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Last Updated: Sunday October 21 2007 16:14 GMT

World Cup dream over for England

South Africa captain John Smit lifts the World Cup in Paris

South Africa have ended England's reign as world champions as they claimed the Rugby World Cup for the second time.

Three Percy Montgomery penalties to one from Jonny Wilkinson saw South Africa, who had hammered England in the group stages, lead 9-3 at the break in Paris.

England went desperately close to a try through Mark Cueto soon after half-time before a penalty each made it 12-6.

Francis Steyn extended the lead with a long-range penalty with South Africa holding out to win the game.

It's been a remarkable run to the final for England. Lots of people didn't think they were capable of getting into the last round of the championship after losing lots of games in the group stages.

England's Mathew Tait makes a run with the ball, followed by South Africa's Butch James (left) and Jaque Fourie
Lots of people didn't think England would make it to the final of the World Cup
England captain Phil Vickery said they were disappointed to have lost, but South Africa deserved the win: "We've had a magical time. Fair play to South Africa.

"They were the better team and this is their victory. We have to wait for four years so they better enjoy it."

Meanwhile, Argentina claimed third place in the tournament after powering their way to a 34-10 victory over France on Friday.



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