Boks bring trophy back to Africa

South Africa defeated defending champions England 15-6 in a tense World Cup final at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

South Africa, the 1995 champions, struck first after seven minutes when England centre Mathew Tait was penalised for holding on to the ball and Percy Montgomery, the tournament’s top scorer, slotted over a comfortable penalty in front of the posts.

Jonny Wilkinson replied five minutes later with a penalty, awarded for Bryan Habana not rolling away, to make it 3-3 with a tough kick tight on the right touchline.

In the 15th minute, Lewis Moody was penalised for tripping Springboks flyhalf Butch James and Montgomery kicked the penalty for a 6-3 lead before Wilkinson went wide with a drop goal after an impressive forwards surge by the English.

Twenty-year-old centre Francois Steyn, the second youngest player to appear in a World Cup final, missed a difficult penalty from the halfway line.

Five minutes from the interval, Steyn broke three tackles to set up the half’s best try-scoring opportunity.

But the Springboks were thwarted by a knock-on, in the face of some stirring English defence, with the line just inches away.

South Africa were awarded a penalty with England punished for killing the ball and Montgomery collected his third penalty of the half for a 9-3 lead. - Sapa-AFP


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