South Africa made history by winning their fourth Rugby World Cup title in a thrilling final against New Zealand. Despite being down to 14 men early in the game, the Springboks managed to hold on to their lead and secure victory.
The match started with Handre Pollard’s accurate goalkicking giving South Africa a 9-3 lead. However, the game took a turn when New Zealand captain, Sam Cane, was shown a red card for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel. This left the All Blacks a man down and nine points behind.
New Zealand fought back and reduced the deficit with penalties from Richie Mo’unga. They further closed the gap when Beauden Barrett scored a try after the interval, making the score 12-11 in South Africa’s favour.
The final quarter of the game was intense, with both teams pushing for a decisive score. However, neither team could find the breakthrough they needed. Jordie Barrett missed a long-range penalty in the 73rd minute, and the Springboks held on for a one-point victory.
Captain Siya Kolisi’s reaction at the final whistle showed the significance of the win for South Africa. They became the first team to win the Rugby World Cup back-to-back away from home, solidifying their status as the dominant force in the tournament’s history.
This victory also marked a milestone for South Africa, as they have now won half of the eight tournaments they have participated in. Their success on the international stage is even more remarkable considering their absence from the first two editions due to sporting exile during the apartheid era.
Under the leadership of Kolisi, the Springboks have united the Rainbow Nation and gained support from all corners of South African society. This triumph is a testament to their resilience and determination.
On the other hand, New Zealand’s head coach, Ian Foster, narrowly missed out on the ultimate prize. Despite the pressure leading up to the final, the All Blacks put up a strong fight but fell short.