England expect Springboks to charge through the front door in WC final

Tanya Simon
October 29, 2019

But a turnover in center-field by Springbok replacement Francois Louw and one last error - by prop Rhys Carre, coming in at the side of one of South Africa's hard-to-stop rolling mauls - proved Wales' undoing.

There was none of the verve shown by England in their gripping 19-7 victory over New Zealand on Saturday, but the slowed rhythm suited the Springboks and their giant pack of forwards, reprising the tactics they also employed in their 26-3 quarter-final victory over Japan.

The All Blacks beat the Springboks 23-13 in the pool phase last month - scoring two tries in four-minute span that broke open an otherwise tight game.

Wales responded in force though and, after declining a penalty in favour of a scrum, they had their reward as Jonathan Davies teed up Adams to race over, Leigh Halfpenny stepping into Biggar's shoes to level the scores.

By contrast, South Africa and Wales engaged in a battle of attrition on Sunday in Yokohama.

"It was nerve-wracking tonight. We have played England four times in the last 18 months. and we are accustomed to how they play", Erasmus told reporters.

"We play a class England team in the final now but we're there".

"We are only halfway there".

Saracens back Williams' World Cup is over and he will play no part at Stadium Yokohama against the Boks due to an ankle injury picked up in training.

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Five kicks in the final five minutes won this World Cup semifinal for South Africa.

Warren Gatland's last game in charge of Wales will be against his native New Zealand. They have gone on to win it on both occasions, the first time in 1995 and famously under the gaze of Nelson Mandela, the president at the time. I guess what South Africa have shown in this tournament is they're going to be a really hard nut to crack.

"I am so proud of you".

"That's the way it went, it was a bit of an arm-wrestle. It was a tough encounter". England says he will remain with the squad until the end of the tournament.

"Now you look at Alun Wyn Jones". Pollard was magnificent, faultless with the boot, and their try came thanks to the evasive running of their fly-half and then the brute strength of de Allende.

South African fans finally had something to shout about approaching the hour mark when Pollard for once eschewed the kick and cut through the defensive line and into the Welsh 22.

With 25 minutes left, Pollard gave South Africa some go-forward with two dynamic, piercing runs through the middle.

"I thought South Africa played well: physical, scrummed well, drove pretty well, aimed for collisions, they needed to take us up front", Gatland said.

Jones said his main role this week was to keep his players relaxed and not try to over-supply them with information, but that is unlikely to apply to scrumhalf Ben Spencer, who arrived in Japan on Monday ready to go straight on to the bench in the World Cup final in place of the injured Willi Heinz.

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