1995 Rugby World Cup Final

The 1995 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, played in South Africa. The match was played at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg on 24 June 1995 between the host nation, South Africa, and New Zealand.

South Africa won the encounter by three points in their first Rugby World Cup Final, which was also the first to require extra time. Unusually, the points were scored by only one player from each team, with Andrew Mehrtens of New Zealand scoring all 12 of the All Blacks' points (three penalties and one drop goal) and Joel Stransky tallying all 15 points (three penalties and two drop goals) for the Springboks, including a drop goal in extra time, which sealed the victory and their first Rugby World Cup title.

At the end of the match, South African President Nelson Mandela, wearing a number 6 Springbok rugby shirt and cap, presented the Webb Ellis Cup to South African captain François Pienaar.

1995 Rugby World Cup Final
Ellis Park Stadium
Event1995 Rugby World Cup
South Africa New Zealand
South Africa New Zealand
15 12
After extra time
Date24 June 1995
VenueEllis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
RefereeEd Morrison (England)

Path to the final

The final was contested by the hosts, South Africa, and New Zealand. Both teams finished at the top of their pools, both undefeated in the pool stages. South Africa defeated Western Samoa in the quarter finals, and then France in the semi-finals to reach the final; the All Blacks defeated Scotland in the quarter-finals, and England in the semi-finals, a game in which Jonah Lomu famously scored four tries.

Going into the final, New Zealand had led the tournament in production, outscoring their opponents 315–104, while South Africa had outscored its opponents 129–55. The high scoring All Blacks had been led by a then World Cup record 7 tries each by Lomu and Marc Ellis.

Match summary

First half

No tries were scored during the match but this did not diminish the tense atmosphere and climactic finish. The South Africans played a largely defensive game. Due to the strength of flanker Ruben Kruger and No. 8 Mark Andrews plus scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen, the expansive attacks from New Zealand were repeatedly closed down. Andrew Mehrtens opened the scoring with a penalty after six minutes to give New Zealand a 3–0 lead. A Joel Stransky penalty put South Africa on the scoreboard after 11 minutes. Mehrtens and Stransky swapped successful penalty kicks. Following a period of pressure, Stransky landed a 32nd minute drop goal to give South Africa a 9–6 lead at half time.

Second half

The All Blacks levelled the scores at 9–9 with a Mehrtens drop goal after 55 minutes. Though All Blacks fly-half Andrew Mehrtens almost kicked a late drop goal, the score remained unchanged at full time, forcing the game into extra time for the first time in a Rugby World Cup final.

Extra time

Extra time began with South Africa needing to take the initiative, due to the ruling that if extra time finished with scores still level with no side having scored more tries than the other, then the team with the better overall disciplinary record during the tournament would win.[1] But early in the first half, the Springboks were penalized for chasing a Stransky kick from an offside position.[1] From just inside the half-way line, Mehrtens kicked truly to give New Zealand a 12-9 lead. As half-time approached, Stransky put a high kick for his teammates to chase, and from the resultant play referee Morrison penalized the All Blacks for diving to the ground near the tackle, and right on the stroke of half-time Stransky levelled the scores at 12-12. Seven minutes from time it was Stransky who scored the final points of the match. From thirty metres out he struck the drop goal, securing South Africa's victory and the Rugby World Championship crown.


What happened after the match would became an iconic moment in the history of sport. Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok rugby shirt and cricket cap, presented the William Webb Ellis Cup to South African captain François Pienaar to the delight of the capacity crowd. The moment is thought by some to be one of the most famous finals of any sporting event in recent years.[2] Mandela's presentation was listed at number 70 in a list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments on a British television programme.[3]

However, the after match mood soured considerably during the end of tournament banquet when South Africa's rugby president, Louis Luyt said in his speech that "There were no true world champions in the 1987 and 1991 World Cups because South Africa were not there." This claim that South Africa were the first "true world champions" led the New Zealand team to walk out of the dinner.[4]

