England have failed to beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final, with the Springboks winning 32-12.
In England’s biggest game since their last World Cup final in 2007 – where they also lost to the Springboks – everything was at stake for both teams at the International Stadium Yokohama.
Thousands of England fans arrived in Japan to watch the game after their team beat New Zealand in the semi-finals but after a game of penalties and the score at 6-12 at half-time, the Springboks were too strong.
As the whistle went at 9am UK time, South Africa kicked-off. England conceded a penalty within the first minute for not rolling away – but South Africa missed the kick.
Two minutes later, medics were on the pitch as England’s Sinckler took a blow to the head while making a tackle, before he was made to walk off the pitch and was replaced by Dan Cole in a permanent move for the final.
Following a loose pass from England in South Africa’s end, the Springboks were given another penalty and this time Handre Pollard made sure he did not miss, scoring the first points of the game – just before 10 minutes ticked over.
It was not until the 18th minute, when South Africa conceded its first penalty, that England had their first opportunity to get into their own end.
A penalty followed soon after, with England’s Owen Farrell taking a successful kick from about 20m (65.6ft) out.
But clearly not keen to give England a leg up, South Africa took advantage of another penalty against England for standing up in the scrum, with Pollard kicking a goal to bring the Springboks up to 3-6.
South Africa put up an almighty defence as England were inches away from scoring a try for a number of minutes as the clock hit the 30-minute mark.
But the Springboks finally conceded a penalty and Farrell kicked from in front of the posts, bringing England up to 6-6 five minutes before half-time – and that proved correct.
With three minutes before half-time, a strong tackle by Courtney Lawes ended in a penalty for South Africa 10m (32.8ft) inside England’s half, with Pollard managing a difficult kick to push the Boks up to 6-9.
South Africa managed to squeeze in another successful penalty before the half-time whistle, leaving England 6-12 behind.
A six-point deficit usually does not faze England, but no team has ever come from behind in a World Cup final to win.
Shortly after the players were back on the pitch, another South Africa penalty brought them further ahead of England, up to 6-15 in the 45th minute.
The 51st minute saw more luck for England, as they earned a penalty and Farrell’s boot reduced the deficit to 9-15 but a minute later he narrowly missed a shot at goal following another penalty.
South Africa then used the miss to gain another penalty, with Pollard kicking from 25m (82ft) out to boost South Africa to 9-18 in the 58th minute.
But Farrell, determined to hang on, slotted the ball over the goal (with just centimetres to spare) to bring England up to 12-18 in the 59th minute following another penalty.
The 66th minute saw the first try of the final as South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi sprinted through England’s defence to score, with Pollard converting it to bring the score up to 12-25.
And it was another try by South Africa in the 75th minute by Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe who darted through England’s defence to score, with Pollard converting it again to boost the score to 12-32 and pushing the Boks into the history books.
As the whistle blew, England knew South Africa had been the better team this time, with Farrell’s side hugging their opponents and sticking around after the trophy and medal presentation to thank their supporters and the host nation.