England heartbroken as South Africa beat Steve Borthwick’s side to reach Rugby World Cup final

 – Gudstory

England heartbroken as South Africa beat Steve Borthwick’s side to reach Rugby World Cup final – Gudstory

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South Africa have once again shattered England’s hearts with a thrilling semi-final win at the Stade de France.

England were unable to avenge their 2019 final defeat at the hands of the Springboks as South Africa now return to the Stade de France to take on New Zealand next Saturday.

Siya Kolisi gave the Webb Ellis Cup holders a 16–15 win as RG Snyman crossed the tryline and substitute fly-half Handre Pollard scored 11 points from the tee.

South Africa have emerged as England’s World Cup bogey-team, winning four out of five fixtures since 1995.

Captain Owen Farrell gave England an early six-nil lead after the Springboks committed two infringements at the breakdown.

Manny Leebock, who missed the tee twice in South Africa’s thrilling defeat to Ireland last month, reduced the deficit to three points with 20 minutes on the clock.

However, England hit back almost immediately as Farrell took full advantage of more Springbok ill-discipline in the ruck.

South Africa struggled to get a grip in the game, with lineout issues and breakdown problems slowing the Springboks.

Leebock was substituted just after half an hour after Leicester Tigers fly-half Handre Pollard came off the bench.

Pollard, who scored 22 points in South Africa’s win against England in the 2019 final, added three more points to the Springbok tally.

But Farrell scored the final decision just before 40 minutes, giving Borthwick’s side a 12–6 lead as England went into the half-time break the much better team.

South Africa were out early in the second half but England restricted the Springboks to 22.

However, hooker Jamie George bowled a directionless lineout only five meters from the South African tryline.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber appeared to be feeling the pressure as he made changes bringing on Willie Le Roux, Faf de Klerk, Aux Nache, RG Snyman, Quagga Smith and Dean Fourie from the bench.

Nienaber’s replacement saw captain Siya Kolisi, scrum-half Kobus Reinach and man-mountain Eben Etzebeth depart the field.

Farrell out-jumped Jonny Wilkinson and fired a spectacular drop goal from 40 yards out to extend England’s lead to 15–6.

The South African half break was closed down by rapid winger Jonny May after the Gloucester star hit hard and turned the ball over.

A powerful kick from Pollard gave the Springboks a big chance just 22 minutes into the game.

Snyman gave South Africa a lifeline as he crashed over from five meters out.

Pollard added the extra point to narrow the gap to just two points, leaving Borthwick in trouble in the final 10 minutes.

The 29-year-old had a first-time chance to put South Africa ahead in less than three minutes.

Pollard kicked a penalty, giving the Springboks a 16–15 lead.

A knock from replacement backrow forward Billy Vunipola meant England fell just short of reaching their fifth World Cup final.

More to follow…


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