South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said he was “really proud” of his team after they came from behind to beat England 16-15 in an “ugly” semifinal at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The defending champions were facing the exit as they trailed 15-6 after 69 minutes.
But RG Snyman crashed over for a short-range try and Handre Pollard converted before adding a 77th minute penalty to give his side their second successive one-point win – last week they beat France 29-28 in the quarterfinals.
“It’s honestly all the hard work we have put in which came off. It was really ugly but that is what champions are made of,” said Kolisi, who will now have the chance to lead his team to back-to-back World Cup titles.
“It was ugly today like it was last week but we found a way to fight back and get back into the game.
“Well done to the boys. I am really proud of the fight that was showed.” Kolisi also paid tribute to England, who almost defied the critics and rugby form in a repeat of the 2019 final.
Owen Farrell kicked four first-half penalties before landing a monster drop goal in the second half to give the English a nine-point lead and put them within touching distance of a fifth final.
“Credit to England, they have worked hard,” said Kolisi.
“They were written off before the World Cup. England’s coach Steve Borthwick and Owen and the team pulled themselves together and showed who they are.
“They are not a team you take lightly, all credit to them for being in the semifinal.” – SuperSport.