South Africa beat England to win third Rugby World Cup title

England’s hopes of a second Rugby Word Cup title came to an end on Saturday morning as South Africa beat the Red Roses 12-32 in the Yokohama Stadium in Japan.

England beat Australia and New Zealand – two previous champions of the competition – on their way to the final, and were considered favourites heading into the match. But the Springboks dominated all 80 minutes with a strong performance that kept them on the front foot.

England gained momentum near the end of the first half, getting within metres of the try line, but the South Africa side made sure they didn’t get too close.

Half-time ended at 6-12 to the Springboks after both teams conceded penalties, the England fans’ hopes of a comeback still alive. But not even six replacements in the second half was enough to push through the South African team, who showed no signs of fatigue.

Makazole Mapimpi scored the first try of the match, before teammate Cheslin Kolbe sealed their victory with another near the end of the match.

It may have been a repeat result of the 2007 final in France, but it was a historic victory for South Africa, as Siya Kolisi became the first black player to captain the Springboks, and the first to lift the trophy.

England’s head coach, Eddie Jones, spoke to ITV Sport after the match, admitting his players “struggled to get on the front foot” but “played with a lot of pride and passion”.

Many venues across London opened early for the final, including Boxpark in Wembley where the highs and lows of the match were shared among the England fans who attended.

Many people also expressed their congratulations and commiserations for South Africa and England on Twitter, including the All Blacks, who won their bronze medal match against Wales on Friday.

Words: Alysia Georgiades | Video: Alexandros Papagiannis and Patrick Cohen | Featured image: Thomas Serer on Unsplash

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