EVER since their memorable 19-7 victory over the mighty New Zealand All Blacks last week in the semi finals of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, England fans had been counting down the days to Saturday’s final with South Africa and a chance for Owen Farrell’s men to get their hands on the Webb Ellis trophy.

Throughout West Devon sports clubs, bars and pubs opened their doors on Saturday morning to offer a breakfast and the chance to see the final live from Yokohama in Japan on the big screen and hopefully a chance to toast the victors - England.

Alas, for England supporters, it proved an anti-climax as the strength and nous of the Springbok scrum broke the spirit of the men in white as South Africa began to dominate. In the second half the match for England fans began to lose its appeal as if they were served up a cold and soggy fry up. Fair play though to the South Africans who triumphed 32-12.

However, despite the disappointment of the result, it was still a great sporting event for Tavistock and Okehampton Rugby Clubs who enjoyed the social occasion and whose members at least enjoyed plenty of bacon baps!

Okehampton RFC club secretary Dave Potter said despite the result it was a memorable occasion at the clubhouse on Saturday morning.

He said: ‘Okehampton RFC supporters started to gather at the club at 8am on Saturday to watch the Rugby Union World Cup final in Japan between England and South Africa. A number of families came along which gave the club a great atmosphere. Bacon rolls with tea or coffee were served — or with a pint from the bar if you preferred.

‘The air of anticipation in the lead up to the game was tangible and hopes were high for an England victory, especially after the manner of their fantastic win over New Zealand the week before in the semi-final. 

‘However, from the kick off, the South African team had another agenda and never allowed the England players to settle into their game. Although a number penalties were exchanged, the South African’s gradually gained the upper hand and sealed their victory with two tries in the second half. England were never able to resurrect the form of the previous week and ultimately the best team won on the day. 

‘Disappointment for the Okehampton supporters but they, nevertheless, enjoyed a great event. For the more optimistic among us, the current England team is made of largely of younger players still in their early twenties who should be able to take their experience this year onto the next World Cup in 2023! Next up for the England team is the Six Nations Championship in February and March 2020 — there is always something to look forward to in rugby!’

Tavistock Rugby Club’s first team coach Marc Kerswill was equally pleased with the early morning sporting breakfast.

He told Times Sport: ‘It was a a fantastic atmosphere at Tavistock Rugby Club clubhouse despite the result. We had supporters ranging from six months old to over 70 from all corners of the world. We even had a solitary South African enjoy their win and Australians/Kiwis return after watching the game at the club in the previous weeks.

‘Huge thanks must go to Lisa, Alice and Judith who tell me they cooked 140 eggs to ensure everyone was well fed! The game itself was one game too far for England and credit must go to South Africa who were phenomenal from the word go.’