Rugby World Cup 2019: England players, fans slammed for post-match conduct

England fans and players have been criticised for their conduct after being defeated by South Africa in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final.

After Springboks' captain Siya Kolisi led his team to a triumphant 32-12 victory at Yokohama International Stadium, England struggled to conceal their dejection as South Africa became the proud recipients of the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time. 

The behaviour of both England's players and fans during the post-match ceremony has been widely condemned, with ardent supporters booing and jeering referee Jérôme Garcès - who has been blasted as "biased" on social media for his penalising of the English scrum. 

A number of English players showed total disdain for their second-place awards, with star lock Maro Itoje snubbing the medal by refusing to have it around his neck.

Prop Kyle Sinckler, who was out of the game early due to a nasty collision with Itoje's elbow, was filmed ripping off the medal as soon as he received it.

England coach Eddie Jones, 59, also removed the runner-up memento as well as prop Joe Marler. 

The actions have been largely labelled as "disrespectful" and "petulant" on social media, with Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi taking to Twitter to criticise England's sportsmanship.

"Love these sore losers taking off/refusing their medals," the JoJo Rabbit director wrote.

Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan had some harsh feedback for Eddie Jones' men as he jumped to the defence of Garcès, who continues to be slammed by England fans for awarding five scrum penalties to the Springboks.

"Jérôme did not have a perfect match - no referee in a World Cup final ever has - but England's fans should be questioning their own scrum rather than the officials," Kaplan wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph

"Clearly the scrum was decisive in this match, but Jérôme was simply rewarding the dominant team. It is rare to see superiority in one facet of the game at this level, but it was clear from early on that the Springboks were far more powerful at the set piece."

Welsh rugby journalist Simon Thomas defended Itoje and Sinckler on Twitter, claiming their behaviour "speaks volumes for just how gutted England is".

"They had hoped for so much more," he wrote.

Itoje said the loss was "one of the most painful experiences" of his life in a post-game interview.

When questioned about his refusal of the medal, Itoje said: "Our goal was to win the Rugby World Cup... we fell short."

The match was close until the 66th minute when Makazole Mapimpi scored South Africa's first-ever try in a World Cup final, with Cheslin Kolbe pulling off a second shortly after.