Rugby World Cup Final – South Africa – New Zealand: 102 years of confrontations in numbers

Rugby World Cup Final – South Africa – New Zealand: 102 years of confrontations in numbers

The final match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be held next Saturday at the Stade de France between South Africa and New Zealand. A global summit that can be summarized in numbers, as this confrontation is historic.

1921, first round

South Africans and New Zealanders have been fighting on the rugby field for over a hundred years. The first clash between the two countries occurred in 1921, during Box's tour of the New Zealand Islands. I played three matches. In Dunedin, during the first match, the Blacks won (13-5), and South Africa took revenge in Auckland (5-9), while the final match in Wellington ended in a goalless draw (0-0).

4 stars

This Saturday, the Springboks and All Blacks will battle it out for the fourth star on their jersey. The World Cup Final is a pinnacle for many reasons, but above all because these two countries have won the most World Cups. The South African national team (1995, 2007 and 2019) have lifted the Webb Ellis Cup three times, as have the New Zealanders (1987, 2011 and 2015). The team that wins will become the most successful in history.

The second confrontation in the final

In the World Cup, New Zealand and South Africa faced each other four times. In the group stage in 2019, in the quarter-finals in 2003, in the small final in 1999 and finally in the final in 1995. The last mentioned confrontation, in South Africa, sparked a lot of talk and today remains the only one between the two countries in the final. So we had to wait 28 years to see them compete again in the final step of the competition.

0 defeat in the final for South Africa

Attention, gentlemen New Zealanders: South Africa has no habit of letting their finals slip away! Moreover, throughout history, the Boks have always won the World Cup Final. Against New Zealand in 1995 and against England in 2007 and 2019.


The match that saw the biggest difference between the two teams was played on 16 September 2017. In this dark era of South African rugby, the Springboks conceded a historic 56-0 win to the then All Blacks. Winger Nehe Milner-Scudder notably scored a brace including a try after a brilliant cross from Beauden Barrett. A historic defeat that remains a historic match to this day.


We mentioned South Africa's biggest defeat above, but the Boks' biggest victory against their historic enemies was very recent. Furthermore, during their final confrontation, Nienaber's men corrected the blacks. Last August at Twickenham, during a World Cup warm-up match, South Africa and its famous team crushed the New Zealanders 7-1. Is it enough to gain psychological influence or give you a desire for revenge?

62 victories for New Zealand

In the history of clashes between these two great nations, it has been New Zealand that has achieved the greatest number of victories. In 105 confrontations, the blacks won 62 times, compared to 39 for South Africa. Four matches ended in a draw, including the famous 0-0 draw in 1921. The Springboks can boast the best winning record against New Zealand.

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