Springboks edge 14-man All Blacks to win fourth World Cup title
MATCH REPORT: The Springboks became the first team to win four World Cup titles after they beat the All Blacks 12-11 in an enthralling Final in Stade de Denis on Saturday.
In a bruising encounter, the All Blacks scored the only try of the match, but in the end, Handre Pollard’s four penalties proved to be enough.
Ian Foster’s side also had to play most of the match with 14 men after captain Sam Cane became the first player to receive a red card in a World Cup Final.
The 31-year-old was initially sin-binned for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel in the 29th minute, but when the action was reviewed, as Cane sat pitchside, referee Wayne Barnes waved a red card towards him a few minutes later.
There was some early drama with All Black loose forward Shannon Frizell getting a yellow card for a reckless clear-out on Bongi Mbonambi at a ruck. The Bok hooker suffered an injury in that play and he was replaced by Deon Fourie in the third minute.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard then converted that penalty into three points.
South Africa started to dominate play with some big collisions and after constant pressure inside the All Blacks’ half, Pollard extended the lead with another penalty in the 13th minute.
The All Blacks were then rewarded with a penalty for their first foray into the Boks’ 22 and Richie Mo’unga reduced South Africa’s lead to three points in the 17th minute.
But Pollard managed to cancel it out a couple of minutes later with a penalty of his own, which was some distance out.
The All Blacks suffered another setback in the 29th minute when Cane got that yellow card before it was upgraded to a red card under the Foul Play Review System
With an aggressive defence and powerful forward pack, the Boks continued to dominate the physical exchanges and moments after Cane learned his fate, Pollard extended his team’s lead again with another penalty
However, the All Blacks had the final say in the first half with Mo’unga adding three points to the tally. At half-time it was 12-6 to the Boks.
The Springboks looked like they were going to score the game’s first try in the opening minutes of the second half, but captain Siya Kolisi could not find his support after a great run.
A few minutes later, Kurt-Lee Arendse nearly got a try, but he put a foot into touch metres from the tryline after attempting to gather the ball from a grubber kick.
The Boks then suffered a setback when Kolisi got a yellow card for a high tackle on Ardie Savea in the 46th minute.
With even numbers on the field, the All Blacks looked more dangerous on attack and it took some magic from Mo’unga to spark his team into action.
After a great run into space, the flyhalf fed the ball to Aaron Smith and the scrumhalf dived over for a try. However, the TMO spotted a knock-on in the build-up and the try was disallowed.
However, the All Blacks eventually got their try in the 58th minute after Mark Telea evaded a couple of defenders before the ball found its way to Beauden Barrett who dived over for the score. Mo’unga could not find the direction with his conversion.
There was more drama in the 73rd minute when Cheslin Kolbe received a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Jordie Barrett then had a chance to put his team in front with the penalty from 50 metres out, but he pulled his kick wide.
The All Blacks tried their best to win a penalty in the final few minutes, but the Boks held on for another famous win.
Man of the match: Everyone gave their all on the field, but the award must go to Springbok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit, who put in a colossal effort on defence. He made a whopping 28 tackles in the match and most of those drove the All Blacks back when the Boks were under pressure.
For New Zealand:
Try: B Barrett
Pens: Mo’unga 2
For South Africa:
Pens: Pollard 4
Red card: Sam Cane – upgraded from a yellow card (New Zealand, 29′ – 34′ – foul play, high tackle)
Yellow cards: Shannon Frizell (New Zealand, 3′ – foul play, dangerous clearout); Siya Kolisi ( South Africa, 46′ – foul play, high tackle); Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa, 73′ – cynical play, deliberate knock-on)
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Telea, 11 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Jasper Wiese, 23 Willie le Roux.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)