YOKOHAMA: South Africa’s relentless power and all-round consistency secured them a third Rugby World Cup after they defeated pre-match favourites England 32-12 in Yokohama.
England never found anything like the spark which had brought a semi-final triumph over previous holders New Zealand in the semi-finals. South Africa pushed clear in an exchange of penalties in the first hour then ran away to glory with two late tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe.
Handre Polland kicked two conversions and six penalties with Owen Farrell responding for England with four penalties. Duane Vermeulen, South Africa’s No8, was named official man of the match.
Sporting history was made as the first black captain of South Africa, Siya Kolisi, lifted the Webb Ellis Trophy in front of a crowd who included South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa and Prince Harry.
England head coach Eddie Jones said: “We just couldn’t get on the front foot. We were dominated in the scrum particularly in the first 50 minutes. When you’re in a tight, penalty-driven riven game, its difficult to get any sort of advantage.
“We needed to fix up the scrum, little things around the line-out, then get a bit more accurate in how we attacked. We did that for a while, got ourselves back into the game but in the end we had to force the game and gave away a couple of tries.
“They were too good for us at the breakdown today. That’s the great thing about rugby, one day you’re the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off.”