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South Africa dig deep to retain World Cup title

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South Africa became the first team to win the Rugby World Cup four times when they beat New Zealand 12-11 on Saturday after the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men in the final at the Stade de France.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane, the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final, was shown a red card for a high tackle after half an hour as the Springboks led 12-3 despite losing hooker Bongi Mbonambi with a knee injury in the third minute.

Handre Pollard kicked four penalties to make sure Beauden Barrett’s try and Richie Mo’unga’s six points from the tee would not stop South Africa maintaining their perfect final record as the Springboks won their third game in a row by one point.

Jordie Barrett had a chance to slot the winning penalty with seven minutes left after Cheslin Kolbe was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, but his attempt went wide and South Africa celebrated their second final win against the All Blacks after their 1995 triumph.

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