South Africa is world champion for the fourth time after defeating New Zealand

South Africa is world champion for the fourth time after defeating New Zealand

The Springboks dominated the All Blacks in the rain at the Stade de France on Saturday (12-11), retaining their 2019 world title.

The king keeps his crown. South Africa, which had already won the previous edition in 2019, won its second final in a row, on Saturday, October 28, at the Stade de France, against New Zealand (12-11). As against France and then England, Eben Etzbeth and his teammates won by one point for the third time in a row. Enough to allow the Springboks to become the most successful selection in World Cup history with four titles (1995, 2007, 2019 and therefore 2023), one more than their evening rivals.

To bring down the All Blacks, South Africa used the same ingredients that allowed them to reach the final: exceptional physical intensity, constant aggression on defenders in defence, and impeccable kicking which allowed us to gradually widen the gap against an All Blacks team that was unable to show their frightening speed. .

New Zealand captain Sam Keane sent off

At the break, in the pouring rain at the Stade de France that made it difficult to receive the candles, the Springboks had the first hand in the match (12-6), thanks to a 4/4 from the foot of Handre Pollard. South Africa also benefited from their early numerical advantage, achieved after just two minutes and a yellow card received by Shannon Frizell. Although this dugout looked like a first warning, the New Zealanders then received a red card and lost their captain, Sam Keane. Due to a foul on Jesse Creel (34th), which will remain the first sending off in history in a World Cup final.

While Rico Ioane (37), Siya Kolisi (42) and then Kurt Lee Arends (45) were very close to scoring the first try in the match, and South Africa in turn reduced it to 14 after the yellow card for its captain Kolisi (46). ), he continued his offensive work after the break with the contribution of the substitutes, which is a very valuable task in his strategy. The Springboks were organized 7-1 (7 forwards, 1 back), an extremely rare strategy that actually allowed them to inflict the biggest defeat in their history on the All Blacks in preparation at the end of August (35-7), and they were rewarded even if everything came to a point one only.

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Monga and Barrett miss the decisive kick

As in the quarterfinals and semifinals, they tapped into that pill of success necessary to win a world title. For example, they were saved from an attempt by Aaron Smith (55th), which was disallowed by video due to an attacker from Ardi Savea. This did not prevent Beauden Barrett took revenge on his colleague a few minutes later by scoring the only try in the match (58). But at the back, the New Zealanders missed two kicks, which were converted by Richie Monga and then a penalty kick from Jordie Barrett (73).

Like the 2023 World Cup, South Africa played on a tightrope, unable to walk away from the result but never beyond it. Here are the Springboks, now four-time world champions, the second to retain their title after… New Zealand in 2011 and 2015. Since England won five successive editions in 2003, the title has never eluded these two nations, a sign of their influence on world rugby.

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