South Africa overpower England for third Rugby World Cup win

LONDON, Nate Williams (dpa)- South Africa were crowned Rugby World Cup champions for the third time on Saturday after an emphatic 32-12 victory over England at the Yokohama International Stadium in Japan.
Handre Pollard kicked over four penalties to cancel out Owen Farrell’s double effort in a battle of the boot for South Africa to lead 12-6 after an intriguing first half.

Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kobe completed the triumph with a pair of tries to follow up their previous wins in 1995 and 2007 and maintain their unbeaten record in World Cup finals. 
It was a historic moment for the country as Siya Kolisi became the first black captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. 
England were hoping to win the World Cup for a second time after they beat Australia, who were led by their current coach Eddie Jones, back in 2003. 
In a rematch of the 2007 final and the first to be held in Asia, England’s mistakes in the scrum against an overpowering Spingbok side cost them from the start and they never recovered. 
The nerves of the big occasion were telling from the very first minute when England’s Courtney Lawes got tangled up in a South African tackle and referee Jerome Garces awarded the first penalty. 
Pollard, whose boot helped the Springboks to a 19-16 semi-final win against Wales, missed his first effort in the second minute but reedemed himself moments later for a 3-0 South African advantage. 
Farrell stepped up to honour the family name and level the scores with 23 minutes played. 
Green and gold South African shirts overpowered England in the scrum and as their opponents folded, Pollard put South Africa 6-3 ahead with another penalty. 
The English anthem of “swing low, sweet chariot” rang throughout the Yokohama International Stadium, as the 2003 champions tried to burrow through the South African defence inches from the try line with half-time approaching. 
South Africa remained resilient and strong to cover England’s every move as they held off a remarkable 25 phases of play, but they conceded a penalty for Farrell to bring the sides all square again. 
England’s discipline at the scrum let them down again and Pollard punished them with his boot twice to put the Springboks in charge at the break. 
No side in the history of World Cup finals had ever overturned a half-time deficit and South Africa distanced themselves further in the second half as they maintained their superior dominance in the scrum. 
England collapsed again to see Pollard reap another three points for a 15-6 lead, which was the same scoreline when South Africa dethroned England in the 2007 final. 
Farrell kept English hearts beating by sending over two kicks filled with pressure, but Pollard replied and ensured South Africa held on to a six-point 18-12 gap before the hour mark passed. 
The Springboks galloped towards England’s goal area and Mapimpi put the game beyond doubt with a genius move for the match-winning try on 66 minutes. 
Mapimpi kicked towards team mate Lukhanyo Am and sprinted past his marker before claiming the ball back and striding over for South Africa’s first ever try in a World Cup final. 
After try-less triumphs in 1995 and 2007, South Africa earned a second try to seal their third championship with six minutes to play. 
Kobe skipped past Owen Farrell and darted towards the line unchallenged with Pollard completing a match total of 22 points to return the Webb Ellis Cup to South African hands. 
The number six shirt is synonymous with South African history as it was the same shirt that Francois Pienaar wore in 1995 to celebrate their first World Cup success. 
Now it was the turn of Kolisi, South Africa’s first black captain, to lift the cup and bring together a once divided nation in a game of union. 

Saturday, November 2nd 2019
Nate Williams (dpa)

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