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New Zealand may be favourites to win the 2023 World Cup, but they will have to beat a team that doesn’t give up



New Zealand may be favourites to win the 2023 World Cup, but they will have to beat a team that doesn’t give up

After 51 days and 47 matches, the 2023 Rugby World Cup will either be won by New Zealand or South Africa as the two old foes go head-to-head in the final on the 28th of October at the Stade de France. It will be the first time that these two proud rugby nations have met in a World Cup final since 1995. On that occasion, South Africa beat New Zealand at Ellis Park by a scoreline of 15-12 thanks to Joel Stransky’s nerveless drop goal in extra time. 


The tale of the tape in 2023 

Fast forward to 2023 and the current New Zealand vs South Africa odds make for ominous reading if you’re a Springbok fan as the All Blacks have been priced at odds of 8/11 to take revenge for the reverse 28 years ago. 

South Africa meanwhile, will begin the final at 13/10 to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in the latest Rugby World Cup betting odds. 

While the All Blacks are unquestionably the favourites owing to being fresher courtesy of an easier run of fixtures that included a relatively straightforward semi-final assignment against a lacklustre Argentinian side, they will still have to dig out a vintage performance to beat this South African team. It may be an overused cliche but the truth is that Siya Kolisi’s men do not know when they’re beaten. 

A moving example of this extraordinary belief came during South Africa’s come-from-behind semi-final win against England which summed up the undying spirit among this Springbok team. 


The Miracle of Paris

With 68 minutes gone and the Boks trailing England 15-6, Handre Pollard kicked the ball into the corner to give South Africa a lineout in a dangerous area of the pitch. 

In essence, it was now or never for the exhausted Boks who needed to score a try to give themselves any chance of pulling off a miracle. While the English players lumbered to the far side of the field for the lineout, the Springboks charged off as a group. It was a hair-raising moment that suggested that the Boks still believed even in the face of the most overwhelming odds. 

Indeed, as the Paris rain fell and the crowd sang a stirring rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, the South Africans, drenched to the bone and far from home, remained defiant. From the resulting lineout, the Boks scored the try they needed and the rest as they say is history, after Pollard converted the penalty that gave South Africa the most astonishing semi-final win in history with just 150 seconds left of the match. 

What this remarkable 12-minute passage of play at the Stade de France illustrated is that yes, the Springboks won’t ever throw the towel in but crucially, they will also remain composed and stick to their processes under the most extreme pressure.


The challenge facing New Zealand 

Having unwavering belief while being able to perform to an elite level is a formidable combination that the All Blacks will have to try and find an answer to if they are to beat their fiercest rivals on rugby’s biggest stage.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘New Zealand may be favourites to win the 2023 World Cup, but they will have to beat a team that doesn’t give up.’ Who do you think will win the 2023 Rugby World Cup? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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