JOHANNESBURG – One of the biggest talking points on social media after the Springboks’ 26-3 Rugby World Cup quarter-final win against Japan in Tokyo yesterday was the “brain malfunction” suffered by Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira when he tip-tackled opposite number, Keita Inagaki.
Mtawarira was given a straight yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes - without the intervention of the television match official - but it could just as well have been a red card. Mtawarira may well still be suspended and miss the rest of the tournament, which he has already said is his swansong.
Following their win yesterday, the Boks will now face Wales in the semi-finals. The other semi-final will be contested between England and New Zealand. There was high praise all-round for Bok stars Makazole Mapimpi, Faf de Klerk and Damian de Allende. Referee Barnes though came in for some harsh criticism on social media, with legendary golfer Ernie Els tweeting, “Even with shocking calls! Great win! Good luck next week guys!”
Lionel Mapoe, the former Lions centre who now plays in Japan, tweeted: “Well done Boks ... and well done Japan, you have been awesome this tournament ... you can keep your heads up.”
Superb showing of grit and perseverance by the @Springboks. Congratulations on a well deserved win. Wishing the team wisdom and strength for the semi-finals. We are definitely taking this one! #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/gfO7Cxv3Ar— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) October 20, 2019