World Cup final: Scrum savagery; a nightmare start - talking points as South Africa beat England 32-12
Springboks clinch third ever World Cup (1995, 2007, 2019); England lose third final (1991, 2007, 2019)
By Sky Sports Rugby
Last Updated: 04/11/19 5:33pm
We look at the major talking points after South Africa's brutally clinical 32-12 Rugby World Cup final victory over England in Yokohama.
Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe tries, plus 22 points via the boot of Handre Pollard, saw a monstrously-physical South Africa seal a third Rugby World Cup triumph against England.
Here's what stood out after a historic Saturday in Japan...
Pivotal scrummaging & relentless power
The immediate takeaway from this final in so many respects, was the scrum and South Africa's utter domination of that facet.
So often trivialised and bemoaned in modern day rugby, Saturday's proceedings were a ruthless reminder of the scrum's critical importance to any Test match.
England lost starting tighthead Kyle Sinckler to a head injury just two minutes in, as he was rendered unconscious attempting to make a tackle.
Notwithstanding the fact Sinckler is the anchor of the England scrum, his loss was a monumental setback to their carrying and offloading game too.
Dan Cole arrived off the bench and was pressed into playing some 77 minutes of a World Cup final at the age of 32, against two looseheads widely regarded to be among the best in the world: Tendai Mtawarira and Steven Kitshoff.
The first scrum of the final occurred in the immediate aftermath of Cole's arrival, and the Boks went to town as a secondary shove gained in power and forced referee Jerome Garces to raise his arm. It would be far from the last time.
Further scrum penalties arrived after 17, 26 and 40 minutes - the latter two allowing Pollard to kick the Boks into a six-point half-time lead.
On 44 minutes, props Kitshoff and Vincent Koch arrived and fashioned the most dominant scrum effort of the Test, annihilating their English counterparts. Pollard kicked three more points to extend the lead to nine, and in an arm-wrestle type contest, such a margin was always likely to prove significant.
Four minutes later, another scrum penalty saw the Boks exit their 22. Psychologically, it was immensely taxing on the English pack, and there was no way back.
It's difficult to recall an English scrum being so comprehensively outplayed before - and it happened on the biggest stage of all.
South Africa also produced a defensive masterclass with every player stepping up to put in dominant tackles to stop England getting any go forward.
A key moment was on the 30-minute mark when England pummelled away at the Bok line. They went through 25 phases only to be knocked back time and time again before Tom Curry knocked on.
England did come away with three points after South Africa transgressed twice during that defensive display, but it was a big statement from the Springboks.
The stats showed South Africa made 154 tackles compared to England's 98 but it was also the manner of the tackles that drove the England attack back.
A mention for England's Maro Itoje who did top the tackle count with an incredible 16 closely followed by Springboks Franco Mostert with 15, Siya Kolisi with 13 and Eben Etzebeth with 11.
The start of nightmares
Prior to the Test, England's bus arrived 25 minutes late to the stadium. Their players made a similarly meagre start.
To condense matters, England's start to this game was as poor as their beginning to semi-final victory over New Zealand was brilliant.
Courtney Lawes was penalised for a penalty inside the first minute after getting trapped on the wrong side of a ruck, Sinckler had to depart injured and the side were rattled and making unwise decisions.
Owen Farrell overthrew a pass in-goal as they attempted to play out from behind their own try-line - a remarkably dangerous ploy - before Billy Vunipola passed to nobody in his own 22 off the base of a scrum.
England's errors were of a scale and frequency unimaginable in the previous seven weeks.
Elsewhere, scrum-half Ben Youngs threw a pass straight off the pitch, a lineout was lost as Eben Etzebeth forced a Lawes knock on, a restart sailed over of the grasp of Maro Itoje and was knocked on by Tom Curry - a spillage which preceded another scrum penalty - and George Ford sent a kick out on the full.
And that was just the first 27 minutes. It was an incessant tidal wave of negativity and faux pas, the like of which South Africa latched onto and tore into.
England ended the half as they began it, Elliot Daly knocking on a bouncing ball in his own half, and the pack conceding a penalty at the resultant scrum, going in 12-6 behind and several miles off the pace.
Jones attempted to change things, bringing on George Kruis for Lawes and Joe Marler for Mako Vunipola, but the mistakes kept coming: Ford's first tactical kick in the half far too long, Jamie George throwing a pass straight out minutes later.
Another scrum penalty concession and maul turnover fed into England's frustration and, in turn, took the form of oxygen for South Africa's revved up charges.
Anthony Watson gave away a needless penalty for nudging Mapimpi off the ball, Youngs elected not to find touch with a box-kick before the Springboks ripped back for the opener, while Henry Slade knocked on and Farrell was stepped by Kolbe for the second try.
Pitch-perfect against New Zealand a week ago in the greatest England performance of the professional era, not a lot more could have gone wrong for them in the one that really, truly mattered.
As Wales coach Warren Gatland pondered in the lead-up, several of the standout semi-final performers from World Cups gone-by have failed to replicate efforts to the same degree in the final.
England did in fact play their Rugby World Cup final a week early it seems.
Rainbow nation united
South Africa were in a bad place when Rassie Erasmus was appointed in March 2018. The Boks were seventh in the world rankings and had lost to Italy a few months earlier.
But South Africa rediscovered their physicality and mental strength under Erasmus and a fractured nation could celebrate again.
"Rugby is not about pressure, it's about hope," Erasmus said after the final. "Hope is watching the game and feeling good after. No matter your religious or political differences, for 80 minutes you agree."
South Africa also got the royal seal of approval after the Duke of Sussex congratulated the Springboks on their win, saying he could not think of a nation "that deserves it more".
He was pictured shaking hands with South Africa's players in the dressing room after the game.
"To the whole of South Africa - rugby unites all of us in more ways than we can imagine, and tonight I have no doubt that it will unite all of you," he said.