World reacts to classy Cup moment


South Africa have claimed their third Rugby World Cup with a historic 32-12 win over England as the tournament in Japan came to an end.

From early in the game, the Springboks suffocated the Red Roses out of the game to deny England and the Northern Hemisphere a second title in the nine editions of the tournament.

Here are the talking points from the World Cup Final.


Kolisi, the first black man to captain the Springboks and first black man of any country to captain his side to World Cup glory, devoted the win to the people of South Africa with a grateful and gracious speech, preaching unity for the still divided nation.

"We've faced a lot of challenges, but the people of South Africa have gotten behind us, and we are so grateful for the people of South Africa," Kolisi said.

"We have so many problems in our country, but to have a team like this … we come from different backgrounds, different races and we came together with one goal and wanted to achieve it. I really hope that we've done that for South Africa to show that we can pull together and achieve something."

The entire tournament has been a unifying experience for South Africa with the Springboks continually passing on the message they were doing it for the people at home.

"Since I've been alive, I've never seen South Africa like this," Kolisi said. "Now, with all the challenges we have been. The coach came in told us the last game, 'We're not playing for ourselves anymore; we're playing for our people back home'.

"That's what we wanted to do today and we really appreciate all the support. People in the taverns, people in farms and homeless people and people in rural areas. Thank you so much; we appreciate all the support. We love you South Africa, and we can achieve anything if we work together as one."

The speech came 24 years after Nelson Mandela threw his support behind the Springboks in a bid to unify the country, which is still grappling with the ravages of almost 50 years of apartheid segregation.

The 1995 side claimed the title at the first World Cup it was allowed to participate in.

2007 South African captain John Smit told the BBC earlier in the week it would be "a greater moment than 1995" and "would change the trajectory of our country".

Mandela and Pienaar in 1995.
Mandela and Pienaar in 1995.


Kolisi and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019.
Kolisi and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019.

Springboks legend Bryan Habana told ITV the image of Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Cup would inspire millions of South Africans.

"I'm taking a moment to take it all in - this is what the best dreams are made of," Habana said.

"This moment will be etched forever not only on the trophy but for every South African. This has been a journey which has been so transformational.

"Siya Kolisi thank you for giving South Africa hope, thank you for inspiring South Africans."

The world was blown away by Kolisi's speech.






1995 South African captain Francois Pienaar, who had a tight bond with former South African president Mandela, said before the game a win would be huge for the nation.

"It'll be better and bigger than 1995," he said. "It will unite the country even more so because we've got more black supporters in South Africa than we've ever had. We didn't have them in 1995. Because of the victory and the because of Mr Mandela on the platform, a lot more black people started watching rugby, following rugby and playing rugby."

It's South Africa's third triumph in seven tournaments after the team missed the first two World Cups.

"We know the history of what they've been and we know they've got so much more to go through but that is a huge leap forward for the nation of South Africa," Wallabies legend Justin Harrison said.


South Africa boasts the odd record of never having conceded a try in a World Cup Final, having now won three titles without ever losing a decider.

The try to Makazole Mapimpi with 14 minutes left was the first one South Africa have scored in a World Cup final, with the Springboks winger unable to be kept out with his 14th try in 14 matches.

While South Africa have been labelled "boring" throughout the World Cup, the territorial game was effective and delivered the World Cup triumph, winning on the back of a disciplined effort and effective scrum.




England's head coach Eddie Jones said the problem for the side was the team was unable to get on top as they were sucked into the South African game.

"We just couldn't get on the front foot. We were dominated in the scrum particularly in the first 50 minutes. When you're in a tight, penalty-driven game, it's difficult to get any sort of advantage," Jones told BBC 5Live.

"We needed to fix up the scrum, little things around the lineout, then get a bit more accurate in how we attacked.

"We did that for a while, got ourselves back into the game, but in the end we had to force the game and gave away a couple of tries.

"They were too good for us at the breakdown today. That's the great thing about rugby, one day you're the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off."


England's Kyle Sinckler lasted just three minutes of the World Cup final.
England's Kyle Sinckler lasted just three minutes of the World Cup final.

Just three minutes into the final, England's Kyle Sinckler became the first major casualty as the star was escorted from the ground after taking a knock to the head from some friendly fire.

He went for a tackle on South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi but appeared to have knocked himself out on the elbow of his teammate Maro Itoje.

Wallabies legend Phil Kearns said it was a "major blow for England" with the ability Sinckler has in offloading and impact in the scrum taken away from Jones' team.

It proved to be an important moment as South Africa won the battle of the big men.





"It's part of the game," Jones said of the injury. "I can't doubt the effort of my players, they were extraordinary. We just came up short today."

But the brutality continued as Mbonambi Mbonambi and Lodewyk De Jager both went down with injuries.

However, it didn't seem to affect South Africa as deeply as Sinckler's loss.

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