Rugby | South Africa beat England 32-12 to win the World Cup

South Africa have beaten England 32-12 in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama.

Handre Pollard kicked 22 points, and wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored a try apiece as the Springboks won the World Cup for a third time.

In head coach Rassie Erasmus’ last game in charge, this was a South Africa performance that demonstrated all that the Springboks do so well; wonderful defensive organization, monstrous physicality, superb kicking, scrum dominance and ruthless efficiency.

Eddie Jones’ England, who stunned New Zealand last week, failed to produce anything near their best form at Yokohama International Stadium.

The first half was a story of kicking.

The Springboks came flying out of the traps and were awarded a penalty inside a minute after Courtney Lawes was caught the wrong side of a ruck.

However, Pollard’s kick drifted wide off the posts.

England suffered an early blow two minutes later, losing Kyle Sinckler to a head injury, with Dan Cole coming on to replace him.

Pollard kicked the first points of the final in the ninth minute, splitting the posts with a penalty to give Erasmus’ men the lead.

Owen Farrell responded with a penalty in the 23rd minute.

Pollard’s penalty following a scrum restored South Africa’s lead just three minutes later.

England responded well, and were awarded another penalty in a scoring position in the 35th minute after 27 phases of intense pressure.

Farrell sent the penalty over to make it 6-6.

It took the Springboks just four minutes to regain the advantage.

Pollard nailed a massive 50-metre penalty after Duane Vermeulen forced a breakdown penalty.

Elliot Daly’s knock-on in the dying seconds of the half then gave Pollard the chance to extend South Africa’s lead to 12-6 at the interval with his fourth penalty.

No team had ever won a Rugby World Cup final having trailed at half time, and it proved no different in Yokohama.

Pollard registered the first points of the second half in the 46th minute with yet another penalty from distance.

Five minutes later, Farrell sent over his third penalty of the game when England were awarded a scrum penalty.

Soon afterwards, Tom Curry forced another breakdown penalty after Pollard spilled the ball. This time, however, Farrell couldn’t add to England’s tally.

Pollard tapped over a penalty in the 58th minute to extend South Africa’s lead following an English offside.

Farrell responded almost immediately with a penalty of his own to make it 18-12 after Malcolm Marx came in illegally at the side of a ruck.

South Africa recorded the game’s first try in the 66th minute after a brilliant one-two from Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am down the left.

Mapimpi chipped the ball forward for Am to run on to, before Am switched the ball back to Mapimpi out wide to spring over in the corner.

The wing’s sixth try of the tournament was eventually awarded after a TMO consultation to check if there was a forward pass in the buildup.

Pollard added the conversion to put the game beyond England.

Kolbe – returning from injury for the final – crossed for the Springboks’ second try four minutes from time.

The 26-year-old applied the finish to a slick counter-attack to make it 30-12, with Pollard converting to add two more points to Erasmus’ men’s tally.

South Africa comfortably saw out the game, and were fully deserving winners in truth.

The 2019 World Cup title is their third following previous successes in 1995 and 2007, drawing the Springboks level with the All Blacks.

Their victory is an historic won in many ways.

Siya Kolisi became the first black captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The Springboks – having lost their first Pool match to the All Blacks – also became the first nation to win the World Cup after losing their opening game.

They are also the only country to have a 100% winning record in World Cup finals.