South Africa has made history by becoming the first team to win four Rugby World Cup titles, after defeating New Zealand 12-11 in a thrilling final at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday. The Springboks, who also won the trophy in 1995, 2007 and 2019, overcame a red card for their captain Siya Kolisi in the second half and held off a spirited comeback from the 14-man All Blacks, who had their skipper Sam Cane sent off in the first half for a high tackle.
The match was a tense and physical battle, with both teams relying on their strong defenses and accurate kicking. South Africa’s flyhalf Handré Pollard scored all of his team’s points with four penalties, while New Zealand’s fullback Beauden Barrett scored the only try of the game and added two penalties. The All Blacks, who were aiming for their fourth title and their third in a row, had a chance to snatch victory in the dying minutes, but Jordie Barrett missed a long-range penalty attempt.
The final was a fitting climax to a tournament that showcased the best of rugby union, with exciting matches, passionate fans and a diverse range of teams. South Africa’s triumph was also a symbol of hope and unity for a nation that has faced many challenges in recent years. The Springboks, who are led by Kolisi, the first black captain in their history, have inspired millions of South Africans with their performances and their message of social justice.
South Africa’s coach Jacques Nienaber, who will leave his post to join Leinster in Ireland, praised his players for their resilience and dedication. “I’m so proud of this team. They have worked so hard for this moment. They have shown incredible character and courage throughout the tournament. They have played for each other, for their country and for their people,” he said.
Kolisi, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in his career, thanked Nienaber for his guidance and leadership. “He has been like a father to us. He has given us so much confidence and belief. He has taught us how to be better players and better people. We love you, coach,” he said.
The Springboks have also received praise from other rugby legends and celebrities, including former South Africa president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela, who tweeted: “Congratulations to the @Springboks on winning the Rugby World Cup 2023! You have made us all proud and happy. You have honored the legacy of Madiba and shown the world what we can achieve when we work together as one.”
South Africa’s victory adds another chapter to their remarkable Rugby World Cup history, which began in 1995 when they hosted and won the tournament for the first time after returning from international isolation. That year, they beat New Zealand 15-12 in an iconic final that was attended by Mandela, who wore a Springbok jersey and cap to show his support for the team.
Since then, South Africa has won three more titles, all against northern hemisphere opponents: England in 2007 (15-6) and 2019 (32-12), and France in 2023 (12-11). They have also reached the semifinals in 1999 and 2015, losing to Australia and New Zealand respectively. They have won 36 out of 48 matches in Rugby World Cup history, giving them a win percentage of 75%, the highest among all teams.
The Springboks have also achieved other notable feats in rugby union, such as winning three Tri-Nations titles (1998, 2004 and 2009), one Rugby Championship title (2019) and two series against the British and Irish Lions (1997 and 2009). They are currently ranked second in the world behind New Zealand.
South Africa’s Rugby World Cup win is not only a testament to their skill and talent, but also to their spirit and determination. They have overcome adversity, adversity and adversity again to reach the pinnacle of their sport. They have shown that rugby is more than just a game; it is a way of life that brings people together and inspires them to achieve greatness.
Another African making great moves in the sporting world is Francis Ngannou. He is not just a fighter, He is a symbol of hope, resilience and courage. He is the undisputed people’s champion, even if the boxing judges did not see it that way.
On Saturday night, Ngannou faced Tyson Fury, the reigning heavyweight champion of the world, in a crossover boxing match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was a historic event, pitting the UFC heavyweight champion against the WBC and lineal boxing champion, in a clash of styles and personalities.
Ngannou was the underdog, having only started boxing professionally this year, after dominating the MMA scene with his devastating knockout power. Fury was the favorite, having defeated Deontay Wilder twice and being widely regarded as one of the best boxers of his generation.
But Ngannou did not let the odds deter him. He came to fight, and he gave Fury the toughest challenge of his career. He knocked down Fury in the third round with a left hook that sent shockwaves around the world. He outlanded Fury in total punches from rounds three to eight, according to CompuBox. He showed heart, determination and skill, despite being cut and bruised by Fury’s sharp jabs and hooks. Read more about Francis here.