A triumph for all South Africans to enjoy
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Springboks, champions of the world - my goodness, those words have a lovely ring, don’t they?
Saturday’s magnificent Bok victory over England in the World Cup final (and let’s repeat that stunning scoreline one more time 32-12!) was one of the most memorable days in the history of South African sport.
And there are many reasons for that, but now that a little bit of the Bok gold dust has settled, let’s just focus on two of them.
The first is that this is truly a Bok team for all the people of our nation. It was not just the beautiful sight of Siya Kolisi, our first black Bok captain, lifting the Webb Ellis trophy. There were also seven black players in the starting line-up, plus Herschel Jantjies on the bench. (And if Trevor Nyakane had not been injured, he would have been there, too.)
The second reason is that the team played the kind of rugby that every single rugby fan around the globe could admire.
It was far more than just a box-kicking plan. There was awesome power in the scrums, clean and accurate line-out work, ferocious competing at the breakdown, pin-point goal kicking and tactical kicking, and audacious skill and speed among the backs.
In short, it was just about the complete rugby package, and Eddie Jones and his English team had no answers.
And it was such perfect poetic justice that the two brilliant Bok tries were scored by the wings, Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe, both of whom had wonderful tournaments.
Of course, coach Rassie Erasmus and captain Kolisi will be squarely in the limelight, but they will be the first to admit that this triumph came down to the contribution of each and every member of the Bok squad, on and off the field.
We salute them all, and we say: we are so proud of you, Bokke. We can’t wait to welcome you home this week and see you in the flesh with your golden prize.