The Springboks are already the winners of our hearts

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi. File image.

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi. File image.

Published Oct 14, 2023


Johannesburg - There is so much hurt, hardship and cruelty in the world right now that sport has become a very welcome distraction to the intractable problems hell-bent on sucking us into a vortex of hate.

The Proteas have defied pre-tournament doomsayers to record two very fine wins on the subcontinent in the Cricket World Cup, but the real attention has been on Rasnaber; the coaching duo of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber and their skipper Siya Kolisi as the Springboks defend the Rugby World Cup that they won four years ago in Japan.

Tomorrow night, the dream might come to an end in Stade de France in the final quarter-final of the weekend. It has been billed as a match for the ages, a final before the final for the Boks who have already had to emerge from the so-called pool of death to even contest this match, thanks to the cack-handed efforts of the tournament organising committee effectively engineering the demise of two of the top four teams in the world before the semi-finals are even played.

It will be fantastic if the Springboks can defend their title three weeks from now and make history by becoming the first team to win the trophy four times. There’s no reason to doubt and plenty of reasons to start believing that they can in fact bring it home.

But if they don’t, it won’t matter because they have already achieved so much more. They’ve shown us that the rainbow does exist and, most importantly, that when you give people a chance and unlock their potential, they can become world beaters; winning cups and hearts and giving us all hope when we feel there is none.

That’s perhaps the truest legacy of this Springbok class of 2023. We owe them an incredible debt.

The Saturday Star