Match details

24 June 1995
13:30 UTC+2
South Africa  15–12  New Zealand
Pen: Stransky (3/4) 10', 22', 90'
Drop: Stransky (2/2) 31', 92'
Report Pen: Mehrtens (3/3) 5', 13', 83'
Drop: Mehrtens (1/2) 55'
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 63,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)
South Africa
New Zealand
FB 15 André Joubert
RW 14 James Small Substituted off 97'
OC 13 Japie Mulder
IC 12 Hennie le Roux
LW 11 Chester Williams
FH 10 Joel Stransky
SH 9 Joost van der Westhuizen
N8 8 Mark Andrews Substituted off 90'
BF 7 Ruben Kruger
OF 6 Francois Pienaar (c)
RL 5 Hannes Strydom
LL 4 Kobus Wiese
TP 3 Balie Swart Substituted off 68'
HK 2 Chris Rossouw
LP 1 Os du Randt
HK 16 Naka Drotské
WG 17 Brendan Venter Substituted in 97'
FL 18 Rudolf Straeuli Substituted in 90'
SH 19 Johan Roux
PR 20 Garry Pagel Substituted in 68'
FB 21 Gavin Johnson
South Africa Kitch Christie
FB 15 Glen Osborne
RW 14 Jeff Wilson Substituted off 55'
OC 13 Frank Bunce
IC 12 Walter Little
LW 11 Jonah Lomu
FH 10 Andrew Mehrtens
SH 9 Graeme Bachop Sent to blood bin 67' to 70'
N8 8 Zinzan Brooke
OF 7 Josh Kronfeld
BF 6 Mike Brewer Substituted off 40'
RL 5 Robin Brooke
LL 4 Ian Jones
TP 3 Olo Brown
HK 2 Sean Fitzpatrick (c)
LP 1 Craig Dowd Substituted off 83'
WG 16 Marc Ellis Substituted in 55'
FH 17 Simon Culhane
SH 18 Ant Strachan Substituted in 67' Substituted off 70'
FL 19 Jamie Joseph Substituted in 40'
PR 20 Richard Loe Substituted in 83'
HK 21 Norm Hewitt
New Zealand Laurie Mains

Touch Judges:
Derek Bevan (Wales)
Joël Dumé (France)

Depictions in media

Mandela and Pienaar's involvement in the 1995 World Cup became the subject of Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated 2009 film Invictus, featuring Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as Pienaar (and including Chester Williams, a member of the 1995 champions and the only black player on the 1995 Springbok squad, as a technical consultant), with the final as the climactic scene and filmed on location at Ellis Park.


  1. ^ a b Jones, Stephen (25 June 1995). "One team, one nation, one kick" (8913). The Sunday Times. Gale FP1802922177.
  2. ^ "Rugby World Cup history". BBC. 7 October 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  3. ^ 100 Greatest Sporting Moments
  4. ^ Donegan, Lawrence (26 June 1995). "Afrikaans arrogance sours Springboks' taste of victory". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
1996 New Zealand rugby union tour of South Africa

The 1996 New Zealand rugby union tour of South Africa was a historic tour in the history of New Zealand rugby. The All Blacks won the test series 2–1 and became known as the incomparables for their feat of winning a series in South Africa for the first time.

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Final

The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Final was an association football match that took place on 28 June 2009 to determine the winners of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. It was played at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was contested by the United States and Brazil. The United States, playing in their first major men's tournament final, took a 2–0 lead in the first half, but Brazil scored three unanswered goals after half-time to win 3–2.

The United States and Brazil qualified for the tournament as winners of their respective continents in 2007 and were drawn into Group B alongside African champions Egypt and reigning World Cup champions Italy. Brazil comfortably qualified for the knockout round by winning all three of its matches, including a 3–0 victory over the United States, while the Americans finished second in the group on the goals scored tiebreaker ahead of Italy. The United States upset European champions Spain in the semi-finals with a 2–0 victory, while Brazil defeated hosts South Africa 1–0 in the other semi-final fixture.

