DURBAN - Tendai Mtawarira has called time on a remarkable Springbok career that saw him amass 117 Tests over 11 years, between 2008 and 2019. Mike Greenaway picks five memorable performances by “Beast” in the green and gold.
South Africa vs British & Irish Lions, Durban, 2009
The first Test of the series against the tourists was on the Beast’s home turf of Kings Park and when he was tasked with doing a number on Lions tighthead Phil Vickery, he needed no second invitation. The Boks blitzed the Lions in the opening quarter of that match, with Mtawarira in the vanguard. Then Bok forwards coach, Gary Gold, described it as the most complete domination of a tighthead prop at international level that he had ever seen. Vickery was substituted after just 45 minutes. The Boks won 26-21.
South Africa vs England, Bloemfontein, 2018
Beast celebrated his 100th cap for the Boks with a special performance in a victory that won South Africa the series against Eddie Jones’ England. England had taken an early 12-0 lead before Mtawarira sparked the home team’s recovery with a 20m burst with ball in hand - including a memorable goosestep - to set up a try for No 8 Duane Vermeulen. Beast had turned over the ball in a ruck and then accelerated up field with the supporting Vermeulen in pursuit. The Boks scored 23 unanswered points to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.