It’s the Rugby World Cup final!

todayOctober 26, 2023 44

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Saturday is World Cup Final day and that means true rugby fans, those who are more about skill and ability that just blind loyalty to a specific team, get to see a spectacle that is quite unique. All sports have great rivalries, but for those who grew up in countries or communities where rugby is big, there is only one real rivalry, and that is All Blacks versus the Springboks. While these teams play against each other quite regularly, they have not often faced each other in a World Cup setting. In fact, Saturday’s final of Rugby World Cup 2023 will be the sixth time the sides have met at the World Cup and only the second — after 1995 — that they contest the final. The two sides have been playing against each other for more than a hundred yearThe rivalry might be 102 years and 105 Tests old, but World Cup clashes between the two sides are rare.

New Zealand have won three times, the Boks twice. Three of those matches were knockout clashes — the final of RWC 1995 (the Boks won 15-12), the quarterfinal of RWC 2003 (the All Blacks won 29-9) and the semifinal in 2015, won 20-18 by the All Blacks. That means on Saturday the Boks can even the score to three wins all, and importantly one of these two great sides will, after the final, have won the Rugby World Cul a record fourth time. What an occasion…and no, I haven’t done any pre-match analysis. The reason is simple – there is no clear favourite. It is much like a giant game of rock-paper-scissors. An advantage for one in a position or combination is offset in another aspect by a slight disadvantage in another. But that’s OK. It’s great that it boils down to who fronts up on the night. And who benefits from that situation? Rugby and rugby fans! Enjoy the final…it will be epic.

Written by: Deon v Rensburg

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