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Springboks into the Rugby World Cup final after thriller win against England

Springbok prop, Ox Nche   -  
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THOMAS SAMSON/AFP or licensors

South Africa

There was a collective sigh of relief across South Africa on Saturday night as the Springboks won their nail-biting Rugby World Cup semi-final match against England at Stade de France in the last minutes of the game.

In what is becoming a tradition by the Boks following their equally narrow victory against France last weekend, the team stole a thriller 16-15 win to set up a title decider against their fiercest rival, New Zealand.

The defending champions were second-best to England for the best part of the first 70 minutes of play, with the scoreboard at 15 to 6 against the Boks at halftime.

But things changed in the 69th minute of the match, with a try by replacement lock RG Snyman, who powered over on what was only the Springboks' second visit to the England 22 of the second half.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard's conversion closed it to 15-13.

Then in the dying minutes of the game, props Ox Nche and Vincent Koch produced a huge, desperate heave to win a penalty for South Africa.

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

“It’s unbelievable. It’s a lot of relief in this moment,” Pollard said after the match.

“Frustrated we weren’t at our best tonight, especially in that first half. We knew we had so much more to give but fair play to England, they put us under pressure in exactly the right areas.”

The Springboks now have a chance at winning back-to-back World Cup titles when they face the All Blacks next weekend.

One of them will win a record fourth World Cup and, with England's agonising exit, the trophy is set to stay in the southern hemisphere once again.

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