New Zealand v South Africa live: Bongi Mbonambi off injured in 2023 Rugby World Cup final – latest

New Zealand v South Africa live: Bongi Mbonambi off injured in 2023 Rugby World Cup final – latest

The greatest World Cup final won by unquestionably the greatest rugby side. South Africa, the defending champions, who conquered the British and Irish Lions since lifting the Webb Ellis trophy in Yokohama four years ago, have now been world champions four of the eight World Cups they have contested.

In a final for the ages, they were pushed right to the wire by a New Zealand side who had to play all but 18 minutes with 14 men, after their captain Sam Cane was shown a red card in the first half following a yellow card for his back-row team-mate Shannon Frizzel.

The All Blacks, themselves going for a fourth World Cup title, came agonisingly close, with Jodie Barrett’s late long-range penalty drifting just wide of the posts. Barrett has been utterly immense in attempting to inspire what would have been a historic comeback, which included a second-half try by his brother Beauden.

But ultimately South Africa, who lost their only hooker Bongi Mbonambi as early as the third minute, were worthy champions, establishing a lead with four penalties by Handre Pollard, a player who was not even originally selected for the World Cup squad because of injury.

Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Koble both added to the drama with second-half yellow cards as the New Zealand attempted to overturn a 12-6 deficit at the interval, but an incredible defensive performance and set piece dominance once again enabled South Africa to close another another last-gasp victory, their third single-point victory in succession, following wins over France and England.

There was controversy within three minutes, with Shannon Frizell shown a yellow card for a neck roll on Bongi Mbonambi, the only recognised hooker in the Springboks squad. Mbonambi, who was accused by Tom Curry of directing a racial slur at him during England’s semi-final defeat, required treatment for several minutes.

Eben Etzebeth meanwhile had completely folded Richie Mo’unga in the same move.

Frizzell had appeared to drop his weight onto Mbonambi’s legs to roll him away, only to fall on the hooker’s knee in an awkward position, an indiscretion that was referred t

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