South Africa has claimed a report fourth Rugby World Cup crown after seeing off a sensational New Zealand fightback to win Sunday’s last in Paris 12-11 in dramatic style.
The match noticed 4 playing cards, together with a purple card to New Zealand captain Sam Cane – the primary time a participant had ever been despatched off in a decider.
But New Zealand fought again brilliantly regardless of enjoying your complete second half a person with 14 males, threatening a shocking comeback with a gallant efficiency.
The Springboks didn’t rating a degree within the second half however defended brilliantly to reign supreme at Stade de France.
It was a 3rd consecutive one-point win for the Springboks within the knockout levels, seeing them safe back-to-back event triumphs and stand alone on 4 World Cup titles.
2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson declared on BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think we have witnessed the greatest ever rugby side.
“What they have just done in this tournament is simply remarkable. The way they have come through their group and the knockouts – it is remarkable.
“I don’t think it will ever be surpassed and all with the label as current world champions with that target on their back.”
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South African captain Siya Kolisi informed BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are no ways I can explain it. I want to give credit to the All Blacks. They took us to the end, they took us to a dark place.
“It shows what kind of team they are, to fight with a man down from early in the game. They put us under so much pressure.
“Credit to my boys too for the fight. I am just grateful we could pull it off.”
He added: “People who are not from South Africa don’t understand what it means for our country. It is not just about the game.
“Our country goes through such a lot. We are just grateful that we can be here. I want to tell the people of South Africa ‘thank you so much’.
The Springboks adapted well to the wet and windy conditions in Paris for the decider, but New Zealand were rocked by two first-half yellow cards, first to Shannon Frizell and then to captain Sam Cane.
The latter was subsequently upgraded to a red card due to the high degree of danger in his high tackle.
It marked the first time in World Cup history a player had been sent off in the final, and left the All Blacks with a mountain to climb in the second half after a 12-6 deficit at the break – all the points for South Africa coming through the boot of Handre Pollard.
But New Zealand were boosted just six minutes after the interval when Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi was also handed a yellow card for a high shot.
New Zealand scored the first try of the final when Beauden Barrett crossed the line in the 59th minute following a sustained period of pressure and multiple penalties, seconds after an Aaron Smith try was ruled out.
And the teams finished the match level on 14 men apiece after the FOURTH card of the contest, when South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe was binned in the 72nd minute for a deliberate knock on.
Remarkably, there had only been one card in the entire history of World Cup finals prior to this edition – coming in 2015 when New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith was binned.
But New Zealand’s Jordie Barrett sent his long-range penalty attempt wide of the posts as the All Blacks again missed the chance to go in front.
Having not trailed all match, the South African side simply refused to lose and grimly held on for a record fourth title.
Pieter-Steph du Toit made 28 tackles and won a turnover in a simply remarkable individual performance, earning the hard-nosed flanker deserved player of the match honours.
In fact, the Springboks made a whopping 209 tackles to New Zealand’s 93.
He said: “The last three games have been quite tough, each one we have played has been a final and each one we have won by one point..”
Du Toit added: “We are honoured to play for the whole of South Africa and the Springboks. When we go back home it will be a warm welcome for us. Thank you to everyone.”
And captain Siya Kolisi grew to become simply the second skipper to boost the Webb Ellis Cup twice, after New Zealand legend Richie McCaw in 2011 and 2015.
Meanwhile, a devastated All Blacks captain Sam Cane stated: “Extremely gutted and disappointed. First of all that the guys had to play with 14 men for the last 50-odd minutes.
“I thought the courage they showed out here tonight was incredible, the whole team are absolute warriors.
AS IT HAPPENED
South Africa had made a collection of daring choice calls, most notably selecting seven forwards among the many replacements in a 7-1 bench cut up – a high-risk technique mitigated solely by the flexibility of numerous their backs together with winger Cheslin Kolbe.
Veteran fullback Willie Le Roux was the only again on the pine.
Faf de Klerk was recalled to the beginning workforce, as was Handre Pollard.
Meanwhile New Zealand coach Ian Foster made only one change to his beginning facet from the semi-final, with Brodie Retallick changing Sam Whitelock within the second row.
It took only a handful of minutes for the drama to ignite on the Stade de France. All Blacks again rower Shannon Frizell was handed a yellow card inside three minutes by the TMO for foul play, having come across the facet in a clean-out to place his complete weight on hooker Bongi Mbonambi’s leg.