The match drew a television audience of 3.9 million viewers in the United States, surpassing the record for a non-World Cup fixture. The U.S. team would go on to play in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they were given a special exception to roster size limits to prevent player fatigue, and reached the tournament's final before losing to Mexico. Both finalists made it to the knockout stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals and the United States exited in the Round of 16. Brazil went on to win the next edition of the Confederations Cup, which it hosted.

Andrew Mehrtens

Andrew Philip Mehrtens (born 28 April 1973 in Durban, South Africa) is a former New Zealand rugby union footballer. He was regarded as a top Fly-half, having played first for Canterbury in 1993, before being selected for the All Blacks (New Zealand's national team) in 1995 when he played in the 1995 World Cup.

Since his move to England, and later to France, he helped his first three clubs to promotion into their country's top flight. He first joined Harlequins in England, where in his first season he played a major factor in leading the freshly relegated club to an immediate return to the top-level Guinness Premiership. After seeing Harlequins successfully through their first season back in the Premiership, he went to the ambitious Pro D2 club Toulon for the 2007–08 season. After Toulon won the title to secure an immediate return to the Top 14, he remained in Pro D2, moving to another ambitious side, Racing Métro. For the second straight season, his team won the Pro D2 crown and a spot in the Top 14.

Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter (born 29 December 1969), is a South African rugby union coach and former player. He is currently the Defence Coach of Italy and South Africa. Venter played at centre and earned 17 caps for South Africa between 1994 and 1999.

He played as a replacement in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in which South Africa beat New Zealand to win their first World Cup.

Die Stem van Suid-Afrika

"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (Afrikaans: [di ˈstɛm fan sœi̯t ˈɑːfrika], lit. "The Voice of South Africa"), also known as "The Call of South Africa" or simply "Die Stem" (Afrikaans: [di ˈstɛm]), is a former national anthem of South Africa. There are two versions of the song, one in English and the other in Afrikaans, which were used during much of the apartheid era. It was the sole national anthem from 1957 to 1994, and shared co-national anthem status with "God Save the King/Queen" from 1938 to 1957. After the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, it was retained as a co-national anthem along with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" from 1994 to 1997, when a new hybrid song incorporating elements of both songs was adopted as the country's new national anthem, which is still in use today.

Ed Morrison (rugby union)

Ed Morrison (born 6 September 1951) is a former English rugby union referee. He refereed the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final. In 1998 he became England's first full-time professional referee. He was given an award by the International Rugby Board for distinguished service in 2001.Morrison first retired from refereeing in 2003. He was involved with the Bristol Referees' Society, then the RFU and PRO12. He was appointed as manager of England's elite referees in 2008. He stepped down as head of the elite referees in 2013 just before the Aviva Premiership season started.He was appointed as PRO12's Referee Commissioner in 2014, and he was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list "For services to rugby union".

Francois Pienaar

Jacobus Francois Pienaar (born 2 January 1967) is a retired South African rugby union player. He played flanker for South Africa (the Springboks) from 1993 until 1996, winning 29 international caps, all of them as captain. He is best known for leading South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After being dropped from the Springbok team in 1996, Pienaar went on to a career with English club Saracens.

Frank Bunce

Frank Eneri Bunce (born 4 February 1962) is a retired New Zealand rugby union player and current coach. He played international rugby for both Western Samoa and New Zealand in the 1990s, appearing in the 1991 and 1995 World Cups. He played in four international matches for Samoa and 55 for New Zealand (the All Blacks).

History of rugby union matches between New Zealand and South Africa

New Zealand (the All Blacks) and South Africa (the Springboks) have been playing test match rugby union since 1921 when the All Blacks beat the Springboks in Dunedin 13 - 5. It is one of the biggest rivalries in world rugby history. There is considerable history behind these matches, much of it off the field. In 1981, there were protests in New Zealand over the Springboks coming to New Zealand due to the then South African government's policy of apartheid. Up until 1996 New Zealand had never won a series in South Africa but South Africa had won a series in New Zealand in 1937. Up until the start of the professional era, South Africa had won 21 tests to New Zealand's 18. In the 50 matches since the start of the professional era, New Zealand have won 36 tests to South Africa's 14.

