Springboks beat England for 3rd Rugby World Cup title
South Africa takes 32-12 victory in Japan
South Africa won the Rugby World Cup for a record-tying third time on Saturday, using its power at the set piece to seize control before scoring two clinical late tries through its wingers in a 32-12 victory over England.
It is three from three in finals for the Springboks, after previous wins in 1995 and 2007, and they have finally scored a try in a title match, too, with Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe crossing out wide in the final 13 minutes.
It ensured the Springboks became the first team to lose a game and rebound to win the World Cup, having lost to two-time defending champion New Zealand in the group stage last month.
England was outplayed in every aspect in a flat display in Yokohama, a week after delivering possibly the greatest performance in its history to overwhelm the All Blacks in the semifinals.
But the Springboks didn't let them play, putting on the squeeze at the scrum — where they won four of flyhalf Handre Pollard's six penalties — and using their rolling maul to great effect.
WATCH South Africa powers past England for World Cup glory:
Leading 18-12 with a quarter of the game left, the Springboks opened up and showed the other side of their game.
Mapimpi kicked ahead from the left wing and was on hand to receive a pass from centre Lukhanyo Am to race over near the posts in the 67th minute.
Kolbe's try was even better, the right winger scampering down the touch line before sidestepping England captain Owen Farrell and running through unchecked in the 74th.
That Mapimpi and Kolbe scored the tries and Siya Kolisi led the Boks out as captain made this a poignant and transcendent night for a country still trying to fully emerge from the apartheid era.
It was 24 years ago when they won their first World Cup title in front of the late Nelson Mandela, a year after he became president in a democratic election after decades of racial segregation and his own imprisonment for 27 years.
Two years ago, South African rugby was on its knees — beaten 57-0 by the All Blacks and losing by a record margin to Ireland. Rassie Erasmus came in as coach in February 2018, got the team playing to its strengths and the Boks are world champions for the third time from seven editions they have played.
New Zealand has also won the biggest prize in rugby three times, but having played in nine tournaments.