In an electrifying clash at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, South Africa emerged triumphant, defeating the formidable All Blacks 12-11, securing their fourth Rugby World Cup title in a record-setting victory. New Zealand put up a valiant fight, but the turning point of the game was captain Sam Cane’s red card, which left the All Blacks with 14 players for the final 48 minutes of the match.
The Springboks showcased an impeccable defensive performance, edging out 14-man New Zealand in a riveting arm-wrestle of a Rugby World Cup final, thus adding another Webb Ellis Cup to their illustrious collection. This victory marks their fourth time as champions in the history of the tournament.
In a game that saw an unusual number of yellow and red cards, the crackdown on foul play in rugby resulted in four cards being handed out over 80 intense minutes, captivating a crowd of 80,065 spectators at the Stade de France.
New Zealand’s captain, Sam Cane, made history in an unfortunate manner as he became the first player to be sent off in a Rugby World Cup title decider. His high tackle resulted in a red card after a bunker review just before half-time. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the All Blacks showcased their relentless spirit by executing a cunning game plan and scoring the match’s sole try through Beauden Barrett, bringing them within a single point of the lead just before the hour mark.
The Springboks, led by the brilliant Pieter-Steph du Toit, demonstrated unwavering resilience under immense pressure during the final quarter of the match. Handre Pollard’s four first-half penalties ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in clinching the victory, adding another championship to their Rugby World Cup titles from 1995, 2007, and 2019.
South Africa’s triumph retained the coveted trophy in the southern hemisphere for the fifth consecutive tournament, cementing their status as a rugby powerhouse. Siya Kolisi achieved a remarkable milestone, becoming only the second captain after All Black legend Richie McCaw to lift the coveted Rugby World Cup trophy for the second time, solidifying his place in rugby history.
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