South Africa's Kolisi becomes first black captain to win the Rugby World Cup defeating England in final
Updated 02:37, 03-Nov-2019

England were left heartbroken after they were soundly beaten by South Africa, 32-12,  in the Rugby World Cup final in Japan. Siya Kolisi made history, becoming the first black captain to collect the Webb Ellis Cup. 

In a game dominated by kicking, South Africa's flyhalf scored 22 points.  England couldn't match their opponent's physicality, repeatedly conceding penalties in the scrum after losing prop Kyle Sinckler to injury after three minutes. 

England have only won the trophy once. (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

England have only won the trophy once. (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

As the game's end drew near South Africa went on the attack, scoring three tries. The first from Mapimpi was the  culmination of great team play that started when the winger chipped a kick behind England's ragged defence. Diminutive winger Cheslin Kolbe shimmying away from England's captain Owen Farrell to put a gloss on the deserved win. 

England's Maro Itoje, one of the standout players of the tournament, couldn't hide his despondence when talking to reporters post game. "It is the most fun I have had in an England side so we are trying to draw positives out of the journey despite being very gutted we couldn't get the job done."

Itoje accepted his silver medal after the match but refused to have it placed around his neck. 

His boss, England coach Eddie Jones was honest in his assessment, "We didn't meet our goal of being best team in the world, but we are the second best team in the world and that is how we should be remembered," he said. 

Kolisi grew up in the impoverished Zwide township. (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Kolisi grew up in the impoverished Zwide township. (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The multi-racial nation that suffered through decades of Apartheid rule, made Kolisi their captain in 2017, the first black man to hold the role in the team's 126-year history. 

Following the victory, Kolisi said: "Since I have been alive I have not seen South Africa like this."

"It was like in '95. So many challenges we have (in South Africa). The coach told us we are not playing for ourselves, we are playing for the people back home. 

"We appreciate all the support, we love you, South Africa, and we can achieve anything if we work together.”

Fans in South Africa celebrated the result (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fans in South Africa celebrated the result (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

"I'm so proud. It's our first win with a black captain,"South African fan, Sibusiso Radebe, 37, told Reuters. 

"In '95 the game was still dominated by whites but that has really changed," he said, as fans chanted "Siya" behind him.

Speaking to Reuters in Soweto, the Johannesburg township where Nelson Mandela lived, Nobuzwe Msengana said: "With a captain who is black and leading the boys to victory, so black, white and coloured, we are all united.

"This will inspire the youth. Rugby is still seen as a white man's sport. You go to the townships: they only play soccer. People don't play rugby. This will encourage them.”

The celebrations in South Africa were reminiscent of when they won the trophy in 1995, with large crowds watching in the city centers and townships. Fans posted videos of a Johannesburg and Cape Town awash with the noise of car horns and vuvuzelas. 

In 1995, then-President Mandela celebrated with victorious captain, of the largely white South African team, Francois Pienaar. Their hand-shake became in an iconic moment not only for rugby but for South African history. 

South Africa will look to retain their title at the next rugby world cup, held in France in four years time.