“Having analysed each of those decisions I do not think one of them was incorrect. Four were unquestionably right, one is difficult to judge as it happened on the far side from the television cameras, and another could possibly have been a reset but is not a clear and obvious error.”
Soon after, it was the English players’ turns to receive their mementos for participating in the final but many disregarded the silver medals as soon as they were given it.
Most removed their medals shortly after being presented them but lock Maro Itoje came under further fire for not even allowing the medal to be placed around his neck.
Kiwi film director Taika Waititi called the English players “sore losers” for how they were acting.
Last night was England’s third loss in a Rugby World Cup final after 1991 and 2007.