All smiles for South Africa fans at Twickenham Stadium as England lose out on World Cup

By Jake Harrison
November 3 2019, 16.45

“What do you call an England player holding a champagne bottle at the end of the Rugby World Cup?” asked Mark Beck, a Springbok supporter out with his family. “A waiter!”

Sadly, the joke proved all too true, as a nervous England side failed to capitalise on their World Cup momentum – earned following a rampant victory over the All Blacks – and were denied the chance to lift the trophy by a steely South African defence, who came out on top, in a convincing 12-32 defeat.

A surprised Mark said: “I feel quite stunned actually. I honestly believed that South Africa wouldn’t win.”

But Mark’s disbelief turned to reality, when his South Africa side headed into the changing rooms at half time, 6 points up, with a respectable 12-6 lead.

“They were playing really well. I thought we could take it then,” Mark said.

Throughout the match, it proved to be a frustrating watch for the England supporters, and as hard as team tried, the Lions simply could not break down the South African defence in the final third.

In the second half, the South Africans kept their discipline, formation, and momentum, edging past England in the scrum and in gaining crucial penalty decisions.

Their persistence finally paid off, with their breakthrough coming in the form of rapid winger, Makazole Mapimpi, 29, who wriggled through to give his side some much needed breathing space.

Ultimately, the killer blow came from fullback, Cheslin Kolbe, 26, who danced around England’s wobbly defence, much thanks to a spectacular mistake from England captain, Owen Farrell, 28, and put the South Africans within touching distance of the cup.

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