South Africa produced a magnificent defensive display to edge 14-man New Zealand 12-11 in an arm-wrestle of a Rugby World Cup final on Saturday and win the Webb Ellis Cup for a record fourth time.

Only a single yellow card had been shown in nine previous World Cup finals but the crackdown on foul play in the game led to four being handed out over 80 minutes of intense rugby played out in front of a crowd of 80,065 at the Stade de France.

All Blacks skipper Sam Cane suffered the ignominy of being the first player to be sent off in a title-decider when his card for a high tackle was upgraded to a red after a bunker review just before halftime.