South Africa’s thrilling triumph: Memorable moments of the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final

In a heart-pounding showdown at the iconic Stade de France in Paris, the South African Springboks once again etched its name in the annals of rugby history.

With a razor-thin one-point margin against New Zealand (12-11), the South African team clinched its fourth World Cup crown in a battle that had fans worldwide on the edge of their seats.

Here are several memorable moments of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Springboks’ solitary-point winning streak

The Springboks’ path to victory was nothing short of spectacular. The team’s victory over the mighty All Blacks was its third consecutive win by just one point, highlighting the players’ unwavering resolve in high-pressure situations. The journey began with a nail-biting 28-29 win against France in the quarterfinals, followed by a thrilling 16-15 triumph over England in the semifinals.

Sam Cane’s historic red card

The final delivered drama right from the start, with four yellow cards doled out. But the standout moment came when All Blacks captain Sam Cane received a red card (his yellow card was upgraded to red), becoming the first male player ever to be sent off in a men’s World Cup final. Cane’s early exit left New Zealand with just 14 players for the rest of the 80-minute match, making it an uphill battle for the Kiwis.

A throwback to 1995

This monumental victory harked back to history. The 2023 final was a replay of the 1995 showdown when South Africa emerged victorious with a 15-12 overtime win.

Siya Kolisi’s back-to-back captaincy triumph

In the world of rugby, leadership is everything, and Siya Kolisi proved himself a true captain. He became the first captain in history to lead his team to back-to-back Rugby World Cup victories, cementing his legacy as one of the great players of the sport.

South Africa’s unbeaten record in the Rugby World Cup finals

South Africa showcased its dominance on the grandest stage once more. The team remained undefeated in all four Rugby World Cup finals it has competed in, an astonishing feat that underlines the team’s prowess, consistency, and excellence.

Handre Pollard’s remarkable rise

Initially left out of the Springboks’ World Cup squad, Handre Pollard not only made a comeback but also stole the spotlight. He scored all of South Africa’s crucial points in the final, proving that when destiny calls, the unlikeliest heroes rise to the occasion.

The Barrett brothers’ unique bond

The 2023 final saw a heartwarming family affair unfold. For the first time in a Cup final, three brothers took the field together, proudly donning the All-Blacks jersey. The Barett brothers – full back Beauden (32), lock Scott (29), and centre Jordie (26) – showcased the unique bond shared by these siblings on the rugby battlefield.

The seven-week tournament in France which began on Sept 8 proved to be a fantastic treat and feast for rugby fans the world over – it was rugby at its best. The early favourites at the beginning of the tournament – Ireland and hosts France – were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Undoubtedly this 2023 final and the whole tournament left an indelible mark on world rugby.

Main image: Rugby World Cup / Facebook

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