A 7-week Rugby World Cup extravaganza ends with a magic fourth title for South Africa

South Africa’s Siya Kolisi holds the trophy aloft during presentation ceremony after the Rugby World Cup final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. South Africa won the match 12-11.

And so, a green and gold curtain fell on the 10th Rugby World Cup, leaving the Springboks standing alone as the tournament’s most successful team. But with joy for some, comes despair for others. New Zealand missed out on being the first to four by the slimmest of margins in one of the tightest finals ever played. All Blacks captain Sam Cane had to watch most of it from the sidelines after he became the first man to be sent off in rugby’s biggest game.

Ireland’s singing, dancing “green army” of fans had swept across the length and breadth of France hoping for a maiden title. They were left utterly crestfallen. France captain Antoine Dupont, considered by many to be the best player in the world, also missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity alongside his teammates to win Les Tricolores’ first World Cup in front of their home supporters. headtopics.com

As is always the case, the Rugby World Cup gave the sport’s popular underdogs their moment in the global spotlight. Fiji, Portugal, World Cup debutant Chile and others showed that rugby is about way more than just the traditional superpowers as they provided some uplifting performances. Portugal will remember this one forever by winning its first game at a Rugby World Cup.

In the end, South Africa captain Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in four years and rugby history was made in the 200th anniversary year of the sport’s inception.

South Africa stands alone at Rugby World Cup summit as new eras beckon everywhereGive the Springboks a few days to revel in their record-breaking Rugby World Cup success and losing finalist New Zealand a little time to grieve. But both those two giants and rugby as a whole will soon emerge from seven weeks of Rugby World Cup fever and face the prospect of entirely new eras. Read more ⮕

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The Springboks are not truly representative of African rugby. African rugby is strugglingAfrica is home to the Rugby World Cup champion again. But the newly crowned Springboks aren’t a true representation of African rugby. Rugby Africa president Herbert Mensah says African rugby struggles to be competitive and is a gold mine of talent without the means to unearth it. Read more ⮕

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Springbok belief and physicality make for world beating mixA record fourth Rugby World Cup showed South Africa’s dogged determination, which saw the team dig deep at critical moments. Read more ⮕