Rugby World Cup 2019: Media reacts to Springboks' triumph over England in final

South Africa are World Cup champions for the third time after beating England 32-12 in the decider in Yokohama on Saturday. 

They join New Zealand as the only nations to have lifted the Webb Ellis Cup three times, adding to their triumphs in 1995 and 2007. 

The match was close until the 66th minute when Makazole Mapimpi scored South Africa's first-ever try in a World Cup final, and shortly after Cheslin Kolbe added their second to put the result beyond doubt. 

South Africa's 20-point victory is the joint-second biggest in a final, after Australia's 23-point win against France in 1999. New Zealand also won by 20 points in 1987.

More importantly though, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi became the first black man to lead their nation to the title. 

England have lost the Rugby World Cup final on three occasions - no side has lost at this stage more often (level with France). The defeat was Jones' second World Cup final loss as a head coach, having lost in 2003 to England as Wallabies coach.

Oliver Holt - Daily Mail


"Outplayed and overwhelmed - England were embarrassingly poor... the men who produced this country's greatest World Cup display simply could not do it when it mattered most.

"They gazed inside themselves and knew that when their moment came, they had turned away from it. They had shrunk from the challenge, not risen to it. 'There is,' Jones told everyone two weeks ago, 'always a better samurai round the corner.' It turns out he was right. England had frozen. They had known what was coming and when it hit them with the force of a freight train, they could not deal with it. The conquerors of New Zealand, the men who produced perhaps the greatest of all England World Cup performances in the semi-final, simply could not do it when it mattered most."

Jon Cardinelli - SA Rugby Mag


"Siya Kolisi's Springboks have made history after hammering England 32-12 on Saturday and claiming South Africa's third World Cup title.

"Talk about power. Talk about belief. On Saturday, the Boks showcased their physical and mental steel to secure rugby's greatest prize and restore South Africa's reputation as a superpower.

"Few outside South Africa gave them a chance. The England fans - who outnumbered their South African counterparts at the ground by 10 to one - were in a bullish mood and appeared to lend their team fresh energy with every deafening rendition of 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'.

"The Boks, however, never appeared overawed by the occasion. They maintained their composure after Handre Pollard missed an early penalty attempt, throughout an assault on their line toward the end of the first half, and then in the latter stages when England tried to fight back.

"They were relentless in their quest to pressure England at the set pieces and gain-line. The starting pack set the tone by winning a couple of penalties at the scrum. The Boks adjusted of losing Bongi Mbonambi and Lood de Jager to injuries, and continued to hammer into England's front row with controlled ferocity.

"The Boks fired on Saturday to set up a monumental victory for South African rugby. In doing so, they became the first team in history to win the tournament after losing a pool match and the first side to win the Rugby Championship in the same year as well.

"The game also produced another important first in the aftermath when Kolisi, South Africa's first black captain, collected the trophy. The crowd appeared to chant as one when the flank stepped up to the podium and raised the Webb Ellis Cup into the cool Yokohama night sky."

Tom Fordyce - BBC Sport


"South Africa broke English hearts with a ruthless display of power rugby to seize their third Rugby World Cup in devastating fashion.

"Twenty-two points from the boot of nerveless fly-half Handre Pollard and second-half tries from wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe ground England into the Yokohama dirt on a horrible night for Eddie Jones's men.

"England had trailed 12-6 at the interval after taking a hammering in the scrum and making a series of handling errors.

"And despite four penalties from captain Owen Farrell they never looked like closing that gap as the Springboks produced an outstanding display to match those of 1995 in Johannesburg and 2007 in Paris.

"Those were iconic moments for a nation besotted with rugby and when Siya Kolisi lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy aloft as the first black man to captain the Springboks, they will have the final part of a triptych that will endure forever in the country's collective memory.

England fans watch in despair.
England fans watch in despair. Photo credit: Getty

"For England, it was a chastening end to a campaign that had promised to end the 16-year wait for the World Cup glory.

"They were out-muscled, out-run and out-thought by a team transformed by the leadership of skipper Kolisi and the coaching of Rassie Erasmus.

"Never before has a team beaten in the group stages gone on to win the trophy, but this is a triumph to match that of the teams of Francois Pienaar and John Smit with a wider story that perhaps surpasses both."

Jake Goodwill - Telegraph


"England was outplayed in every aspect in a flat display in Yokohama, a week after delivering possibly the greatest performance in its history to overwhelm the All Blacks in the semi-finals.

"But the Springboks didn't let them play, putting on the squeeze at the scrum - where they won four of fly-half Handre Pollard's six penalties - and using their rolling maul to great effect.

"It was 24 years ago when they won their first World Cup title in front of the late Nelson Mandela, a year after he became president in a democratic election after decades of racial segregation and his own imprisonment for 27 years.

South Africa celebrate their World Cup win.
South Africa celebrate their World Cup win. Photo credit: Getty

"Two years ago, South African rugby was on its knees - beaten 57-0 by the All Blacks and losing by a record margin to Ireland. Rassie Erasmus came in as coach in February 2018, got the team playing to its strengths and the Boks are world champions for the third time from seven editions they have played."

Gavin Rich - SuperSport South Africa


"England came in as favourites in some eyes but the Springboks always believed they were better and boy did they emphatically prove their point as they trampled the also-rans into the Yokohama International Stadium turf to annex their third Rugby World Cup title with a 32-12 victory.

"It was the stuff dreams are made of both the Boks and their fans as their forwards took control of the game from the kick-off, with the big men softening England up but the team as a whole bringing a lot more to their game than they hitherto had in the tournament as two great back tries made sure of the win in the last quarter.

"It was the Springboks' third World Cup title, which takes them level with New Zealand on the all-time list in terms of wins, and also by far their most emphatic win in a final. Indeed, when Makazole Mapimpi went in for a brilliant try some 13 minutes from time to put the game out of reach of England, it was the first try the Boks have scored in any World Cup final, and they've now won three out of three of those.

South Africa lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
South Africa lift the Webb Ellis Cup. Photo credit: Getty

"The Boks knew that and were confident all through the build-up week. Publicly they made England the favourites, but privately they were always brimming with confidence in their ability to deal with a team they beat twice in Rassie Erasmus' first series in charge and which only actually got the edge on the Boks in games played under-strength in 2018."

Tom Hamilton - ESPN


"They started carving South Africa's name into the Webb Ellis Cup with five minutes of the match remaining. This was as destructive a performance as you'll ever see in the sport as South Africa suffocated and out-muscled England to win their third Rugby World Cup.

"The true impact of this World Cup win for the Springboks and South Africa will only be quantifiable in time, but as Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup into the Yokohama night sky, it capped one of the most remarkable sporting changes of form and fate in living memory.

"Eighteen months ago, the Boks were sixth in the world and tonight, as those in green and gold cried, stared and roared in wonderful disbelieving ecstasy, Rassie Erasmus' side hammered England 32-12 to cement their spot at the top of the rankings. As the podium was being built, the chant of 'Rassie, Rassie' came from the stands as the Class of 2019 joined those Springboks immortals from 2007 and 1995.

"The historical merged with the present when Francois Pienaar, the 1995 captain, punched the air as Cheslin Kolbe danced past the prone Owen Farrell to score the try that was the championship-winning, definitive slam of the arm-wrestle. The Boks out-muscled and outplayed England, outscoring them two tries to nil in a win built on power over prowess.

"But make no mistake - England did not lose this match; the Springboks won it."