In a gripping Rugby World Cup final in Paris, South Africa secured a historic fourth title by narrowly defeating a 14-man New Zealand team. The Springboks held on to their championship in a frenetic contest that saw them edge out the All Blacks.
Handre Pollard’s precise penalty kicking gave South Africa an early 9-3 lead, and their prospects improved further when Sam Cane was shown a red card for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel in the 27th minute. Another Pollard penalty stretched the Springboks’ lead, leaving New Zealand a man down and trailing by nine points.
However, the All Blacks mounted a courageous comeback, relying on some good fortune. Richie Mo’unga’s penalty before halftime and Beauden Barrett’s opportunistic try after the interval reduced South Africa’s lead to a razor-thin 12-11.
In the exhilarating final quarter, both teams fiercely pushed for a decisive score, but none materialized. Jordie Barrett missed a long-range penalty in the 73rd minute, and the Springboks managed to cling to their one-point advantage, securing their third consecutive nail-biting victory in the knockout stages.
Stay tuned for more updates on this thrilling Rugby World Cup final.
South Africa Lineup: Willemse; Arendse, Kriel, De Allende, Kolbe; Pollard, De Klerk; Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Vermeulen.
New Zealand Lineup: B Barrett; Jordan, Ioane, J Barrett, Telea; Mo’unga, Smith; De Groot, Taylor, Lomax, Retallick, S Barrett, Frizell, Cane (capt), Savea.
- South Africa: Fourie, Nche, Nyakane, Kleyn, Snyman, Smith, Wiese, Le Roux.
- New Zealand: Taukei’aho, Williams, Laulala, Whitelock, Papalii, Christie, McKenzie, Lienert-Brown.