Since 2004 New Zealand and South Africa have contested the Freedom Cup, it has been included as part of the Rugby Championship since 2006. If the annual series is drawn, the winner is decided through aggregate.

History of the South Africa national rugby union team

The History of the South Africa national rugby union team dates back to 1891, when the British Lions first toured South Africa where they played against South African representative sides. The South Africa national rugby union team played few international matches during a period of international sanctions due to apartheid. Since the end of apartheid in 1990–91, South Africa has once again fully participated in international rugby.

The most iconic moment in South Africa rugby history is when South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, with Nelson Mandela presenting the trophy to the team. South Africa also won the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Joel Stransky

Joel Theodore Stransky (born 16 July 1967) is a South African former rugby union player. A fly-half, he is known for scoring all of South Africa's points, including the winning drop goal, against New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.


Johannesburg ( joh-HAN-iss-burg, also US: -⁠HAHN-; Afrikaans: [jʊəˈɦanəsbœrχ]; Zulu and Xhosa: eGoli), informally known as Jozi or Jo'burg, is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.

The metropolis is an alpha global city as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. In 2019, the population of the city of Johannesburg was 5,635,127, making it the most populous city in South Africa. In the same year, the population of Johannesburg's urban agglomeration was put at 8,000,000. land area of the municipal city (1,645 km2 or 635 sq mi) is large in comparison with those of other major cities, resulting in a moderate population density of 2,364 per square kilometre (6,120/sq mi).

The city was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on what had been a farm. The city is commonly interpreted as the modern-day El Dorado due to the extremely large gold deposit found along the Witwatersrand. Within ten years, the population had grown to 100,000 inhabitants.

A separate city from the late 1970s until 1994, Soweto is now part of Johannesburg. Originally an acronym for "South-Western Townships", Soweto originated as a collection of settlements on the outskirts of Johannesburg, populated mostly by native African workers from the gold mining industry. Soweto, although eventually incorporated into Johannesburg, had been separated as a residential area for Blacks, who were not permitted to live in Johannesburg proper. Lenasia is predominantly populated by English-speaking South Africans of Indian descent. These areas were designated as non-white areas in accordance with the segregationist policies of the South African government known as Apartheid.

Laurie Mains

Laurence William Mains (born 16 February 1946), commonly known as Laurie Mains, is a former rugby union footballer and coach who represented New Zealand. Mains' representative career started when he first played for Otago in 1967. He made his All Blacks début in 1971, against the British and Irish Lions. His last Test was against Ireland in 1976. Although he toured South Africa in 1976, he played no Test matches.

Mains' coaching career started with Otago, whom he coached for eight years. He was appointed All Blacks coach in 1992, and coached them to the 1995 Rugby World Cup final; where they lost to South Africa.

In the 1998 New Year Honours, Mains was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to rugby.He is the current owner of GJ Gardner Homes in Dunedin, New Zealand and is an oldboy of King's High School.

List of Jews in sports

This list of Jewish athletes in sports contains athletes who are Jewish and have attained outstanding achievements in sports. The criteria for inclusion in this list are:

1–3 places winners at major international tournaments;

for team sports, winning in preliminary competitions of finals at major international tournaments, or playing for several seasons for clubs of major national leagues; or

holders of past and current world records.Boldface denotes a current competitor.

The topic of Jewish participation in sports is discussed extensively in academic and popular literature. Scholars believe that sports have been a historical avenue for Jewish people to overcome obstacles toward their participation in secular society (especially before the mid-20th century in Europe and the United States).

Richard Loe

Richard Wyllie Loe (born 6 April 1960) is a retired All Black prop forward. He is a sports broadcaster on BSport, Radio Live and SKY Sport.

Rory Steyn

Rory Steyn is Nelson Mandela's former chief of security. He also served as the security liaison for the New Zealand All Blacks during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.In 2001, Steyn published a memoir, One Step Behind Mandela: The Story of Rory Steyn, Nelson Mandela's Chief Bodyguard, co-authored with Debora Patta. In the memoir he claims that the All Blacks had "definitely been poisoned" before the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, becoming the first high-profile South African to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Rugby union and apartheid

Rugby union and apartheid had a complex relationship. From 1948 to 1994, international rugby relations with the country, and also the non-integrated nature of rugby within South Africa drew frequent controversy. South Africa remained a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) throughout the apartheid era.

