BOKKE Defence delivers another Trophy!
South Africa’s perfect record in Rugby World Cup finals was extended in Paris on Saturday as they became the first nation to win the tournament four times. A nerve-shredding 12-11 victory over New Zealand completed back-to-back World Cup wins and led to debate about whether they are the greatest team in history.
New Zealand had the better of territory (53%) and ball possession (60%) in the final, despite having captain Sam Cane sent off in the first half. The Springboks needed their defence to step up – and they did so, making 209 tackles, significantly their highest tally in a match at the 2023 tournament (New Zealand made 93 tackles in the final):
Player of the match Pieter-Steph du Toit led the way for the Boks with a match-high total of 28 tackles. The back row played more minutes at the World Cup than any other South African forward – 386 out of a possible 560.
- All of their starting forwards in the final (excluding Bongi Mbonambi who went off injured after four minutes) were in double figures for tackles.
- Deon Fourie, Mbonambi’s replacement at hooker, was second on the list with 21.
- Second row Franco Mostert attempted 49 tackles in the Springboks’ three knockout games and did not miss a single one.
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