England flank Tom Curry believes that fans of the national team placed a greater emphasis on the win over New Zealand than winning the World Cup itself.
Curry was a key part in Eddie Jones’ plans as the one-time Springbok backroom staff member helped mastermind his side’s 19-7 win over the All Blacks in the semi-finals.
The South Africans snuck through to the final edging Wales 19-16 before turning on the style in the showpiece event as they stormed past the English threat 32-12.
In a ‘Great Sporting Moments of 2019’ series in the England’s Daily Mail, Curry opened up on the response from the public.
‘Someone came up to me and said, “The World Cup will be remembered for you beating New Zealand, not South Africa winning it”. That probably hit me the hardest as it showed just how much the result of that one game meant to people here,’ he said.
Part of England’s grand plan to beat the All Blacks, themselves going for a third-straight title, was to unsettle them by forming a V when facing the haka.
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‘It gave me a lot of confidence because it looked like they were a bit unnerved by what we had done. They are just used to staring someone out,’ added Curry.
‘I also remember Manu’s try so well, because it was everything we had spoken about – the quick start, going at them, not letting them attack us. We were always at them. Their players were just looking around and didn’t seem to be able to fix on anyone,’ he said.
Former England coach and captain Martin Johnson described the semi-final win as ‘the best in English rugby history’.