South Africa wins 2023 Rugby World Cup

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Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Final - New Zealand v South Africa - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 28, 2023 South Africa's Damian Willemse and teammates celebrate with The Webb Ellis Cup after winning the world cup final REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

The South African national team secured their fourth Rugby World Cup victory, winning for the second consecutive time, at the Stade de France in Paris, where the 2023 Rugby World Cup final was hosted.

On Saturday evening, South Africa defeated New Zealand 12-11 (12-6). The Springboks maintained the world title they had claimed four years prior in Japan. Their victory was marked by a significant advantage for more than half of the match after New Zealand captain Sam Cane received a red card in the first minute. All of South Africa’s points were scored from penalties by Handre Pollard (at 3, 13, 19, 34), a player who joined the team during the final tournament in France.

South Africa holds the distinction of being the first team to win the Webb Ellis Trophy four times (in 1995, 2007, 2019, and 2023) and this team has never lost a World Cup final. For the All Blacks, Beauden Barrett scored a try (at 58), and Richie Mo’unga secured points from two free kicks (at 17, 38). Jordie Barrett had an opportunity to claim victory for New Zealand but missed a penalty seven minutes before the final whistle. As a result, the All Blacks remain with three world titles, in 1987, 2011, and 2015.

England’s national rugby team claimed third place after their 26-23 (16-10) victory over Argentina in the consolation match. The match was fiercely contested, and the final result was on the verge of going into overtime.

England took an early 13-0 lead within the first 13 minutes, indicating they might dominate considerably by the end. Argentina made a comeback toward the end of the first half, levelling the score, and showcased a completely different game in the second half.

Ben Earl and Theo Dan scored for England, with Owen Farrell managing two conversions and four penalties. Argentina’s tries came from Tomas Cubelli and Santiago Carreras, with Emiliano Boffelli securing two conversions and two penalties. Nicolas Sanchez converted a penalty but missed the potential equalizer at the end.

England, World Cup champions in 2003, have lost three other finals in 1991, 2007, and 2019. Argentina never won a World Cup, their best result being third place in the 2007 tournament, played also in France.

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