Halt All Racist Tours was established in New Zealand in 1969 to oppose continued tours to and from South Africa. Though contacts were restricted after the Gleneagles Agreement in 1977, there were controversial tours in 1980 by the British Lions and by France, in 1981 by Ireland, and in 1984 by England. South Africa toured New Zealand in 1981. South Africa were excluded from the first two Rugby World Cups, in 1987 and 1991. Racially selected New Zealand sports teams toured South Africa until the 1970 All Blacks rugby tour allowed Māori to go under the status of 'honorary whites'.

No other issue, political or otherwise has divided the rugby community so much, at least not since the great schism with rugby league over professionalism. While many rugby fans and commentators would try and body swerve politics, at least politics of a certain kind, the apartheid issue brought it right into the heart of the game, in a very direct, and often physical way. The issue particularly came to the fore in the seventies and eighties. Unlike the split in the rugby world though, the apartheid issue attracted considerable interest from outside the sporting world.

The issue affected not only black South Africans, but also indigenous New Zealanders and to a lesser extent indigenous Australians. Many major rugby union international sides had few non-white players, but theoretically, a side such as Fiji would be frowned upon.

The famous Scottish rugby commentator, Bill McLaren, devotes an entire chapter to the subject in his autobiography, Talking of Rugby, called "Barred from the International Feast". Like many other rugby fans, he expresses contempt for South Africa's "unacceptable racist policy", but adds "it has been a disgrace that a world Rugby Union power has been eliminated from world competition for all those years."Ian Robertson, documented how the Springboks' position slowly deteriorated over the decades, but suggested that the fault lay outwith the rugby fraternity:

The Springboks had fulfilled all of their touring commitments through the Fifties and Sixties but the oppressive, claustrophobic political pressures overwhelmed them during the Seventies. They have not been able to play in Britain, Ireland, France or Australia since 1974, and their only major tour abroad in the last ten years to New Zealand in 1981, was full of controversy, and mass demonstrations. There is no doubt that giant steps have been taken to make Rugby totally integrated in South Africa in recent years, and their supporters feel that no sooner have they fulfilled the conditions required of them by world opinion than the goalposts are moved.

Their opponents, who are against having any sporting links with a country which practises apartheid, accept that sport in South Africa has become increasingly integrated but claim it is impossible to have normal sport in an abnormal society.

Apartheid South Africa's last foreign tour was to New Zealand in 1981.


A salute is a gesture or other action used to display respect. Salutes are primarily associated with armed forces, but other organizations and civilians also use salutes.

South Africa national rugby union team

The South African national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks (colloquially the Boks or Bokke, and Amabokoboko) is the country's national team governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblem is the native antelope springbok. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team.

Although South Africa was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby World Cup competition, the Springboks did not compete in the first two World Cups in 1987 and 1991 because of international anti-apartheid sporting boycotts. The team made its World Cup debut in 1995, when the newly democratic South Africa hosted the tournament. The Springboks defeated the All Blacks 15–12 in the final, which is now remembered as one of the greatest moments in South Africa's sporting history, and a watershed moment in the post-Apartheid nation-building process. South Africa regained the title as champions 12 years later, when they defeated England 15–6 in the 2007 final. As a result of the 2007 World Cup tournament the Springboks were promoted to first place in the IRB World Rankings, a position they held until July the following year when New Zealand regained the top spot. They were named 2008 World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards. South Africa then won a third World Cup title in 2019, defeating England 32–12 in the final.

The Springboks also compete in the annual Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri-Nations), along with southern-hemisphere counterparts Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. They have won this championship on four occasions in twenty-four competitions.

Overall records
History and Records
Competitions and trophies
Related teams
See also
Competitions and trophies
Related teams


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