Billy Vunipola of England is tackled by Duane Vermeulen of South Africa during of the international rugby match at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein on 16 June 2018. Photo: BackpagePix
Billy Vunipola of England is tackled by Duane Vermeulen of South Africa during of the international rugby match at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein on 16 June 2018. Photo: BackpagePix

SA v England at Rugby World Cups: Advantage Springboks

By Ockert de Villiers Time of article published Oct 30, 2019

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa will be looking to rename the Yokohama Stadium to Stade France ahead of their Rugby World Cup final clash against England. 

The two sides have met on four previous occasions in World Cup tournaments with the Boks. South Africa’s three victories over England were all played at Stade de France in Paris. 

The Boks will have to settle with the appointment of Jérôme Garcès as referee for the clash as their only French connection. He will become the first Frenchman to referee a Rugby World Cup final.

Garcès did a pretty decent job officiating the semi-final between the Springboks and Wales over the weekend.

But with Garcès and the Boks have a chequered past with South Africa coming out on top in five of the 10 matches the Frenchman has officiated.

We look at the four previous meetings between the Springboks and England at Rugby World Cup tournaments. 

South Africa 44-21 England (Stade de France):

Unparalleled drop kicking by Springbok flyhalf Jannie de Beer almost single-handedly sunk England in their quarterfinal clash at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Paris. 

De Beer produced a freakish performance kicking a world record five drop goals contributing a total of 34 boots through his boot. He slotted five more penalty kicks and two conversions.

Current Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus was one of the stars in the South African team which then lost to Australia in the semi-final. 

South Africa's coach Rassie Erasmus watches as his team warms up before the Rugby World Cup semifinal at International Yokohama Stadium against Wales. Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

England 25-6 South Africa (Perth): 

The Red Roses exacted payback on the Springboks four years later with a 25-6 victory en route to their maiden World Cup victory. 

The victory relegated the Springboks to second place in Pool C which sent them on a collision course with the All Blacks. South Africa suffered a 29-9 defeat to New Zealand in the quarterfinal. 

News of the infamous Kamp Staaldraad broke soon after marking one of the low points in the history of South African rugby. 

South Africa 36-0 England (Stade de France):

The Springboks were in rampant form in their group-stage match against England at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. 

South Africa turned the knife scoring three tries with JP Pietersen while keeping England pointless for the first at the global showpiece. 

JP Pietersen claimed a brace of tries with imposing flanker Juan Smith scoring the third. The scoreboard kept ticking over courtesy of prolific goalkicker Percy Montgomery and the long-distance boot of Francois Steyn. 

South Africa 15-6 England (Stade de France):

The last time the two giants of the game in a World Cup was the nail-bite final 12 years ago in the French capital. 

Those with Rose-tinted spectacles will still claim Mark Cueto’s dive in the corner early in the second half was a try. But the Englishman’s left foot made contact with the touchline thanks to Danie Rossouw’s try-saving tackle. 

The Springboks beat the English with classic South African rugby grinding out a victory with five goals to two to clinch the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time. 

Current England coach Eddie Jones was one of the architects to South Africa’s success as technical advisor to White.



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