SOUTH Africa on Saturday night edged 14-man New Zealand 12-11 to clinch the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time.
The final lived up to expectations at rain-soaked Stade de France as both teams engaged in a nail-biting match.
The opening quarter was breathtaking as each side delivered a succession of superb hits. South Africa’s Pieter-Steph du Toit became a torn of the flesh on the attackers as he led the defense to cage New Zealand in their own territory.
After a series of runs, a late New Zealand’s player Faf de Klerk hit on Mark Tele’a saw Jordie Barrett kick for the corner and from a series of drives, the Boks infringed and Richie Mo’unga got the All Blacks on the scoreboard with an easy penalty.
Pollard hit straight back after Ardie Savea flopped over a ruck, connecting perfectly to convert a monster 49-metre effort.
New Zealand’s tempo in the match reduced when one of their players Cane received a yellow card in the 29th minute for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel but was later upgraded to red for a high degree of danger after a review by the match officials.
The high point of the final was South Africa’s Handre Pollard who kicked four penalties to help his country to retain the cup.