World Cup semi-final: South Africa defeat England to reach final

World Cup Semi-Final: South Africa Defeat England To Reach Final
Handre Pollard scored the winning penalty from the halfway line to send South Africa to the final.
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Michael Bolton

South Africa completed a dramatic late comeback to defeat England 16-15 and reach the World Cup final.

Having been behind for nearly all the game, a late penalty from Handre Pollard saw the Springboks win a tense semi-final and reach their second successive final.


Penalties have been the story early on, with two early kicks for Owen Farrell giving England an early 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.

South Africa got into some good positions, but their discipline cost them at vital moments as England won important penalties at the breakdown.

South Africa were pinned back for most of the opening stages before eventually gaining some meaningful ground.

England impressively repelled their opponents but also aided the Springboks by conceding a series of avoidable penalties.


Manie Libbok halved the deficit with a penalty after Borthwick’s men were marched back 10 metres by referee Ben O’Keeffe for some backchat from Farrell.

Following a couple of poor kicks, the Springboks made the decision to withdraw fly-half Libbok with little over half-an-hour played.

Handre Pollard, who booted 22 points against England in the 2019 final in Yokohama, came on to replace him.

England were then forced into a change when flanker Tom Curry was taken off for treatment on a facial injury, with Billy Vunipola on in his place.


Pollard made a swift impact by slotting a simple penalty to reduce England’s advantage to 9-6 as the arm wrestle continued.

Farrell’s fourth penalty of an edgy contest moved England 12-6 ahead at the interval.

In the second half England kept up the pressure and Farrell scored a brillaint long-range drop goal to extend their lead to nine points.

However, with just 10 minutes to go, RG Snyman powered over following a line-out, with Pollard adding the extras to put the Springboks in touching distance at 15-13 down.

With four minutes to go, Handre Pollard scored a penalty from the halfway line to give South Africa a one-point lead.

South Africa were able to hold on in the final moments to force a England knock-on and see the Springboks reach a second successive final.

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