On Saturday, South Africa achieved a historic feat by winning their fourth Rugby World Cup, surpassing all other teams, as they defeated New Zealand with a score of 12-11 in the final at the Stade de France.
Handre Pollard, the flyhalf, was the sole scorer of points for the Springboks in a remarkable victory. This win marked a historic moment as it echoed their 1995 triumph over New Zealand and, in doing so, prevented the All Blacks from claiming their fourth title in their fifth final appearance. Furthermore, The Springboks have maintained their stellar World Cup final record of 4 in 4.
If any consolation, the fullback Beauden Barrett notched the solitary try of the match, injecting tension into the final 20 minutes of play. In achieving this, Barrett made history by becoming the first player to score in two World Cup finals.
The Springboks have established themselves as the latest dominant force in Paris, with Siya Kolisi serving as their inspirational leader. His ascension to the role of captain is a momentous occasion, deserving of praise and celebration.
Hailing from the township of Zwide and at the age of 32, Kolisi holds the distinction of being the first-ever black Springbok captain. Furthermore, he joins the elite ranks as only the second individual to lift the Webb Ellis Cup twice, a feat previously achieved by the legendary New Zealand player Richie McCaw in 2011 and 2015.
The victory came after New Zealand had one of their players sent off with a red card, making it a significant moment in rugby history. The final witnessed an unprecedented crackdown on foul play, resulting in four yellow cards being shown during the intense match. The New Zealand team’s captain, Sam Cane, endured the embarrassment of becoming the first player to be sent off in a title-deciding match when his offense was upgraded to a red card following a review by the officials just before halftime.
“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. It’s tough. I’d like to say well done to South Africa. Back-to-back (champions), they have been a fantastic team. They have had a heck of a tough road to the final and they have showed time and time again they have shown a way to win,” Sam Cane said in the post game interview.
On the other hand, an elated Siya Kolisi had a different outlook: “We were kind of just hoping to win in the last World Cup, but this time people were expecting it. There is so much going wrong in our country, and we are like the last line of defence and we can show that we can achieve so much together.”