So close yet so far - Brave England fall at Springbok's feet

England did their nation proud with a courageous and skillful semi-final performance against South Africa, but a late penalty broke British hearts once again.

Ivy French
2nd November 2023
Image: Twitter @EnglandRugby
After leading for the majority of the game, England lost by just one point to South Africa after England gave away a crucial penalty in the scrum putting the final score at 15-16.

The final will be New Zealand versus South Africa, and the match will be played on Saturday the 28th of October at 8pm.

During the first half of the game, England played much better than South Africa. Farrel put England ahead after scoring two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game, putting the score at 6-0 to England. After giving away a penalty to South Africa, putting the score at 6-3, Farrel scored a brilliant drop goal, widening England’s lead and putting the score at 9-3. Farrel then scored a third penalty before the first half ended, putting the score at 12-3. The first half showed England playing as a disciplined and focused team and had they maintained their unity as a team, they would have been in the final instead of South Africa.

In the second half, England started off strong, and by 53 minutes in, a dropgoal by Farrel saw the score at 15-6 to England. In the final 10 minutes of the game however, Snyman’s try and Pollard’s conversion put the score at 15-13, and saw South Africa closing the gap on England’s lead. After England made some changes to their forwards during the second half, their defence began to crumble and their discipline within the scrums slowly declined. Ellis Genge collapsed the scrum in the 77th minute and gave South Africa the winning penalty.

After the game, a fight took place between the two teams, which was allegedly caused by South African veteran Willie le Roux celebrating their victory a little bit too much for Danny Care's liking, who shoved him. Despite players squaring up to one another, the situation did not escalate. Owen Farrel in the post-match interview stated: “It was nothing. Nothing. Just a misunderstanding.”

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