Rugby World Cup 2019 in photos

After six and a half weeks and 48 matches, South Africa claimed the big prize with victory over England in Saturday's final. Here is the story of the World Cup in pictures.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifs the World Cup after his team's sensational final victory over England. Image: Fotosport/Steve Haag
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifs the World Cup after his team's sensational final victory over England. Image: Fotosport/Steve Haag
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SIX AND A HALF WEEKS of the thrills, spills, typhoons, euphoria and despair culminated with South Africa’s excellent victory over England in Saturday’s World Cup Final in Yokohama.

David Gibson and Craig Watson – Scotland’s two leading rugby photographers – were there to record the tournament.

This is what they saw –

Timothy Lafaele  of Japan centre is tackled by Russia fly half Yury Kushnarev in the tournament opener. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Timothy Lafaele of Japan centre is tackled by Russia fly half Yury Kushnarev in the tournament opener. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

Sevu Reece of New Zealand and Makazole Mapimpi of South Africa jump for the high ball during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match. Image: Fotosport / David Gibson
Sevu Reece of New Zealand and Makazole Mapimpi of South Africa jump for the high ball during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match. Image: Fotosport / David Gibson

Scotland got their pants pulled down by Ireland in their tournament opener. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

Ali Price and Stuart McInally were dejected after the defeat to Ireland. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ali Price and Stuart McInally were dejected after the defeat to Ireland. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

Japan players are ecstatic at the final whistle after a famous 19-12 victory over Ireland. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Japan players are ecstatic at the final whistle after a famous 19-12 victory over Ireland. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

Greig Laidlaw, or “Mr Greig” as his huge contingent of fans in Japan called him, on a visit to Meishin Elementary School in Kobe. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk
Greig Laidlaw, or “Mr Greig” as his huge contingent of fans in Japan called him, on a visit to Meishin Elementary School in Kobe. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

The Japan team leave the pitch in tight formation with hands on each other's shoulder, and captain Michael Leitch leading from the front, ahead of their pool match against Samoa. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
The Japan team leave the pitch in tight formation with hands on each other’s shoulder, and captain Michael Leitch leading from the front, ahead of their pool match against Samoa. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

Man-of-the-match Adam Hastings scores the first of  his team's nine tries in a comperhensive 61-0 win over Russia. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Man-of-the-match Adam Hastings scores the first of his team’s nine tries in a comprehensive 61-0 win over Russia. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson landed himself in hot water for arguing publicly that Scotland's game should be moved if Typhoon Hagibis rendered the International Stadium Yokohama unplayable. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson landed himself in hot water for arguing publicly that Scotland’s game should be moved if Typhoon Hagibis rendered the International Stadium Yokohama unplayable. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scotland bowed out of the tournament after losing to Japan in their final pool match. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scotland bowed out of the tournament after losing to Japan in their final pool match. Image: © Craig Watson – www.craigwatson.co.uk

South African referee Jaco Peyper red cards French second-row Sebatien Vahaamahina after he struck Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright with his elbow in a maul. Image: Fotosport/Hiro Irie
South African referee Jaco Peyper red cards French second-row Sebatien Vahaamahina after he struck Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright with his elbow in a maul. Image: Fotosport/Hiro Irie

South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk (who was arguably player of the tournament) is ecstatic as he celebrates scoring a try under the posts to extend his team's lead to 16-3 against host nation Japan in the semi-final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk (who was arguably player of the tournament) is ecstatic as he celebrates scoring a try under the posts to extend his team’s lead to 16-3 against host nation Japan in the semi-final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

The Japan team’s adventure came to an end when they lost to South Africa in the quarter-final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

England players face the traditional New Zealand Haka in a 'V' formation ahead of their semi-final victory. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
England players face the traditional New Zealand Haka in a ‘V’ formation ahead of their semi-final victory. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

England scrum half Ben Youngs celebrates his try with team-mates Henry Slade and Manu Tuilaga during England's sensational semi-final victory over New Zealand. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
England scrum half Ben Youngs celebrates his try with team-mates Henry Slade and Manu Tuilaga during England’s sensational semi-final victory over New Zealand. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

Photographers capture a player as he jumps over, rather than runs through a puddle of water into the field ahead of South Africa's captain's run pre their semi-final against Wales. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Photographers capture a player as he jumps over, rather than runs through a puddle of water into the field ahead of South Africa’s captain’s run pre their semi-final against Wales. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi waves to the fans following victory over Wales in the semi-final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi waves to the fans following victory over Wales in the semi-final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

New Zealand centre Anton Leinert-Brown gets his shorts pulled down by the despairing tackle of Wales full-back Hallam Amos in the 3rd/4th place play-off. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
New Zealand centre Anton Leinert-Brown gets his shorts pulled down by the despairing tackle of Wales full-back Hallam Amos in the 3rd/4th place play-off. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

It was the end of an era for several countries with long-serving coaches stepping down at the end of the tournament, including New Zealand's Steve Hansen. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
It was the end of an era for several countries with long-serving coaches stepping down at the end of the tournament, including New Zealand’s Steve Hansen. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

Courtney Lawes is halted by Springbok hooker  Mbongeni Mbonambi in the final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Courtney Lawes is halted by Springbok hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi in the final. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifts the Rugby World Cup trophy following victory over England. Image: Fotosport/Steve Haag
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifts the Rugby World Cup trophy following victory over England. Image: Fotosport/Steve Haag

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1 Comment

  1. Brilliant photos. Thanks for sharing.

    What a great tournament. Sure we weren’t at the races but other countries shone. Not least Japan themselves on and off field.

    The final was epic. Two immovable objects meeting was always going to be intense and it was South Africa who bested the England machine. Deserved winners epitomised by Kalisi

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