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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

South Africa hold off New Zealand to win record fourth Rugby World Cup

As South Africa’s players celebrated with laps of honour and prop Trevor Nyakane danced, Kolisi broke off and climbed up the stadium stairs

Our Bureau Paris Published 30.10.23, 09:11 AM
Tennis great Roger Federer is flanked by South Africa rugby captain Siya Kolisi (left) and Eben Etzebeth after the Springboks retained World Cup beating New Zealand in the final in Paris on Saturday.

Tennis great Roger Federer is flanked by South Africa rugby captain Siya Kolisi (left) and Eben Etzebeth after the Springboks retained World Cup beating New Zealand in the final in Paris on Saturday. Twitter

Defending champion South Africa kicked their way to a record fourth Rugby World Cup title by beating New Zealand 12-11 after All Blacks captain Sam Cane was the first player to be red-carded in a final.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard on Saturday scored all the points for a Springboks side who repeated their 1995 success over New Zealand and denied the All Blacks their own chance to win a fourth title in their record fifth final.

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Captain Siya Kolisi held the Webb Ellis Cup aloft, kissed his right sweatband, raised the trophy even higher and roared a victory cry loud enough to rattle windows in Johannesburg, Cape Town and everywhere else back home.

"People who are not from South Africa don't understand what it means for our country. It is not just about the game. Our country goes through such a lot," Kolisi said.

"I want to tell the people of South Africa, 'Thank you so much'. This team just shows what you can do."

As South Africa's players celebrated with laps of honour and prop Trevor Nyakane danced, Kolisi broke off and climbed up the stadium stairs.

He headed to see a special friend high up in the stands — tennis great Roger Federer, whose mother is South African. Federer, wearing a Springboks rugby shirt and scarf, clenched his fist in celebration as he leaned over to congratulate Kolisi.

Basel-born Federer has dual Swiss and South African citizenship. His mother Lynette is South African and she met his father Robert, a Swiss-German pharmaceutical executive, while he was on a business trip to the country.

Written with inputs from AP/PTI

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