11-12 New Zealand -South Africa: The Springboks became the first four-time men’s Rugby World Cup winners. This had the atmosphere of a truly historic event. South Africa has successfully defended its title, putting an end to any debate over who is the most dominant rugby nation on the planet.
Credit: The Guardian
Rugby World Cup 2023
The Rugby World Cup 2023 (French: Coupe du monde de rugby 2023) was the tenth edition of the quadrennial world championship for national rugby union teams. It was held in nine different locations around France from September 8 to October 28, 2023. The first and final games were held at the Stade de France, located north of Paris. The tournament was staged in the bicentennial year of the sport’s supposed inception by William Webb Ellis.
World Rugby decided to add a week to the tournament’s original six-week schedule in February 2021 in order to give players more time for rest days. This ensured that teams had at least five days’ break between matches. France hosted the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time, having previously done so in 2007 and co-hosted the 1991 and 1999 tournaments alongside England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
The Springboks: Raising the World Cup For The 4th Time
The Springboks are the national rugby union side of South Africa. They are regulated by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks wear green and gold jerseys with white shorts on the pitch. Their emblem is a local antelope, the Springbok, which is South Africa’s national animal. Since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles visiting team, the team has represented South Africa in international rugby union. They are the current World Champions and have won the World Cup four times (1995, 2007, 2019, and 2023), the most of any country.
The team made its World Cup debut in 1995, when the competition was held by newly democratic South Africa. Despite South Africa’s role in the development of the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks did not compete in the first two World Cups in 1987 and 1991 due to worldwide anti-apartheid sporting boycotts. The Springboks defeated the All Blacks 15-12 in the 1995 final, which is today regarded as one of the greatest sporting moments in South African history, as well as a watershed moment in the post-Apartheid nation-building process.
The Winners of Rugby world cup 4th time in a row
South Africa and New Zealand arrived as three-time winners of this competition, a storied rivalry extending back over a century, a previous final that provided the sport’s most iconic image, and with the victor able to claim a record fourth trophy and arguably the title of undisputed champions. The Springboks won 12-11 in a wild finale, confirming themselves as the ultimate tournament animals.
Cane was sent off in the 27th minute after a video review for an upright tackle on Jesse Kriel. There have been more forceful tackles, but when the phrase “a high degree of danger” is used, there is usually just one outcome. A player has never been sent off in a World Cup final before. That dramatic tension, however, was far from ended. Kolisi was shown a yellow card for making contact with Ardie Savea’s head five minutes after halftime, prompting the 14-man New Zealand to mount a spirited comeback.
The All Blacks had a “try” by scrum-half Aaron Smith ruled out due to a knock-on by Savea in the buildup, but scored a valid one just before the hour to set up a tense finale, with his brother Jordie missing a long-range penalty attempt with seven minutes remaining.
It felt even more powerful because of the weeping heavens. A slick ball may spell disaster for New Zealand. More spillages mean more scrums. And, as England will attest, this South African team adores scrummaging. Prior to Barrett’s try, the Springboks had not conceded a try in three World Cup finals.
Even before Cheslin Kolbe was sent to the sin bin by the authoritative Wayne Barnes seven minutes from time for an intentional knock down, the last quarter was equally tense. It has yet to be a perfect tournament, it has been excessively long and terribly lopsided at times, but the greatest games have been as compelling as any sport you could want to watch. And they can now bask in the ultimate glory in South Africa. The northern hemisphere, with only one World Cup victory in ten attempts, has a lot of catching up to do.
Even though they weren’t the most visually appealing side at the World Cup, the Springboks understood how to prevail. Three successive one-point triumphs in the knockout stage, against France, England, and lastly their archrivals New Zealand, eloquently displays the grit and intensity that this squad thrives on. Another revealing statistic is that they have now won four out of four World Cup finals without failing to score a single try in three of those matches.