By Martin Samuel - Sport for the Daily Mail
Published: 12:04 GMT, 2 November 2019 | Updated: 12:04 GMT, 2 November 2019
Finals are emotional affairs. Tears flow, losers and winners. Tears of joy, tears of pain. When the final whistle blows, the floodgates open. That is what made the tears of Willie Le Roux different.
As Cheslin Kolbe crossed for South Africa’s second try, the one that put this match beyond all doubt, he began to cry. There were still minutes remaining, but they had done it. A third World Cup final, a third World Cup.
The Springboks style may not be the easiest on the eye, but this is a team that embodies rugby’s fighting spirit, and that of a nation, too.
South Africa dominated England all over the pitch in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama
Willie Le Roux (L) began to cry as winger Cheslin Kolbe crossed for South Africa’s second try
England were not simply beaten but blown away; vanquished as totally as the All Blacks on the same turf last week. This wasn’t just about the power of the scrum, although that was huge; this wasn’t just about defence, although that was immense, too.
England were outplayed at the back, at the front, and all points in between. There was greater invention in the Springboks play, greater imagination. After all the talk of brutality and arm wrestling, South Africa were nimbler and sharper ball in hand, too.
This was as comprehensive a victory as has been achieved in a Rugby World Cup final this century, the biggest winning margin since Australia’s 35-12 win over France in 1999. It was a shock, because it was so unexpected. Not the Springboks victory, because there had been enough warnings of