Champions: Francois Steyn and the Springboks celebrate world cup glory

PARIS, 20 October - South Africa defeated England 15-6 in the world cup final at Stade de France on Saturday to add a second Webb Ellis Cup to the one they won as hosts in 1995.

Reigning champions England came into the match on the back of four impressive victories after a poor start to the tournament but were unable to find a way through a disciplined Springboks outfit who were miserly in defence, dominated the line-outs and kicked five penalties.

England fly half Jonny Wilkinson, the hero of their 2003 triumph in Sydney, was unable to turn on the magic this time, missing two drop goal attempts and given little chance to impose himself on the match.

South Africa led England 9-3 at the break after an even first half marked by tactical high kicking and little open play.

Both sides sought to flex their muscle and apply pressure with a series of up-and-unders, though to little avail.

Percy Montgomery opened the scoring with a three-pointer on seven minutes after centre Mathew Tait had slipped and become isolated in the ruck and England were penalised for failing to release.

Wilkinson squared the ledger on 13 minutes after South Africa wing Bryan Habana was called for lying on the tackled player, counterpart Paul Sackey.

Repelled on line

But Montgomery regained the advantage for South Africa three minutes later after team-mate Butch James was adjudged to have been impeded on a kick and chase.

Wilkinson tried a quick riposte but pushed his drop goal attempt wide.

South Africa twice attacked late in the half but were repelled on the line on both occasions.

However, they were awarded a penalty for the second drive and Montgomery kicked truly to push the margin out to six points.

England began the second half in sensational style as Tait cut a swathe through the middle of the South Africa defence with a series of steps and swerves to set Mark Cueto up for a try. But after a long deliberation by the TV match official, the wing was ruled to have been in touch when he crossed over in the corner.

A Wilkinson penalty kick for an infringement earlier in the movement was some consolation, though.

England's hopes were hit on 48 minutes when full back Jason Robinson, playing his last match before retirement, left the field with a shoulder injury.

Montogmery squeezed home his fourth penalty from as many kicks on 51 minutes to restore his side's six-point lead (12-6) after England conceded for handling in a ruck.
 
Francois Steyn took over the kicking duties on 62 minutes when England were penalised for obstruction and the impressive young centre didn't let his side down, piercing the uprights from 46 metres.

RNS mr