Riyaz Patel

A ruthless display of power rugby saw South Africa completely overrun England to claim their third Rugby World Cup in devastating fashion.

Twenty two points from the boot of fly-half Handre Pollard and second-half tries from wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe broke English hearts in Yokohama on a disappointing night for Eddie Jones’s men.

England trailed 12-6 at the break after taking a hammering in the scrum and a series of handling errors.

Despite four penalties from captain Owen Farrell they never looked like closing that gap as the dominant Springboks produced an outstanding display to match those of 1995 in Johannesburg and 2007 in Paris.

Those were iconic moments for a nation besotted with rugby and when Siya Kolisi, the first Black Springbok captain, hoisted the William Webb Ellis trophy, the final part of a triumvirate that will endure forever in the country’s collective memory, following Francois Pienaar and John Smit.

England were out-muscled, out-run and out-thought by a team transformed by the leadership of skipper Kolisi and the coaching of Rassie Erasmus.

South Africa went left down the blindside, Mapimpi kicked on and Lukhanyo Am gathered before finding the winger on his outside shoulder for the first try the Springboks had scored in three World Cup finals.

And when the diminutive Kolbe jinked his way through an exhausted English rearguard in the final moments, the Springboks kick-started a Japanese party that swept through the nation.

“But if Siya touches that trophy on Saturday… I tell you, it will be a far greater moment than 1995. Far greater. It would change the trajectory of our country.” John Smit, the 2007 Springbok World Cup winning captain said ahead of the final.


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