Durban residents Edmond Rehman, Shirley Dewhurst and Betty Beeks await their heores at Durban's City Hall. Picture: Duncan Guy

Durban - As the victorious Springboks arrived at the Durban City Hall today, the crowds chanted "Siya! Siya! Siya!" in welcome.

Durban residents turned out in force waving their flags ready to welcome their heroes.

Johann van den Berg is just back from Japan, where he watched his third Rugby World Cup final. "It was the most wonderful experience," he said complimenting the Japanese for being the most polite nation.

He said it was important to be support the Springbok victory for the unity they were giving the country. "Sport must reunite our country. It is so fractured now. Right now its heartwarming, like 2010. People are embracing and uniting behind the Boks. It's not about race," he said.

For Betty Beeks who doesn't follow sport, she became an enthusiast when she heard the Boks had made the quarter finals. Her newly made friends at City Hall explained the workings of the game as musicians performed on the steps and she eagerly waited to get a glimpse of the Boks.

"I am here to powerfully wave my South African flag. I love South Africa," she said.

ANC councillor for the inner city ward 28, Ntando Khuzwayo, joked that he was pleased the Springboks were "bringing the Webb Ellis trophy to me".

He praised Lukhanyo Am's and Makazole Mapimpi's performances.

Marriet Nhlongo, said while buying fruit from a vendor, that she hoped rugby would be played more in township schools. "I am so happy to be in a united South Africa," she added.

The Independent on Saturday