Maro Itoje did not put his on while Kyle Sinckler quickly tore his off during the post-game ceremony and captain Owen Farrell took his off before South Africa lifted their trophy.
Handre Pollard kicked 22 points with Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe adding late tries, while Owen Farrell kicked all of England’s points in a disappointing defeat.
As is tradition, the match officials collected mementos before the runners-up approached the podium for their silver medals.
Led by Farrell, the team received the consolation prize from World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont with a handshake.
As they were handed the medals, lock Itoje did not put the silverware around his neck.
Prop Sinckler – replaced after two minutes with a head injury – ripped his off straight away.
Fans watching the final branded England as ‘sore losers’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ for taking their medals off so quickly.
One said: ‘England having a temper tantrum refusing to wear their medals. Pathetic.’
After the entire 31-man squad – plus injury call-up Ben Spencer – received their medals, the backroom team of 31 also took their time on the podium.
After the match, fly-half George Ford bemoaned his side’s lack of accuracy in a heavy defeat.
‘We were massively inaccurate in the first half, said Ford.
‘When we had the ball but couldn’t build any pressure. We are very disappointed from us. It’s a hard one to take.
‘You always want to get on the front foot in this game but we cant fault our lads up front they have been unbelievable all tournament. South Africa just got one up on us today and we just have to take it on the chin.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, James Ayles