South Africa secure narrow win over New Zealand in thrilling 2023 Rugby World Cup final in Paris

Image of 2023 Rugby World Cup logo.

Image of 2023 Rugby World Cup logo. Credit: WHISKHEELS /

SOUTH AFRICA claimed a record fourth Rugby World Cup title this evening, October 28, after beating New Zealand 12-11 in Paris.

Handre Pollard kicked four penalties in the first half

Three penalty kicks from Handre Pollard put South Africa comfortably in the lead but a Richie Mo’unga kick then closed the gap to 9-3.

The All Blacks finished the match with 14 players on the field after captain Sam Cane was red-carded in the 27th minute. After a review, his yellow card was upgraded when he was judged to have committed a high tackle on Jesse Kriel.

Cane made history as the first player to ever be sent off in a Rugby World Cup final and he left the pitch with his team losing 9-3. Pollard added another penalty before the break to send his side in 12-3 ahead at halftime.

A try in the second half from Beauden Barrett – who became the first player to score in two Rugby World Cup Finals – inspired a spirited fightback by the All Blacks.

However, the single point advantage was all it took and the Springboks managed to hold their nerves and clinch victory by the narrowest of margins to hold the trophy aloft. It was their third one-point victory in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Who did they beat in the 2019 final in Japan?

Today’s win at the Stade de France saw the Springboks regain the Webb Ellis Cup that they won four years ago in Japan where they beat England in the 2019 final.

Speaking to ITV after the game, a euphoric Pieter-Steph du Toit, named the player of the match, said: ‘The last three games have been quite tough, each one we have played has been a final and each one we have won by one point’.

‘As a team we like drama. It has helped us through the last few years, it shows the resilience of this team. We are honoured to play for the whole of South Africa and the Springboks. When we go back home it will be a warm welcome for us. Thank you to everyone’, he enthused.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at