RWC 2023 final: NZ vs South Africa, head-to-head and previous results

As the dust settles on the preliminary rounds of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, two giants of the rugby world, South Africa and New Zealand, prepare to face off in a highly anticipated final.

These two sides are familiar foes and never more so than in a grand final.

In the 2023 Rugby World Cup final, both South Africa and New Zealand have faced a pool-stage defeat, with the former losing to Ireland and the latter to France. Interestingly, each team later overcame the very opposition that defeated the other in the quarter-finals. However, that’s where the similarities largely stop.

Statistically, the All Blacks dominate in several key performance indicators. They lead in red-zone efficiency, averaging 3.89 points every time they enter the opposition’s 22, make the most line-breaks with 13.5 per game, and have the highest number of carries over the gain-line at 84.5 per game with a leading 61% success rate.

Additionally, their scrum success is impressive at 94%, and they top the charts with a 98% lineout success rate. On the other hand, the Springboks excel in only a couple of areas in comparison.

But historically, there might be only one stat that fans really care about, at least for the time being. In finals, the Boks lead the battle. Sure, it’s only been one meeting, but let’s not split hairs right?

Overall, though, here’s how the sides match up.

New Zealand’s RWC Final Performances

YearOpponentScoreMarginVenue
1987France29-920Eden Park, Auckland
1995South Africa12-15-3Ellis Park, Johannesburg
2011France8-71Eden Park, Auckland
2015Australia34-1717Twickenham Stadium, London

South Africa’s RWC Final Performances

YearOpponentScoreMarginVenue
1995New Zealand15-123Ellis Park, Johannesburg
2007England15-69Stade de France, Saint-Denis
2019England32-1220Yokohama Stadium, Yokohama

Head-to-head

Total Games105
New Zealand Wins62 (59.0%)
Draws4
South Africa Wins39
New Zealand Points/Game37.3
South Africa Points/Game3.8%

New Zealand at Home

Games48
Wins34
Draws3
Losses11

South Africa at Home

Games53
Wins25
Draws1
Losses27

Neutral Venue

Games4
New Zealand Wins3
South Africa Wins1