Springboks crowned Rugby World Cup champions

Springboks crowned Rugby World Cup champions

The Springboks made history in Yokohama by scoring their first ever tries in a Rugby World Cup final to run away with a 32-12 victory over England.

springboks final win CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Siya Kolisi and his Springboks continued South Africa’s 100 percent win record in Rugby World Cup finals, while Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored the country’s first ever tries in a final as well.

In the build up to the match, England had been talked up as the more physical of the two sides following their demolition of New Zealand in the semifinals. But the Springbok pack produced a fiery, physical performance that gave South Africa the ascendancy at set pieces.

Perhaps most telling was the Springboks defensive effort. Rassie Erasmus’ charges tackled England ragged and the pressure told in the second half which led to both of the Springboks tries.

A game of two halfs

The Springboks had the first roll of the dice from the kickoff as they counter attacked from an English exit

Not less than a minute later there was a length break in play, as England prop Kyle Sinckler took a sickening knock to the head as he tried to make a tackle on Makazole Mapimpi.

The tighthead prop was forced to leave the field for a head injury assessment, with Dan Coles coming on as his replacement.

From the resulting scrum, the Springboks demolished the England pack and went on a long period of attack, before a knockon ended their assault on the English try line.

Another scrum followed and England number 8 Billy Vunipola broke off the base before firing a loose pass to his backline. Owen Farrell had to clean up and was caught behind the advantage line. Springbok number 8 Duane Vermeulen then forced a penalty.

Pollard stepped up and slotted the fairly straightforward penalty to give the Springboks a 3-nil lead after nine minutes.

The Springboks then conceded a penalty inside their 22 and Owen Farrell slotted the shot at goal, equalling the scores at 3-all.

But before Farrell slotted his kick, the Springboks lost two forwards to injury. Hooker Bongi Mbonambi took a shot to the head while lock Lood de Jager was forced off the field with what looked like a dislocated shoulder.

England then knocked the ball on from the restart before South Africa secured another scrum penalty. Pollard wasted no time slotting the penalty to give the Springboks a 6-3 lead.

The Springboks then had to absorb more than 5 minutes of serious pressure as England launched a seemingly unending attack on the Springbok line. Eventually the English were given a long advantage for offside play by the Springboks.

Eventually play was called back to the original penalty spot and Farrell kicked for posts, levelling the scores at 6-all.

The Springboks then launched an attack after England exited from the resulting kickoff. After a number of phases, England snapped up a loose pass but Vermeulen then forced another penalty. 

Pollard stepped up and slotted a difficult penalty to make it 9-6 with three minutes to play in the first half.

England restarted the game and the Springboks took their time to set up and exit. Faf de Klerk fumbled the ball which forced him to fire off a long pass to his backline.

Outside centre Lukhanyo Am made a break and sprinted up field before chipping the ball ahead. England fullback Elliot Daly knocked the ball on giving the Springboks a scrum inside England’s half.

Once again the South African pack produced a monster shove, forcing the England front row to collapse which resulted in another penalty. Pollard stepped up and knocked over his fourth penalty of the half to give the Springboks a 12-6 lead at half time.

Boks score first-ever tries in a final

The second half began with England enjoying the lion’s share of possession after the Springboks exited from the restart.

But some dogged defence from the Springboks prevented England from getting past the halfway line before a knock-on gave South Africa the feed to a scrum.

The Springbok management chose that moment to bring on both of their reserve props. The move proved decisive as they forced a scrum penalty.

Pollard opted to kick for posts and slotted a massive 40-metre effort to give South Africa 15-6.

The tide then turned at scrum time as England produced a massive scrum just inside the Springboks half. Referee Jerome Garces awarded England the penalty and Farrell stepped up for a shot at goal which was successful, leaving the Springboks with a 15-9 lead.

Another penalty went the way of England shortly afterwards, as Pollard was penalised for not releasing the ball as he was ankle-tapped while trying to run the ball out of their own half.

England opted for another shot at goal but Farrell’s attempt at posts went wide, letting South Africa off the hook after the error inside their half.

READ: Springboks v England: A World Cup history

The Springboks then kicked the ball down field which forced Daly to kick the ball out. South Africa punched the ball up into the midfield through inside centre Damian de Allende.

At the next phase, the Springbok forward quickly formed a preplanned rolling maul which resulted in a penalty. Pollard had no problem with the shot in front of the posts giving South Africa an 18-9 lead.

England then secured a penalty from the restart as the Springboks were pinged for entering a ruck from the side. Farrell lined up another shot at goal and made amends, making the score 18-12 to South Africa.

An off the ball shove on Makazole Mapimpi then gifted the Springboks a penalty just inside their half. The wing was chasing up a box kick and was knocked off the ball by his opposite number.

Pollard pointed to the posts and lined up his shot but the kick dropped short.

A long passage of play followed that led to the first try of the game. The Springboks attacked down the blinde side and some slick hands unleashed Mapimpi.

The left-wing put a chip over Daly and Am chased it down before firing a final pass back to Mapimpi who crossed the whitewash to score.

Pollard showed great resolve to slot the conversion from a tough angle, as England fans jeered him from the stands. The successful kick made it 25-12.

The Springboks then stepped up their defensive effort and put England under immense pressure, taking them back into their half. 

A knock on from England was snapped up the Springboks and the ball was shifted outwide to Kolbe. The right-wing sprinted down the touchline before stepping past Farrell on his way to score South Africa’s second try of the Rugby World Cup final.

Pollard then converted to make it 32-12 with less than six minutes left to play.

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