In Summary
  • There was no lack of bite in a hard-hitting contest of gladitorial standards that left the players bloodied and bruised in a shocking advert for the attritional quality of Test match rugby
  • A key point came halfway through the first-half when wave after wave of brutal English attack was repelled, the Herculean Boks left panting on their line through exertion
  • Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was omnipresent in a back-row in which Vermeulen also outshone England's vaunted "kamikaze kids" pairing of Tom Curry and Sam Underhill

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus might have been criticised for his team's "boring" gameplan going into the Rugby World Cup final, but his side delivered perfectly with a dominant 32-12 victory over England on Saturday.

In victory, the Springboks demonstrated a perfect mix of brutal pragmatism and electric finishing based around an all-important dominant set-piece and the kicking machines that are Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard.

A kickfest had been predicted for the final and - two blistering second-half tries from Bok wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe aside - so it proved as Pollard and Owen Farrell traded penalties early on.

But there was no lack of bite in a hard-hitting contest of gladitorial standards that left the players bloodied and bruised in a shocking advert for the attritional quality of Test match rugby.

Even after six weeks of competition, there was no holding back from the two teams that have prided themselves on their physically confrontrational styles of play.

England prop Kyle Sinckler went off after just three minutes, left prone after a hitting his head in a tackle.

There was a double blow in the 22nd minute for the Boks when lock Lood De Jager departed with a shoulder injury and hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi was replaced as he underwent a Head Injury Assement following a tackle on Courtney Lawes.

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