” They did it ! Not for the first time, nor the second, much less the third, but for the fourth time! » The South African media News24 is exultant when announcing the victory of the Springboks in the final of the Rugby World Cup, Saturday October 28 at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis). At the end of a “tense standoff” with the New Zealanders, the players of the duo Jacques Nienaber – Rassie Erasmus won by the smallest of margins (12-11). Title holders after their victory over England in 2019 in Japan, South Africa became the first nation to record a fourth world title on their record.

“South Africa offers the piece de resistance [“piece de resistance” being written in French in the article] of the Rugby World Cup,” headlines the Daily Maverick. Retracing the thread of the meeting, the Johannesburg site describes a real thriller film. The skill of fly-half Handré Pollard helped to collect the points in the first half, but the Boks several times missed the opportunity to definitively defeat the All Blacks, reduced to 14 for almost the entire match. With their backs to the wall, the latter did not give up, reduced the gap and even came very close to the feat.

New Zealand center Jordie Barrett was unsuccessful when kicking a penalty which should have given his team the lead in the 74th minute. “This time, because the Boks played with incredible inner strength and burning hearts, while keeping a cool head, it all ended for them with tears of joy. It hasn’t always been a pretty sight, but it’s been magnificent. »

Overflowing with pride, News24 journalist Khanyiso Tshwaku lists the names of the Boks, more than ever “kings of the world”. And if a feeling of sadness dominates in the opposite camp, the New Zealand newspapers also pay tribute to their valiant All Blacks. “Seeing them lose is like getting hit in the heart with a rubber mallet. It hurts,” writes Wellington website Stuff. “Put simply, they were incredible. They deserved better, all of them. »

A “Tale of Two Captains”

On both sides, we agree that the opposition had everything of a game of strategy. Stuff goes a step further, calling it a “game of chess on steroids.” “It looked like two tectonic plates colliding. For the All Blacks (…), it didn’t go far, but it was a failure. Sport is unfair. »

The New Zealand Herald is more bitter: “Well done to South Africa, the best when it comes to not playing rugby. » Journalist Paul Lewis seems very critical of the refereeing which, according to him, penalizes offensive rugby and is vituperative against the style of play of the South Africans, visibly more comfortable when they do not have the ball.

The European titles are very divided in their analysis of the meeting. In the United Kingdom, The Times speaks of a “non-Clasico”. “South Africa limped, panicked, got bogged down on their way to victory, but retained the Webb Ellis Cup in a match without charm, fierce opposition but which never approached majesty near or by far, or even beyond mediocrity. »

On the contrary, the Daily Telegraph speaks of “the most beautiful final of a World Cup won, without any possible doubt, by the better of the two teams”. For the Guardian, finally, “this final will be remembered as a tale of two captains”. The daily thus underlines the contrast between the immense joy of the South African Siya Kolisi, who had already lifted the trophy in Japan in 2019, and the infinite sadness of the New Zealander Sam Cane, sent off in the 29th minute of play and forced to helplessly witness the defeat of his own people.