Rugby World Cup Special: Memorable Moments

Engage, Inform, Inspire

No one needs reminding that the Rugby World Cup in underway. And with ireland motoring (and hopefully will continue to do so), here are some cloze tests (fill in the blanks) on rugby’s most memorable Word Cup moments. We hope your pupils enjoy them 🙂


Click here to download the worksheets.


The complete articles are below (for checking the answers) 🏉👍

Rugby World Cup five most memorable moments

1995: Lomu rips through England

Jonah Lomu had collected just two caps for New Zealand prior to the World Cup in South Africa and had struggled to win a place in their squad.

Within six weeks he had become rugby’s first global superstar.

Lomu provided a devastating showcase of his talent in the semi-final against England.

The talismanic wing scored an incredible four tries as the All Blacks cantered to victory. English defenders resembled bowling pins when trying to tackle Lomu, such was his raw power and finishing ability.

Lomu was instantly recognisable for even non-rugby fans but his career was cut short by health problems. He sadly died in 2015 aged 40.

1995: Mandela inspires Springboks

Staying in South Africa, this was the first World Cup the host nation was allowed to compete in.

They had been banned from international competition because of apartheid, a shameful era where non-whites in South Africa were discriminated against.

Hosting a major tournament presented the country with the opportunity to show the world they were a rainbow nation instead of a racist one.

President Nelson Mandela helped unite the country. South Africa beat New Zealand in the final and he wore a Springboks jersey as he handed the trophy to the team’s captain, Francois Pienaar. The picture of them lifting the Webb Ellis Cup together is one of rugby’s most iconic images.

2003: Wilkinson’s drop goal heroics

Seven of the previous eight World Cups have been won by a southern hemisphere nation. The one exception came 16 years ago in Australia.

England had established themselves as the world’s top-ranked side before travelling Down Under and the trusty left boot of Jonny Wilkinson helped them progress to a final date with the host nation, Australia.

England were on course for victory until a late penalty saw the Wallabies force extra-time. The men in white looked deflated but Wilkinson dragged them over the line. He slotted a drop goal in the 100th minute to clinch a 20-17 victory. The Webb Ellis Cup was heading north for the first time.

2007: France stun New Zealand again

New Zealand won the first Rugby World Cup but it would be 24 years before they got their hands on the trophy again.

France were one of the main reasons for that drought. They beat the All Blacks in an epic semi-final in 1999 and produced another famous upset eight years later.

Although the 2007 World Cup was hosted by France, some games were played in Cardiff and Edinburgh. And when France failed to top their pool they found themselves travelling to the Welsh capital for a quarter-final against New Zealand.

The All Blacks were overwhelming favourites and looked to be cruising when they moved 10 points in front, but France produced a stunning second-half comeback to prevail 20-18.

2015: All Blacks go back-to-back

Having finally gotten their hands back on the trophy in 2011, New Zealand went one better in ’15 by becoming the first side to win two World Cups in a row.

That year’s tournament in England represented the swansong for some legendary All Blacks, including captain Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter, and they departed in style.

New Zealand swept all-comers aside, including a 49-point obliteration of France in another Cardiff quarter-final.

They proved they could win ugly, too, beating South Africa in a wet semi-final at Twickenham, before defeating old foes Australia by double scores in the final.

World champions for the past eight years, can New Zealand complete a hat-trick in Japan?


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