South Africa’s victory in the Rugby World Cup final not only secured their back-to-back tournament wins, but also made them the most successful team in the history of the competition with four tournament victories.
South Africa emerged as the champions of the Rugby World Cup for the second consecutive time with a thrilling 12-11 win over New Zealand in the final held at the Stade de France in Paris. This victory follows their triumph over England in the 2019 final in Japan.
The Springboks’ win in the final means that they now hold the record for the most tournament wins in Rugby World Cup history, surpassing New Zealand’s three titles. South Africa previously shared the record with New Zealand, but now they stand alone as the most successful team in the history of the competition.
The first half of the final saw a red card being shown to New Zealand captain Sam Cane for a high tackle, making him the first player to receive a red card in a Rugby World Cup final. This gave South Africa an advantage, along with four successful kicks from Handre Pollard.
Despite being a man down, the All Blacks put up a spirited fightback in the second half, narrowing the gap to just one point with a try from Beauden Barrett. However, Jordie Barrett missed a long-range penalty in the final moments of the game, denying New Zealand a potential comeback victory.
South Africa had their own challenges in the match, losing Cheslin Kolbe to a sin bin for a deliberate knock-on as the final whistle drew near. However, they managed to hold off the late pressure from New Zealand and secure a narrow and historic victory.
This win also means that the Springboks remain unbeaten in Rugby World Cup finals, with two of their victories coming against their Southern Hemisphere rivals, New Zealand. Their first tournament win came in 1995 with a narrow 15-12 extra-time victory over the All Blacks, followed by a 15-6 win over England in the 2007 final.
South Africa’s consecutive Webb Ellis Cup wins began in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they defeated England. New Zealand is the only other team to have won consecutive Rugby World Cups, achieving this feat in 2011 and 2015.
The victory for South Africa not only solidifies their dominance in the world of rugby but also showcases their ability to consistently perform at the highest level on the global stage. With their fourth tournament win, they have etched their name in the history books as the most successful team in Rugby World Cup history.