(CTN News) – South Africa won their fourth Rugby World Cup with a nail-biting 12-11 win over 14-man New Zealand on Saturday. Four penalties were kicked by Handre Pollard.
A rain-soaked Stade de France saw the All Blacks lose captain Sam Cane to a high tackle in the first half.
In the end, the Springboks won a third consecutive knockout match by a point and added to their titles from 1995, 2007 and 2019.
During the last three games, Pieter-Steph du Toit said: “Each game has been a final and we have won each one by one point.”.
The drama has helped us through the last few years, it shows how resilient we are.
“We’re honored to play for South Africa and the Springboks. Back home, we’re going to get a warm welcome.”
Siya Kolisi added: “Honestly, people who aren’t from South Africa don’t understand what this means.”
“Our country goes through so much. We’re the only hope they have.”
80,000 people watched the game, including tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
The All Black flanker Shannon Frizell was yellow carded by referee Wayne Barnes after just two minutes for an illegal ruck clearout that left Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi injured.
Pollard kicked the penalty after Deon Fourie, a 37-year-old flanker, replaces Mbonambi, who used a racial slur against England flanker Tom Curry earlier in the week.
He kicked a second penalty after Codie Taylor didn’t roll away in a ruck after Pollard kicked 22 points in South Africa’s final victory over England four years ago.
In the first quarter, both teams delivered eye-watering hits as the Boks’ aggressive defence, led by Du Toit, pinned the All Blacks.
Jordie Barrett kicked for the corner after a late Faf de Klerk hit on Mark Tele’a, and Richie Mo’unga got the All Blacks on the scoreboard with an easy penalty.
After Ardie Savea flopped over a ruck, Pollard connected perfectly to convert a monster 49-metre kick.
Frustrated All Blacks –
Cane’s high tackle on Jesse Kriel in the 29th minute was yellow-carded, but later upgraded to red for a high degree of danger without mitigation, according to the TV match official.
For 46 minutes, the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men after Cane was sent off in the World Cup final.
“I’m gutted and disappointed,” Cane said afterwards.
The boys played with 14 men for 50 minutes. Their courage was incredible. They’re all warriors.”
Pollard kicked his fourth penalty as the game neared halftime after another punishing hit by Du Toit, this time on Will Jordan.
It was 12-6 when Mo’unga kicked another penalty and the All Blacks trudged off without their skipper and knowing that no team has ever come back from half-time to win a final.
After that, South Africa missed two try-scoring opportunities.
Siya Kolisi botched a clear five-pointer seconds into the second period, keeping the ball despite Cheslin Kolbe sprinting up inside and Kriel on the wing.
Kurt-Lee Arendse then came close to collecting a Kolbe grubber.
After Tele’a had taken a towering up-and-under, Kolisi spilled the ball in a rare attack after Mo’unga had been yellow carded for a high tackle on Savea.
The ball was recycled left to Tele’a, who beat three men before offloading, Beauden Barrett scooping up the ball to score.
Despite Mo’unga’s miss, it was suddenly a one-point game.
Kolbe’s 50-metre drop-goal missed as both sides tried to close it down.
Due to a deliberate knockdown of an Anton Lienert-Brown pass, both teams finished with 14 players.
In the last six minutes, Jordie Barrett missed the long-range penalty.
It took a perfect tap tackle from De Klerk on Dalton Papali’i in the dying moments for South Africa to win back-to-back titles.