Britain

Rugby World Cup: England take on South Africa in nail-biting final

The Rugby World Cup final has got off to a nail-biting start as England finished the first half 6-12 down after conceding five penalties to South Africa.

The game started off with England giving away two penalties in the first 10 minutes and Kyle Sinckler being replaced after less than three minutes due to concussion.

In England's biggest game since their last World Cup final in 2007 – where they lost to the Springboks – everything is at stake for both teams at the International Stadium Yokohama.

Thousands of England fans arrived in Japan to watch the game after their team beat New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Image: England's Kyle Sinckler was taken off after tackling South Africa's Maro Itoje in the first three minutes of the game

As the whistle went at 9am UK time, South Africa kicked-off. England conceded a penalty within the first minute for not rolling away – but South Africa missed the kick.

Advertisement

Two minutes later, medics were on the pitch as England's Sinckler took a blow to the head while making a tackle, before he was made to walk off the pitch and was replaced by Dan Cole in a permanent move for the final.

Following a loose pass from England in South Africa's end, the Springboks were given another penalty and this time Handre Pollard made sure he did not miss, scoring the first try of the game – just before 10 minutes ticked over.

More from Japan

Prince Harry was in Yokohama for the final
Image: Prince Harry was in Yokohama for the final

In the 17th minute, England conceded another penalty from the scrum, but Jonny May stopped the ball going into touch and Elliot Daly hoofed it down field as South Africa were down a man, with Bongi Mbonambi being taken off with a concussion.

A minute later, South Africa conceded its first penalty, giving England their first opportunity to get into their own end.

Coach Eddie Jones looked nervous as England finished the first half 6-12 down
Image: Coach Eddie Jones looked nervous as England finished the first half 6-12 down

A penalty followed soon after, with England's Owen Farrell taking a succesful kick from about 20 metres out.

But clearly not keen to give England a leg up, South Africa took advantage of another penalty against England for standing up in the scrum, with Pollard kicking a goal to bring the Springboks up to 3-6.

South Africa put up an almighty defence as England were inches away from scoring a try for a number of minutes as the clock hit the half hour mark.

But the Springboks finally conceded a penalty and Farrell kicking from in front of the posts, bringing England up to 6-6 five minutes before half-time.

South Africa's Handre Pollard scoring his team's first penalty of the final
Image: South Africa's Handre Pollard scoring his team's first penalty of the final

With three minutes before half-time, a strong tackle by Courtney Lawes ends in a penalty for South Africa 10 metres inside England's half, with Pollard managing a difficult kick to push the Boks up to 6-9.

The BRead More – Source