Rugby World Cup (final). New Zealand – South Africa: 11-12
In 1823, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a soccer match in England and invented a new sport: rugby. 200 years later, the South African artistic duo, Erasmus-Ninaber, paid tribute to him throughout the World Cup, as if to celebrate the bicentenary of this bold historical gesture. Because if the Springboks retain their title as world champions with a win over the All Blacks (12-11), on Saturday at the Stade de France in front of more than 80,000 spectators, they will owe it largely to the audacity of this duo whose prowess is doubled throughout. The competition.
Like the William Webb Ellis of his time, they did not hesitate to take risks, taking strong choices that often paid off, always flirting with the limits of legality, interpreting regulations and taking advantage of them. Moreover, the South African fans were not wrong when they sang at the top of their lungs at half-time: “In your head, in your head, in your head, ra-asi, ra-asi!” ”, to the tune of the song “Zombie” Cranberries.
Because yes, after France and England, Rassie Erasmus is at the helm of the All Blacks. After their defeat to France in their opening match, the New Zealanders arrived with confidence after their defeat to France in their opening match.
But from the beginning of the match, the Bucs seemed possessed, on a mission. True to their reputation for aggressive defence, they stifled the All Blacks. If the torrential rain added drama to the titans’ clash, it did not help New Zealand, already hampered by massive opposition pressure, spread its game.
Ian Foster, who was playing his final match in charge of the All Blacks, tried to respond to the intensity imposed by the rugby players in the Rainbow State. But they were clumsy, they were punished twice for high tackles. From the start, Shannon Frizell received a yellow card (3′) and then, above all, a red card after a refuge by captain Sam Keane (29′). They were adventurous but very punishing, and were trailing at the break (6-12) at the end of a closed first half, where defense took precedence over attacks.
The All Blacks drop two points for the match
Up front, and outnumbered, South Africa looked set for an almost easy title. very easy. Impossible for the New Zealanders, the kings of rugby, in search of a historic fourth title. With their backs against the wall, and with nothing left to lose, they took on the world champions and sparked a yellow card for their captain Siya Kolisi (46 mins) in a head-to-head encounter that might have deserved another colour. Excited, the All Blacks went to the promised land through Beauden Barrett (58′). For the first time, South Africa conceded a try in a World Cup final and anything seemed possible. But Richie Monga missed the conversion and Jordie Barrett missed a long-range penalty kick (74). Despite a yellow card against Colby in the match, the All Blacks wasted their chance. Also, against France in the quarter-finals and England in the semi-finals, the Springboks won by one point. There seems to be an unseen force that wants to give them a tenth World Cup. The fourth in their history, a new record! A force that can be called the head of Erasmus…
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