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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — England’s team bus was held up in pre-match traffic, so the players arrived later than planned at the International Stadium in Yokohama for the Rugby World Cup final.
Some will say they never really turned up at all.
A week after delivering quite possibly the greatest win in its rugby history over the All Blacks in the semifinals, England barely laid a glove on the Springboks in being outplayed, outmuscled and overwhelmed in a 32-12 loss on Saturday.
“You can have the most investigative debrief of your game and you still don’t know what was wrong,” England coach Eddie Jones said. “It just happens sometimes. It’s not a good day for it to happen.”
England’s players looked so calm and composed as they walked out to the field for kickoff. Not far away, the Boks were pumped, their captain Siya Kolisi giving bear-hugs to anyone near him and then shaking with emotion as he roared out South Africa’s national anthem.
There was already an ostensible contrast in intensity between the teams and things soon started going wrong for England during the match.
Inside three minutes, Kyle Sinckler, England’s mobile prop, was knocked unconscious as he attempted to tackle South Africa win
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