South Africa Win Fourth Rugby World Cup: History Made by Unstoppable Springboks

South Africa Win Fourth Rugby World Cup: History Made by Unstoppable Springboks

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at October 29, 2023 at 6:52 AM
  • South Africa defeated New Zealand to become the first nation to win four Rugby World Cup finals
  • A red card given to All Black captain Sam Cane will be a topic debated for months to come
  • Pieter-Steph du Toit was named man of the match after completing a superhuman 28 tackles

Another incredible miracle has occurred in the rugby world.

South Africa have narrowly edged New Zealand's All Blacks in a thrilling Rugby World Cup final in Paris.

The one-point victory rounded out a dramatic tournament that has had rugby fans in a frenzy in the concluding weeks.

Springboks, champions, All Blacks, 2023
The Springbok team lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy for the fourth time after defeating New Zealand by one point. Photo by Dan Mullan.
Source: Getty Images

South Africa were on top from the outset and they executed their game plan to perfection in the opening 20 minutes.

Eben Etzebeth had the nostalgia swelling when his early lineout steal brought back memories of Victor Matfield's exploits in 2007.

The All Blacks had flashes in the first half but yellow cards for Shannon Frizell and Sam Cane killed any first-half momentum.

Disaster struck the All Blacks just before halftime when referee Wayne Barnes was told by the bunker that Cane's yellow for a head-high tackle on Jesse Kriel had been upgraded to a red card.

The All Black captain sat inconsolable on the touchline, powerless to influence matters. Handre Pollard's four penalties to Beaudan Barrett's two were the difference as they went in 12-6 at halftime.

Being down to 14 men may have killed other teams but it fired up the All Blacks, who were outstanding in the second half.

A try by Aaron Smith was ruled out for an earlier knock-on but New Zealand soon crossed the chalk, with Barrett becoming the first player to score a try against South Africa in a World Cup final.

Crucially, the conversion was missed and the teams would be separated by one point with 20 minutes to play.

South Africa defended resolutely, with man of the match Pieter-Steph du Toit making a colossal 28 tackles throughout the 80 minutes.

The All Blacks could not find the decisive score and Springboks wound down the clock to see out their third straight one-point victory.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said after the game:

"Massive credit to our fans. I think the main thing is the squad, they have been in a World Cup final before so I think the experience just pulled them through. They are all warriors and they all love South Africa."

Support staff to be credited

Sports Brief recently reported on South Africa's secret weapon hanging out on the touchline.

Rene Naylor has worn her Springbok kit almost 150 times, smashing stereotypes and serving as role model.

Naylor is a well-rounded talent, and apart from her work with the Springbokst, has the accolades to prove it.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
South AfricaSpringboksRugby World Cup