Springboks captain Siya Kolisi.
Rugby World Cup
South Africa cling on against 14-man New Zealand to win record fourth Rugby World Cup
All Blacks skipper Sam Cane was sent off in the first half of South Africa’s 12-11 win.
The 42 Team
Reports from Stade de France
New Zealand 11
South Africa 12
CHAOS, CARDS, and clamour. It was hard to think in the stands of Stade de France at times tonight, so we can only imagine what it was like on the pitch amid the frenetic scenes of this World Cup finale.
As has become their habit, the Springboks kept their heads just enough to edge home, securing back-to-back World Cup trophies and a record-setting fourth for their great rugby nation.
In front of 80,065 people – a mixture of South Africans, Kiwis, French, and even Irish – Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks did enough damage in the first half through the boot of Handré Pollard to see them home, as they had to defend desperately against the dangerous 14-man All Blacks in the second.
The Kiwis lost skipper Sam Cane to a red card in the 29th minute after his high tackle on Springboks centre Jesse Kriel, one of two cards in the opening 40 for the Kiwis, with flanker Shannon Frizell spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.
The Boks had two cards in the second half on a busy night for referee Wayne Barnes, with captain Siya Kolisi binned for a high tackle and then wing Cheslin Kolbe seeing yellow for a deliberate knock-on in the tense closing stages, meaning it finished with 14 players v 14.
And though the Kiwis scored the only try of the game through fullback Beauden Barrett to set up a dramatic finish, the South Africans were able to cling on even at moments when it looked like the New Zealanders might break out from deep.
This wasn’t a World Cup classic in terms of running rugby but it was riveting, anxiety-inducing, and a genuine rollercoaster with surprises at every turn. In those circumstances, the Boks so often succeed and they did it once again tonight.
Having won their quarter-final and semi-finals by a point, they did it again here in Paris.
The South Africans had to play 77 minutes without the only specialist hooker in their squad, Bongi Mbonambi forced off injured early, and while their lineout came under intense pressure as Deon Fourie took over, the Boks found a way to win. It’s how they roll.
Irish assistant coach Felix Jones departs to join England with a second World Cup winner’s medal, while Munster locks Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman played their part of the Boks as part of their brave 7/1 bench selection.
Dan Sheridan / INPHO
Sam Cane was sent off in the first half.
Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO
It didn’t take long for the chaos to take hold as the game kicked off in the rain, with Frizell sent fo
…. to be continued
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