Replacement flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked a last-gasp penalty as South Africa somehow found a way to get past a dominant England on Saturday and claim a 16-15 victory that sent it into a World Cup final against fellow three-time champion New Zealand.

The defending champion looked on the verge of defeat as England's kicking game kept them pegged back in their own half on a rainy Paris night and earned a 15-6 lead, But the Springboks hit back with a try by RG Snyman before replacement Pollard landed a penalty from almost on the halfway line to snatch the victory.

It was a second successive single-point victory for the Boks after they beat France 29-28 and means the two superpowers of the sport will meet in the final for the second time, after South Africa triumphed on home soil in 1995 in their first appearance at the tournament.