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A recap of New Zealand's three Rugby World Cup triumphs

In this article, we take a look back at New Zealand's three Rugby World Cup triumphs. New Zealand remain the joint-second favourites for the ongoing Rugby World Cup 2023.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 02.10.2023
A recap of New Zealand's three Rugby World Cup triumphs

The Rugby World Cup is ongoing in France, where the hosts are the favourites to get their hands on the sought-after Webb Ellis Cup for the first time after a scintillating start to the tournament that saw them beat New Zealand 27-13 at the Stade de France.

Les Bleus will face fierce competition from World No.1-ranked side Ireland, defending champions South Africa, and even the All Blacks if they can bounce back from that disappointing opening game defeat in Paris.

New Zealand remain the joint-second favourites in online rugby betting, and that’s because you can never rule a side of their calibre out on the grand stage. After all, the All Blacks are the joint-most successful team in Rugby World Cup history.

That said, let’s take a look back at New Zealand’s three previous successes in the prestigious tournament.

1987: All Blacks win inaugural World Cup

The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987, with Australia and New Zealand taking on co-hosting duties and the All Blacks didn’t let the home crowd down as they were ultimately crowned champions in Auckland.

New Zealand eased through Pool 3, beating Italy (70-6), Fiji (74-13) and Argentina (46-15) to book their place in the quarter-final against Scotland. The All Blacks won 30-3 against the Scot at Lancaster Park in Christchurch and made their way over to Brisbane for a semi-final clash with Wales — which they won 49-6.

Back on home soil at Eden Park to face France in the final, it always looked like there was only going to be one winner and that proved to be the case as New Zealand won 29-9 to become the first name inscribed on the Webb Ellis Cup.

2011: New Zealand end 24-year wait for second title

Believe it or not, it took the All Blacks another 24 years before they won the Rugby World Cup for a second time. History repeated itself twice, as New Zealand not only won the Webb Ellis Cup at Eden Park for a second time but did so with another victory over France.

The All Blacks were empathic in their pool, topping the standings with dominant victories over Tonga (41-10), Japan (83-7), France (37-17) and Canada (79-15). They faced Argentina in the quarter-finals in Auckland and progressed to the semi-finals with a 33-10 win over the South Americans.

The final four saw an intriguing battle between New Zealand and their bitter rivals Australia, with the All Blacks beating the Wallabies 20-6. Facing each other for the second time in the tournament, New Zealand beat France 8-7 in the final.

2015: New Zealand become first team to defend title

While their southern hemisphere foes Australia and South Africa are on the roll of honours as multiple winners, New Zealand became the first team to defend the Webb Ellis Cup when they won the title for a then-record-breaking third time at Twickenham in 2015.

The All Blacks beat Argentina (26-16), Namibia (58-14), Georgia (43-10) and Tonga (47-9) to top their pool unscathed once again, before thrashing France 62-13 in the quarter-finals — a result that would have been big odds for your bet calculator.

New Zealand then had to see off both of their southern hemisphere rivals to be crowned champions, beating the Springboks 20-18 before seeing off Australia with a 34-17 victory. It’s worth noting that South Africa have since matched the All Blacks’ record of three wins, lifting the trophy in Japan four years ago.

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