South African captain Siya Kolisi holds the Webb Ellis Cup aloft after South Africa defeated England 32-12 to win the Rugby World Cup at International Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama on Saturday. Photo: AP/Christophe Ena
rugby world cup 2019

South Africa beat England 32-12 to win 3rd World Cup

By Nick Mulvenney

South Africa laid the groundwork with traditional Springbok rugby and finished an outgunned England side off with two late tries to win the World Cup for the third time courtesy of a 32-12 victory on Saturday.

Wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe crossed in the last 15 minutes for South Africa's first ever tries in a World Cup final but six penalties from the boot of Handre Pollard had already put the Springboks firmly in charge.

Superb game management, set piece dominance, brutal defense and almost flawless place-kicking had been enough to see off an England side that had dismantled the double defending champion All Blacks in the semi-finals last week.

While the tactics were as traditional as the dark green Springbok shirt, the team was far more representative of a multiracial nation than those of 1995 and 2007 and Siya Kolisi became the first black captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

"Since I have been alive I have not seen South Africa like this," Kolisi said before receiving the trophy from Crown Prince Akishino.

"It was like in '95. So many challenges we have (in South Africa). The coach told us we are not playing for ourselves, we are playing for the people back home. We appreciate all the support, we love you, South Africa, and we can achieve anything if we work together."

England came into the match with huge expectations after the New Zealand win but only offered flashes of the brilliant all-pitch game which undid the All Blacks last week.

Head coach Eddie Jones, who was in charge of Australia when England won their only World Cup in 2003, becomes the first head coach to lose two finals.

Flyhalf Farrell kicked four penalties for England but they were chasing the match all evening and hanging on doggedly trying to contain the rampant Springboks by the end.

"We just struggled to get in the game," said Jones. "The effort from players was outstanding but we struggled to get on the front foot today.

"I can't fault the preparation of the players. They worked hard for the whole of the World Cup, played with a lot of passion, but just weren't good enough today."

The English suffered a huge blow when prop Kyle Sinckler went off with concussion in the third minute leaving their scrum all but uncompetitive against the Springbok pack.

South Africa made the most of the weakness, winning a string of scrum penalties, taking a 12-6 lead into halftime and building a foundation that enabled their wingers to seal the victory in the last 15 minutes.

Mapimpi has been in prolific form this year and he showed South African wingers can play a bit with ball in hand when he chipped-through, collected an offload from Lukhanyo Am and touched down in the 66th minute.

Kolbe added the second try eight minutes later, skipping past the tackle of Owen Farrell on the wing and racing away to touch down to the delight of the South Africans in the crowd of 70,103.

Pollard coolly landed both conversions to take his match tally to 22.

The Springboks became the first team to lose a pool match at a World Cup and go on to win it, having gone down to the All Blacks in their tournament opener at the same Yokohama International Stadium.

They join the New Zealanders with three World Cup triumphs and England remain the only team from the northern hemisphere to have won the title.

© Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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We (England) played very poorly, not the same team as against the AB's Congratz to SA. Where the whisky?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The cooler heads and superior power of the South African team won out!

They deserve to be the winners

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No arguments there. England were overwhelmed.

Well done SA.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Just as I feared England gave away too many penalties which against South Africa is the fast road to defeat. They had no try scoring ideas and instead just reverted to form playing their inimitable boring version of Rugby Yawnion.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yeah I’m happy South Africa won but where was England tonight? Looked a completely different team to last week.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Congratulations Bokke. Immense performance today by the Springboks.

Had some salty comments last weekend when South Africa beat Wales by calling them boring and how England would dismantle them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Congratulations to SA! Totally bossed it!

England might have done a bit better with SInckler, he's been a mood maker and they ended up being destroyed in the scrums, but injuries are all part of the game. SA forced lots of errors in England's handling and England couldn't bang that one in in the first half even with a penalty advantage to try something risky. An epic defensive stand.

It's been a great tournament. Well done everyone involved.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well done Boks! Brilliant performance, fully deserved Champions. How good is the little scrum half De Klerk?! Player of the tournament IMO.

Where are all the posters who claimed the "Boks are boring"..."England will win easily"? Time to eat some humble pie fellas!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What happened with the team who beat the All Blacks last weekend ????...

The final game must be All Blacks vs Springboks and the result would be completely different..

