• Rugby

S. Africa Repeats as Rugby World Champion

South African players celebrate after the Rugby World Cup final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, on Saturday.

South Africa successfully defended its Rugby World Cup title and won a record fourth championship overall by holding on for a 12-11 victory over New Zealand in a thrilling final on Saturday in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris.

Handre Pollard accounted for all of South Africa’s points at the Stade de France by kicking four penalties — all in the first half — as the Springboks posted their third one-point victory of the knockout stage.

After losing to then No. 1-ranked Ireland and finishing second in the pool stage, South Africa advanced to the final by beating host France 29-28 in the quarterfinals and England 16-15 in the semifinals.