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England hearts shattered as South Africa beat Steve Borthwick’s side to make Rugby World Cup final


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South Africa have shattered English hearts yet again in a nail-biting 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 next Saturday to take on New Zealand.

Siya Kolisi led the Webb Ellis Cup holders to a 16-15 win as RG Snyman crossed the tryline and replacement fly-half Handre Pollard nailed eight points from the tee.

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

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Captain Owen Farrell kicked England into an early six-nil lead after the Springboks made two infringements at the breakdown.

Mannie Libbok, who missed twice from the tee in South Africa’s defeat at the hands of Ireland last month, cut the deficit to three-points with 20-minutes on the clock.

However, England struck back almost instantly as Farrell made the most of more Springbok ill-discipline at the ruck.

South Africa struggled to get a grip on the game, with lineout issues and problems at the breakdown sapping Springbok momentum.

Libbok was substituted just half-an-hour in as Leicester Tigers fly-half Handre Pollard came off the bench.

Pollard, who kicked 22-points when South Africa romped to victory against England four years ago in Japan, soon added a further three to the Springbok tally.

But Farrell had the final say just before the 40-minute mark, handing Borthwick’s side a 12-6 lead as England went into the half-time break the much better side.

England's Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell dejected following the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi final match at the Stade de France,

England’s Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell dejected following the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi final match at the Stade de France,


South Africa came out for the second-half early but England pushed the Springboks deep into their own 22.

However, hooker Jamie George threw a wayward lineout just five metres out from the South African tryline, enabling the Springboks to clear their lines.

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber appeared to feel the pressure as he rang the changes to bring Willie Le Roux, Faf de Klerk, Ox Nche, Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Dean Fourie on from the bench.

Nienaber’s substitutions saw captain Siya Kolisi, scrum-half Cobus Reinach and man-mountain Eben Etzebeth leave the field.

Farrell, channelling his inner Jonny Wilkinson, launched a monster drop goal from 40 yards out to extend England’s lead to 15-6.

A South African half-break was shut down by rapid winger Jonny May after the Gloucester star made a crunching hit and turned the ball over.

But an enormous punt from Pollard gave the Springboks a huge opportunity deep into England’s 22 with 12 minutes to go.

South Africa's Handre Pollard kicks a penalty during the Rugby World Cup, semi final match at the Stade de France

South Africa’s Handre Pollard kicks a penalty during the Rugby World Cup, semi final match at the Stade de France


Snyman then handed South Africa a much-needed lifeline as he crashed over from five metres out.

Pollard cut the gap to just two-points by adding the extras, giving Borthwick and the England coaching staff a nervy final 10 minutes.

The 29-year-old had the opportunity to put South Africa ahead for the first time with less than three minutes on the clock after Kiwi referee Ben O’Keefe awarded the Springboks a penalty at the scrum.

Pollard nailed the long-range shot at goal, giving the Springboks a 16-15 lead.

A knock on by replacement backrow forward Billy Vunipola saw O’Keefe blow the full time whistle as England fell agonisingly short of going to their fifth World Cup final.

South Africa will return to the Stade de France, where John Smit led the Springbok to glory at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, to face southern hemisphere rivals New Zealand next Saturday.

England will have one final run out on Friday night as Borthwick’s men take on Argentina for the third-place play-off.

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Written by: radioroxi

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