Well, these are sports and everything could happened..

Happy next WRC France2023

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Congrats to South Africa. Man oh man, that defense is something else.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Fully deserved winners and their defence proved impenetrable.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

At least England can brag about their win over New Zealand for the next decade.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

As is known in sports,Defense wins championships.And S.A. exhibited that.Though they kicked less than I thought and actually ran the ball more.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At least England can brag about their win over New Zealand for the next decade.

Huh? If they won it all... sure! Otherwise,what is your point there?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Crushed! That penalty miss from Farrell was a big moment, but the Boks are a mighty engine and fully deserved it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No, Sean, that’d be truly tragic... like an Irishman defining himself solely by not being English..,,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The English media saying South Africa were a boring side was more tragic.

3 ( +9 / -6 )


Team of the tournament - Japan -exciting to watch and really did their country proud.

Game of the tournament - Scotland vs Japan.

Strongest win - England over the All Blacks. That same performance would have won the final.

My favorite player... tough call that one but I think I’m gonna say Faf de Klerk.

My home team really needs to up their game but I’m still a proud ABs fan.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Congrats to SA and to all teams who participated. Thank you for the great games and enjoyed the sport. I still say Japan beat themselves and had the ability to win it all. I am proud of the US team and expect a much more improved team in 4 yrs but please get new uniforms.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Team of the tournament - Japan -exciting to watch and really did their country proud.

I agree 100 percent. Brave Blossoms were the Team of the Tournament. They should also get a trophy. No one expected them to make the Quarter Final. They shocked the world.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

At least Japan were gracious losers, they wouldn't have put their silver medals away.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )


I noticed that, too. Most of the English players took their medals off as soon as Bill Beaumont put it around their necks. Mario Itoje wouldn't even let him do that; he didn't want to wear it even for a second. I suspect most of those medals will end up in the rubbish bins in their hotel rooms.

Too bad it couldn't have been an All Blacks-South Africa final.

Overall, not a great spectacle, though the South african defense in the latter part of the first half on their own line was outstanding. The game was marred by too many penalties (especially in the first half) and too many stoppages (the scrums are a blight on the game). I don't think a minute went by without hearing the referee's whistle. The game is in need of some serious rule changes (especially in the rucks) to make it more flowing.

That's why I enjoyed watching Japan's style. Like some other readers above, I also think the Japan-Scotland game was the most exciting and fun game of the tournament.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Congratulations South Africa! Kolbe's try left England's defence dumbfounded. Like a good whisky, the Bokke's 12 year victory tasted great.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Christmas came early.. The English lost!!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )


-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Congratulations South Africa!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An amazing display of South Africa laager defense that the English could not breach.

Land this Kolbe guy scored a mesmerizing try; and Mampimpi with his chip and try!

My adopted country, the US, has another four years to improve. And still hoping to see my native Kenya make it to the rugby WC - but ranked only #32 that's a long way to go.

Congrats Springboks!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

England slumped to 3rd in world rankings as well.... to be fair any of NZ, Eng, SA could have won this RWC. Bt the Boks join NZ on 3 and England remain on their sole win back in 2003.

Having watched NZ dismantle Wales for 3rd... they'll be kicking themselves they didn't turn up against england last week.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Agree Jaymann - ended up being a bit like a game of Rock Paper Scissors. NZ being the scissors to England’s rock and South Africa’s paper (all randomly chosen and not related to team performance). On their day any one of these teams could have won.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At least Japan were gracious losers, they wouldn't have put their silver medals away.

Well sure they wouldn't have.For them to get that far would be as good as gold.And we all know that ain't happening in our lifetime.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And England will never win the World Cup in Rugby or Football! No wonder no one supports you with an attitude like that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It was far from a classic game. With the ball being dead so much it definitely suited SA's game plan more, you could just feel the tension as soon as the game stopped with the early injury. It never got going after that and SA did really well to keep England pushed back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

seanwd20Nov. 4  02:38 pm JST

And England will never win the World Cup in Rugby or Football! No wonder no one supports you with an attitude like that.

With an attitude like what? If you get into a semi final and win, you need a desire and belief to get that far and try to get over the line.

Are you confusing the media to the team or what? Your comments don't make any sense other than clearly being repetitive anti English dross. Take a good look at your own nation when referring to the chances of winning!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LOL no one remembers who comes second or fourth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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