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Rugby World Cup 2023: South Africa Beat New Zealand in a Nail Biting Final

It was Siya Kolisi’s moment of triumph at the Rugby World Cup, a historic fourth title for South Africa which solidified his place as the second captain to achieve back-to-back victories.


“We have the privilege of doing what we love and inspiring people from all walks of life,” Kolisi said. “It’s real for us, we care for each other, we care for our country.”

This final against New Zealand was a tough battle, with the Springboks prevailing 12-11, thanks to Handre Pollard’s four penalties.

The rain-soaked night at Stade de France witnessed the first-ever red card in a final, as All Blacks captain Sam Cane faced the gloom of being sent off.

The All Blacks entered the rematch of the 1995 final as favorites, having cruised past Argentina, while South Africa had a tough match against England.

The match in Paris got off to an intense start, with both teams facing setbacks.

An aggressive clear-out at the ruck by Shannon Frizell resulted in a yellow card for him, and unfortunately, it also led to Mbongeni Mbonambi leaving the field after just 90 seconds.

However, Mbonambi later returned to the sidelines and warmed up with the other substitutes, indicating a possible return to the game.

Read Also: World Rugby to Investigate South Africa Star’s Alleged Use of Racial Slur

Handre Pollard’s accurate kicking skills allowed South Africa to take the lead with a penalty, giving them an early 3-0 advantage.

Ten minutes later, Pollard’s precise boot extended their lead to six points.

When Shannon Frizell returned to the field after his yellow card, New Zealand’s attack looked more threatening.

Beauden Barrett’s kick to Ardie Savea didn’t quite go as planned, with the ball bouncing to full-back Damian Willemse.

Richie Mo’unga closed the gap to within three points with 17 minutes played.

Handre Pollard responded promptly with another penalty, making the score 9-3 in favor of South Africa after the first 20 minutes of the game.

The second half was eventful, with Aaron Smith appearing to score the first try, but a knock-on in the build-up delayed New Zealand’s celebrations.

Jordie Barrett had a chance to put New Zealand ahead with a long-range kick but despite having the necessary distance, his attempt missed the target, leaving South Africa victorious.

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The Springboks held on despite a tense final few minutes South Africa’s impressive record in Rugby World Cup finals remains intact, as they have never been defeated in this stage.

They are also the only team to have beaten the All Blacks in a World Cup final, now achieving this remarkable feat for the second time.


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