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South Africans celebrate Springboks nail-biting win against England

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard   -  
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Aurelien Morissard/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

South Africa

It was a tough time for English rugby fans at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night.

For most of their World Cup semi-final game against South Africa, it looked like England might have had a surprise win against the defending champions.

But an extraordinary penalty conversion by Handre Pollard in the last minutes of the match stole a one-point victory for the Boks.

"I would say for 65 minutes it's probably the most horrible match for us to watch. But yes, ended up to be the most wonderful one,” said Springbok fan, Marguerite outside the stadium.

“I can't believe it's the second one in two weekends that we won with one point right at the end, so we're happy, obviously."

In the dying minutes of the game, with 15-13 to England on the scoreboard, props Ox Nche and Vincent Koch produced a huge, desperate heave in the scrum to win a penalty for South Africa.

This set-up Pollard for the game-winning kick from halfway across the field with under two minutes of the match left.

"I think with Pollard coming on, he settled everything down, kicking game,” said Jonathan Webb, another Bok supporter at the game.

“But the other point is that the Springboks scored the only try. England never looked like scoring a try so that's a very good thing for South Africa," he said.

There was a collective sigh of relief, followed by celebrations for fans both in Paris and back home in South Africa, as the Springboks made it into the finals against the All Blacks next weekend.

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