What had looked earlier in the day like it may be a possible elimination match for South Africa had become merely a battle for the top seed, thanks to Japan defeating Chile. South Africa claimed the first points on offer with a second-minute try by Philip Snyman. It wasn’t easy for England to crack the South Africa defense, but Tom Bowen managed to get just enough room to score in the corner with ninety seconds remaining in the first half. But South Africa had the last words on the halftime score, adding a five-pointer through Siviwe Soyizwapi to send the teams to intermission.
A second half try and conversion by Justin Geduld put South Africa in control of the match heading into the final four minutes of pool play. Any doubts that South Africa had bounced back from a disappointing draw against Chile were put to rest when Johannes Pretorius scored to make it 22–5 with three minutes left.
England managed to score a converted try with a little over a minute left to keep some slim hopes of a comeback alive. The try came thanks to the hard work of Dan Norton setting up Charlton Kerr for the try. The resulting restart needed to go perfectly for England, but went directly into touch instead. As the final seconds ticked away, South Africa’s Selvyn Davids scored one more for the Blitzbokke to put an exclamation point on the victory.