New Zealand vs South Africa Final Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Final Match Preview
⏰ 28 October 2023 - 20:00 GMT +1
⏰ 29 October 2023 - 05:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Stade de France (Paris - Saint-Denis)
After a poor warm-up campaign including a heavy 35-7 loss to this opponent at Twickenham, New Zealand were expected to struggle in this tournament, with some even writing them off making the late stages.
Then, after a 27-12 defeat to the hosts in the opening game, the All Blacks faced even more doubt, but they rebounded in true champion style by beating Italy, Namibia and Uruguay to get through the group behind France.
After two months of fierce competition, the wait is finally over, and New Zealand and South Africa will go head-to-head in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France on Saturday 28 October.
Twenty nations entered the tournament, but now only two remain to fight it out for the Webb Ellis Cup and to become the sole team to have lifted the coveted trophy four times.
New Zealand's Beauden Barrett and Will Jordan celebrate with teammates after the match on 18 October 2023.
However, it was in the quarterfinals that Ian Foster's side showed why they can never be discounted by displaying remarkable resilience to beat the highly-rated Irish 28-24 with a near-flawless performance in an all-time classic match.
Thereafter, the All Blacks continued their impressive form with a commanding 44-6 win over Argentina last Friday, looking as though they never got out of second gear as they cruised into the decider.
Indeed, Foster's tenure has been a turbulent one for New Zealand, marked by record lows and a perceived loss of the feared All Black aura. However, a strong performance here by Sam Cane's men could potentially redeem the mediocrity and provide a fitting send-off for their coach.
South Africa's Vincent Koch, Deon Fourie and teammates celebrate after the match on 21 October 2023.
Meanwhile, South Africa are aiming to achieve the rare feat of becoming just the second team to successfully defend the World Cup, something only the All Blacks have done previously.
Despite being widely seen as contenders, the Springboks came in as only fourth favorites behind France, Ireland and New Zealand, and there were worries about them escaping the group of death with Scotland.
However, the Boks began strongly with an excellent 18-3 win over Scotland, followed by a dominant performance against Romania. And despite a setback with a 13-8 loss to Ireland, they clinched second place by beating Tonga in their final group match.
The quarterfinal against France proved one of the most gripping rugby matches ever, and with a last-gasp effort, South Africa clinched victory in the dying moments thanks to a clutch penalty from Handre Pollard.
Last week in the semis, the defending champs looked physically drained for large parts against England, but through sheer determination, they hung in there before Pollard again stepped up to secure a second straight one-point win.
While New Zealand are undoubtedly the fresher team after an easier previous match and extra day to recover, South Africa are renowned for excelling in crunch situations and harnessing the passion and support of their nation, playing for a cause beyond the game itself, and instilling hope as shown in their past World Cup successes.
New Zealand vs South Africa Head-to-Head
In their long rivalry, the All Blacks lead the Springboks 62-39, with four draws, from 105 meetings. This year, New Zealand won 35-20 in Auckland, while South Africa took the warm-up match in August 35-7.
New Zealand Performance
🟥🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 5 win and 1 lost
South Africa Performance
🟩🟩🟥🟩🟩🟩 5 win and 1 lost
📋 Players to watch:
- Beauden Barrett (fly-half) - Crafty playmaker and attacking catalyst
- Brodie Retallick (lock) - Enforcer who dominates collisions and set-piece
- Ardie Savea (number 8) - Dynamic loose forward with strong ball carrying
- Cheslin Kolbe (wing) - Lightning quick and elusive runner in open play
- Faf de Klerk (scrum-half) - Controls tempo well and has a great kicking game
- Eben Etzebeth (lock) - Physical second-rower who leads the forward pack
- Handre Pollard (fly-half) - Tactical mastermind with his accurate goal kicking
⚡ Match Facts:
- This is the first World Cup final meeting between NZ and SA since 1995
- South Africa are aiming to be just the second team to successfully defend the World Cup
- New Zealand made just two changes to their starting lineup
- South Africa have gone for a 7-1 forwards/backs split
- The last 5 meetings between these sides have been decided by 5 points or less
- South Africa won the most recent match up 35-23 back in August
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💡 Match Prediction:
This is an incredibly close matchup between the top two ranked teams in the world. Either side could emerge victorious. South Africa won the last meeting between them in August and have momentum after back-to-back one-point wins.
However, New Zealand looked sharp in their semi-final thrashing of Argentina and had an extra day of rest.
South Africa's Bomb Squad tactic could overpower the All Blacks pack in the second half. But New Zealand have the backline edge and will look to play an uptempo game. It will likely come down to the wire, but I give New Zealand a slight edge with the bookies agreeing, making them marginal favourites.
Final Prediction: New Zealand by 3-5 points
- New Zealand to win: 1.73
- Handicap New Zealand -3.5: 1.91
- Over/under 41 total points: Under
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