The South African was injured within the incident, leaving the facet in dire straits given that they had no different real hookers accessible. But Deon Fourie got here off the pine and the workforce adjusted properly to the pressured change, whereas South Africa’s fly-half Handre Pollard efficiently kicked the penalty to earn a 3-0 lead.
A person down, New Zealand was pressured to defend desperately after being pinned again in their very own half, with left winger Cheslin Kolbe summing up the Springboks’ bodily and aggressive early method with a pair of outstanding cross-field kicks.
The latter, within the tenth minute, earned a lineout within the Kiwi 22 and completed in a second penalty a few minutes later with the All Blacks penalised for not rolling away after a sort out.
Pollard made no mistake along with his kick to take a 6-0 lead after 12 minutes, earlier than Frizell returned to the sector – his yellow card not being upgraded to purple with the officers deeming he had fallen on his opponent’s leg relatively than intentionally focusing on it.
But New Zealand acquired on the board quickly after Richie Mo’unga slotted the ball between the posts from shut vary, however South Africa responded with a profitable penalty of their very own after Ardie Savea was penalised for not rolling away.
South Africa’s physicality and line pace within the opening 20 minutes had induced New Zealand loads of issues, with their Springboks ahead line impressing amid wet and chilly situations on the Stade de France.
Meanwhile, the All Blacks – who had received 97 per cent of their attacking lineouts within the run to the ultimate, have been having early difficulties from the sideline, dropping two such set items within the first half an hour.
And within the twenty ninth minute, New Zealand captain and flanker Sam Cane was additionally despatched to the sin bin for a transparent excessive shot on South Africa’s Jesse Kriel – earlier than being upgraded to a purple as a result of diploma of hazard in his shot, along with his proper arm making direct and forceful contact to the top.
South Africa took benefit of the extra man shortly, incomes one other penalty and changing for a 12-3 lead earlier than the break.
But New Zealand hit again after some good work in assault from Mark Tele’a, with the All Blacks incomes a penalty contained in the opposition 22 and making it 12-6 simply previous to halftime.
Six minutes after the break, Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi was handed the third card of the match when he noticed yellow for a excessive shot on New Zealand’s Ardie Savea.
Kolisi’s card was not upgraded to a purple regardless of a excessive diploma of hazard, as a result of mitigating components.
The All Blacks appeared to take benefit when Richie Mo’unga produced a superb second of magic to burst via the Springboks defence and arrange Aaron Smith for the primary attempt of the ultimate.
It would have been the primary time South Africa had ever conceded a attempt in a World Cup last.
But there had been a transparent knock-on from New Zealand from the lineout previous to the attempt, with the video referee guaranteeing the attempt was dominated out.
New Zealand did nevertheless retain the ball after one other penalty in that very same lineout, and continued their determined hunt for a primary attempt once they kicked for contact.
After the lineout they pounded on the South African line and earned a second penalty, kicking for contact once more for a five-metre lineout.
South Africa’s skipper had returned to the sector after his sin bin interval ended, however he couldn’t assist his facet maintain off the All Blacks assault because the Kiwis lastly crossed the road.
New Zealand earned a penalty benefit from the lineout earlier than ultimately shifting it to the left facet of the sector via an extended Jordie Barrett go, along with his brother Beauden Barrett ending the attempt.
He was brilliantly arrange by Mark Tele’a who beat two tackles and managed to shortly give the ball to his fullback when he was lastly wrapped up.
Mo’unga couldn’t convert because the All Blacks missed the possibility to take a primary lead of the match, with the rating remaining 12-11 in South Africa’s favour.
But the All Blacks had fought again regardless of their numerical drawback, making inroads from lineouts and turning the territorial battle of their favour with some sensational kicking and free-flowing assault.
The groups started to show to their substitutes in droves, with scrum-half Aaron Smith taken off for New Zealand as his sensational worldwide profession got here to an finish, changed by Finlay Christie.
The All Blacks additionally changed their complete entrance row of De Groot, Taylor and Lomax.
South Africa’s assault was struggling to make inroads because the groups entered the ultimate ten minutes, with Cheslin Kolbe lacking a shock discipline objective try from lengthy vary – and with a hamstring that wanted heavy strapping simply minutes earlier.
And the match turned on its head when South Africa winger Kolbe was handed a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on 49 metres from his personal line within the 72nd minute, denying the All Blacks a robust breakaway probability down the precise sideline.
South Africa had a second drop objective try fail when Savea brilliantly charged down the kick from fly-half Handre Pollard within the seventy fifth minute.
But New Zealand couldn’t discover a approach to break via the excellent South African defence because the Springboks held on for victory.