New Zealand Concede Cup in Epic Contest
“It was always going to be thunderous. These two fiercely proud nations have been playing rugby union against each other for 102 years but some games are bigger than others. You could see it in the faces of the South Africa players as they belted out the anthems and in focused Kiwi eyes during the haka,” The Guardian’s Robert Kitson reported from the Stade de France at the 2023 Rugby World Cup final.
“The weeping skies made it feel all the more intense. Never mind Jacques Nienaber, the volume of pre-game rain would have made Jacques Cousteau feel at home. For New Zealand a slippery ball was potentially bad news,” Kitson wrote. “More spillages equates to more scrums. And this South Africa side, as England can attest, absolutely loves scrummaging. Also, before [Beauden] Barrett’s score the Springboks had never conceded a try in three World Cup finals.
“What an epic, see-sawing contest it was.”
Original article by Robert Kitson, The Guardian, October 28, 2023.