(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
South Africa won their third World Cup as they overwhelmed an England side that started the final as favourites with 32-12. A war of of attrition was expected, and that’s what we’got. But far from being dull, it was a brutal but absorbing contest.
Eddie Jones’s men simply had no answer to the power of the Springboks, whose defensive stranglehold was reminiscent of that with which England frustrated New Zealand last weekend.
Both sides lost players to early injuries – England’s Kyle Sinckler (head) and Lood de Jager of South Africa (arm) while the injury to Sinckler definately costing England as they gave several penalties away come scrum time during the game.
All the points came from the boot, with Handre Pollard kicking four penalties for the Springboks, and England replying with two from Owen Farrell with the Springboks deservedly 12-6 in the lead at halftime.
The second half was as a close game as the first half but two converted tries within the last fifteen minutes left the English supporters with only tears in their eyes.
The Springboks fully deserved the victory which was earned up front, engineered by the boot of Handre Pollard, who scored 22 points, and given a glossy finish thanks to tries from wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe.
Springboks: Try: Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe. Conversion: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Handre Pollard (6)
England: Conversions: Owen Farrell (4)