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South Africa Are World Champions After Bullying England Into Submission

England South Africa

England 12 South Africa 32

South Africa are world champions for the first time since 2007 after they produced a performance based on a dominant setpiece to completely bully Eddie Jones’ England over the 80 minutes.

England were under pressure from the off when Courtney Lawes gave away a simple penalty for not rolling away at the ruck. Luckily for England, Handre Pollard was wide with his penalty attempt.

England suffered a major blow after three minutes when Kyle Sinckler was forced off with a head injury after he collided with Maro Itoje when attempting to make a tackle.

The scrum, which was already under pressure, didn’t improve with Dan Cole’s introduction as Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira had his number for the remainder of the game.

England South Africa

A poor pass from Billy Vunipola off a scrum led to Owen Farrell getting isolated in the tackle. This allowed the excellent Duane Vermeulen to swoop in and win a turnover, which set- Pollard to kick the first points of the game after 10 minutes.

Despite 20 minutes of South Africa dominance, England managed to level the game with an Owen Farrell penalty but the lead didn’t last long as another scrum penalty yielded a shot at goal for Pollard, which he dispatched with ease.

England South Africa

England then had their best period as they went through 30+ phases close to the Springboks line but they couldn’t find a way through after some heroic and at times, cynical, South Africa defending. They had to contend with three points from Farrell to level the game.

A penalty for not releasing saw Pollard reinstate the South Africa lead before on the stroke of halftime, the out-half extended that lead with another penalty which came from further scrum dominance.

At the beginning of the second half, the Boks’ scrum continued to dominate and it yielded another kick at goal for Pollard which he dispatched superbly to stretch out the lead to 15-6.

However, the introduction of Joe Marler for Mako Vunipola seemed to change things as England produced a superb scrummaging effort soon after and this allowed Farrell to bring it back to a six-point game.

Pollard and Farrell exchanged further penalties before the game swung in South Africa’s favour when Makazole Mapimpi scored a superb try, which he created from a kick in behind the English line. Mapimpi’s kick was collected by Lukhanyo Am before the centre fired the ball back out to the winger to score his country’s first try in a World Cup final.

Jerome Garces reviewed the move for a potential forward pass but didn’t deem the footage clear and obvious so the try stood.

England were desperate to score, but a poor turnover saw Cheslin Kolbe pick up the ball on the wing and he turned Owen Farrell inside out en route to a scintillating try which confirmed South Africa’s name on the Webb Ellis trophy.



Elliot Daly – 5 

Anthony Watson – 5

Manu Tuilagi – 5 

Owen Farrell – 5 

Jonny May – 5 

George Ford – 4

Ben Youngs – 4 

Mako Vunipola – 4

Jamie George – 5 

Kyle Sinckler – N/A

Maro Itoje – 6 

Courtney Lawes – 5 

Tom Curry – 6 

Sam Underhill – 6 

Billy Vunipola – 5 

Replacements – 4 

South Africa 

Tendai Mtawarira – 8 

Mbongeni Mbonambi – 7 

Frans Malherbe – 8 

Eben Etzebeth – 7 

Lood de Jager – N/A 

Siya Kolisi (captain) – 7 

Pieter-Steph Du Toit – 7 

Duane Vermeulen – 10 

Faf de Klerk – 7 

Handre Pollard – 8 

Makazole Mapimpi – 8 

Damian de Allende – 7 

Lukhanyo Am – 7 

Cheslin Kolbe – 9 

Willie Le Roux – 7 

Replacements – 6 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter