Our (beer) cups runneth over as Springboks, Proteas gun for England at World Cups

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma and Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will carry the hopes of a nation when their respective teams take on England on Saturday. Pictures: Backpagepix

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma and Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will carry the hopes of a nation when their respective teams take on England on Saturday. Pictures: Backpagepix

Published Oct 20, 2023


It will be a case of “my cup runneth over” for sports fans tomorrow, and it is not just any cup because the rugby and cricket World Cups have coincided to have the Springboks and Proteas playing old rivals England on the same day.

What are the chances? Sports fans are asking as they look forward to a feast that begins at 10.30am, with the Proteas aiming to hit back from a humiliating loss to The Netherlands by beating England in the 50-over World Cup in India.

And not long after that game is predicted to end, the Springboks play a semi-final (9pm kickoff) against England at the Stade de France in Paris.

If you’re going to enjoy a beer or six with all the action, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint from 10.30am when the Proteas start to 11pm when the Springboks’ finish.

So, best try and pace yourself and have the odd glass of water in between the drinks. Also remember to snack regularly, because we need all South Africans to push our boys over the line!

It also helps that Eskom has announced that load shedding is suspended until Monday! So we will be able to watch the action!

Unlike the Proteas, the Springboks are in fine form. They upset hosts France in an epic quarter-final last week, and are tipped to beat England to advance to the final, where they would play the winners of tonight's semi-final between Argentina and New Zealand.

The day after it was established that the Boks will play England – they beat Fiji in another quarter-final – fans began stoking the fire.

In one popular meme on social media, this latest showdown was depicted as the latest chapter of the Anglo-Boer War.

England may have won that war of 1899-1902, but the sporting versions have gone the way of the Boks – England were defeated in the 2007 and 2019 Rugby World Cup finals.

“The rivalry has been around long before my time,” smiled Springbok captain Siya Kolisi yesterday. England is a big country, a big team. It's always special to play against them at Twickenham, the home of rugby. They play hard. Even after the 2019 final, we lost the next game to them, so it's always tough to play them.

“As for South African fans hating England, I don't worry about that,” Kolisi laughed. “That's nothing to do with me. Whoever we play, we want to show we are a good team... that is it.”

It is not often that the Boks are outright favourites against the English, and Kolisi has played down the favourites' tag.

“We don't see it that way because we know how good England can be, especially in World Cups. Their team has changed and we've seen how hard they are working,” the No 6 flank said.

“We need to get through this game. In the World Cup, we have seen teams who are not in the top 10 beating teams in the top 10, so it would be silly to think we are favourites.”

In Cricket World Cups, it is pretty much honours even between Temba Bavuma’s Proteas and England. The teams have never met in a final and have beaten each other without too much ado in group matches, but there has been one dramatic exception …

Older cricket fans will never forget the heartbreak of the Proteas losing the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup in Sydney.

In a dramatic match, the Proteas were on course to make the final in their first post-isolation World Cup when rain intervened.

The South Africans had needed 22 runs off 13 deliveries, but after a rain stoppage, fans watched in horror as the scoreboard changed to “22 runs required off one ball”.

This time around, the Proteas will hope the game is decided after 50 overs.

Let's wear our green-and-gold attire today and tomorrow, and cheer the Boks and Proteas to victory.

IOL Sport