Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale
Paul Myers

South Africa beat New Zealand to retain rugby union World Cup

South Africa beat New Zealand 12-11 to claim a record fourth rugby union World Cup. AP - Christophe Ena

For the third game in a row South Africa claimed a rugby match by a single point. After the 29-28 win over France in the quarter-finals and the 16-15 success against England in the semis, Saturday night's 12-11 nail-biter against New Zealand brought them the 2023 World Cup.

South Africa skipper Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis trophy after a pulsating final at the Stade de France in which his New Zealand counterpart Same Cane was sent off in the first-half and he was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes at the start of the second period.

Kolisi escaped further censure and collected the cup to become only the second man after New Zealand's Richie McCaw to captain squads to back-to-back crowns.

"The coaches have said great things are never achieved in ideal conditions," said Kolisi.

"And this World Cup wasn't ideal conditions for us as a group. Playing the hosts is one of the hardest things to do. And then obviously the way we played the last game against England which was tight and we had to fight. And then today as well, no different."

Handré Pollard's penalty opened the scoring and he added his seocnd penalty after 11 miinutes just before New Zealand's Shannon Frizzell returned from his 10 minutes in the sin-bin for dangerous play.


Richie Mo'unga halved the deficit with a penalty before Pollard restored the six point lead.

As New Zealand struggled with their line-out, Cane recievd a yellow card after 28 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Jesse Kriel.

As New Zealand digested the news that it would be upgraded to red - the first in a World Cup final - Pollard converted another penalty to push New Zealand to 12-3.

Mo'unga's converted penalty at least made the South Africans aware that they would not be swept away.

"We knew when they got the red card that they were just going to lift themselves," added Kolisi.

"When we spoke at half-time, we said they're going to get up now. We must try and relax. And they did raise their level after half-time. And for me, I was obviously nervous."

Five minutes after his departure, New Zealand opted to kick a penalty towards the South African five-metre line.


But they fluffed the move to harvest a try. Their ill-fortune continued. Aaron Smith's try on the left was ruled out due to a knock-on and when they did eventually go over through Beauden Barrett, Mo'unga's kick to transform the try and take a 13-11 lead, missed the posts.

Jordie Barrett's penalty from just inside the South Africa half with four minutes remaining sailed wide too.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster was left to rue five points squandered and a record fourth World Cup with South Africa.

"South Africa know their game," said Foster.

"They're strong and experienced and clearly they've learned how to fight in dark places.

"You know you can't argue with the three close wins they've had in this tournament. And so they've got a lot of tenacity in that space."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.