South Africa Edges England 16-15 in World Cup Semifinal: Handre Pollard’s Late Heroics Secure Victory

World Cup Semifinal
World Cup Semifinal

By Phathu

South Africa Edges England 16-15 in World Cup Semifinal

World Cup Semifinal : Paris, France – October 21, 2023 – In an epic World Cup semifinal clash, Handre Pollard emerged as the hero for South Africa, landing a remarkable 49-meter penalty kick just three minutes from the final whistle to break English hearts and secure a spot in the World Cup final. In a nail-biting encounter at the Stade de France, the Springboks edged England 16-15 in a thrilling showdown.

Owen Farrell’s Early Lead for England:

The drama unfolded early in the game when Owen Farrell, England’s talisman, landed a penalty just two minutes into the match. This marked the beginning of a contest that would keep fans on the edge of their seats. Farrell continued to exert his influence, adding three more penalties to keep England in the lead. South Africa was on the back foot, and the defending champions were struggling to find their rhythm.

ALSO READ : England vs South Africa Rugby World Cup Semi-Final: Match Preview, Lineups, and Predictions

A Late Surge by the Springboks:

With England leading 15-6 after dominating and controlling play for the first 70 minutes of the game, South Africa seemed to be running out of time. However, a glimmer of hope emerged in the form of RG Snyman’s try. After winning a crucial line-out with a penalty kick, Snyman powered through three England tacklers to score a much-needed try for the Springboks.

The crowd erupted in excitement as South Africa closed the gap to just two points with 10 minutes left on the clock. Handre Pollard, who had replaced a misfiring Manie Libbok after only 30 minutes of play, expertly converted the try with a successful kick.

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Pollard’s Heroic Match-Winning Kick:

As the minutes ticked away, the tension in the stadium reached its peak. With just three minutes remaining, New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe penalized England for collapsing the scrum. This penalty awarded South Africa a precious opportunity, and Handre Pollard did not disappoint. With the match on the line, Pollard calmly fired the ball between the posts, propelling the Springboks into the lead for the first time in the game.

What Lies Ahead:

The victory ensures that the defending champions advance to their fourth World Cup final. In the final, they will face their age-old rivals, New Zealand, in a highly anticipated showdown.

England’s Dominance and South Africa’s Late Rally:

England’s performance in the first 70 minutes of the match was nothing short of dominant. Their high kicks kept South Africa on the defensive, and their quick follow-up ‘offensive’ defense forced Springbok errors and turnovers. Farrell’s precise penalty kicks gave England the lead, and a stunning 48-meter drop goal further extended their advantage.

The Springboks Never Give Up:

However, the South African team, known for their resilience, refused to concede defeat. Pollard’s entry into the game proved to be a turning point. A penalty and Snyman’s try reinvigorated the Springboks, setting the stage for Pollard’s heroic match-winning kick.

The World Cup Final Awaits:

This thrilling match sets the stage for an epic World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand. The stakes are high, with both teams vying for their fourth World Cup win, a historic achievement.

In a repeat of the 2019 final, England appeared to have turned the tables on the Boks with a superb performance in the wet and windy conditions.

Looking Forward:

The rugby world eagerly anticipates the upcoming final clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks. South Africa has once again shown its ability to stage dramatic comebacks and secure victories against all odds. Rugby fans can’t wait to witness the grand finale of the World Cup as two of the sport’s giants prepare to face off.

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