The greatest rivalry in world rugby, the South Africa Springboks and New Zealand All Blacks, will write its 91st chapter, and fans can watch the clash live online as the two global rugby powerhouse nations face off in the first 2015 Rugby World Cup semifinal, with a spot in the October 31 Final on the line. The winner of the Springboks vs. All Blacks game will face either Argentina or Australia, who play in the second semifinal on Sunday.
Each of the two teams has won the World Cup twice, but in 1995, South Africa defeated New Zealand in what would become the most significant final match in the history of the Rugby World Cup. South Africa was hosting the tournament after being excluded from the previous two World Cups due to an international sports boycott of the African nation for its racist Apartheid system.
The game, attended by South Africa President Nelson Mandela, was considered a watershed moment in the country’s transition to a full democracy after the apartheid era and was later the subject of the 2009 Hollywood film, Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood.
In the 90-match history of the rivalry, stretching back to 1921, New Zealand has won 52 while South Africa has won 35. Despite what appears to be a lopsided competition over the past nine decades, South Africa still has a better winning percentage against the mighty All Blacks than any other rugby nation, with Australia next-best, winning 27 percent of their matches against neighboring New Zealand.
To find out how to watch the South Africa vs. New Zealand 2015 Rugby World Cup semifinal match live online, see the streaming info in the final paragraph of this article. The match begins at 8 p.m. British Summer Time at the 82,500-seat Twickenham Stadium in London, England, on Saturday, October 24. United States viewers can catch the match streaming live at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, noon Pacific time.
In the current decade, New Zealand has basically run roughshod over South Africa on the rugby pitch, winning 10 of 12 matches since July of 2010, with the only two games won by South Africa coming on that country’s home turf.
But when the two countries have squared off in World Cup competition, South Africa holds a slight edge, winning two of three matches.
South Africa has recovered not only from a shocking upset loss to lowly Japan in the opener of group stage play for the 2015 World Cup, but also from a political controversy that threatened their participation in the tournament, when an opposition political party in South Africa tried to stop the Springboks from traveling to England for the 2015 Word Cup. The move to prevent the team from participating in the World Cup was due to the fact that more than 20 years after the end of apartheid, the team still included only eight non-white players of the 31 named to the World Cup squad.
South Africa has set a goal of creating a squad comprised of at least half non-white players in time for the 2019 World Cup, but that goal appears unlikely to be met.
Will the South Africa Springboks find a way to get a rare win against New Zealand and give themselves a chance of a third Rugby World Cup triumph? Or will the All Blacks continue their historic domination of South Africa, setting the stage for a repeat World Cup championship? To find out, watch the South Africa vs. New Zealand 2015 Rugby World Cup semifinal matchup live online via NBC Sports Live Extra by clicking on this link. Streaming video of the South Africa vs. New Zealand semifinal will also be available on smartphones and tablet computers by downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra app, as well as on set-top devices such as the Roku and Apple TV.
[Featured Photo By David Rogers / Getty Images]