Springboks leap into World Cup glory | Sunday Observer

Springboks leap into World Cup glory

South Africa’s captain Siya Kolisi (L) and the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) lift the Webb Ellis Cup as they celebrate winning the World Cup in Japan yesterday (AFP)
South Africa’s captain Siya Kolisi (L) and the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) lift the Webb Ellis Cup as they celebrate winning the World Cup in Japan yesterday (AFP)

YOKOHAMA AFP: South Africa stunned pre-match favourites England 32-12 with a brutally effective forward display to win their third World Cup in Yokohama on Saturday.

The Springboks’ victory was built on a colossal performance by their powerhouse pack that allowed fly-half Handre Pollard to kick six penalties before Makazole Mapimpi’s 66th-minute try -- the first the Springboks had scored in a World Cup final.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said South Africa’s victory on Saturday showed what the Rainbow Nation could achieve if it pulled together to face its challenges.

An emotional Kolisi, the first black man to captain the Springboks, devoted the Webb Ellis Cup to the people of South Africa and said he was so grateful for their support.

“We have so many problems in our country but a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it,” Kolisi said.

“I really hope we’ve done that for South Africa. Just shows that we can pull together if we want to achieve something,” said Kolisi.

“Since I’ve been alive, I’ve never seen South Africa like this.”

“Thank you so much. We love you South Africa and we can achieve anything if we work together as one,” said the captain. Rassie Erasmus, who is stepping down as head coach after the World Cup, said the support had driven the team to new heights.

“To the Springbok supporters, I would like to say we never felt alone here in Japan. We felt them all the way,” said Erasmus. The coach said his team were “a little bit fortunate” at times to win the game which earned them their third global trophy. Under Erasmus, the Boks finished second in the 2018 Rugby Championship, notably claiming South Africa’s first win in New Zealand since 2009 with a thrilling 35-34 victory in Wellington.

They went one better by winning this year’s abbreviated tournament, their first since 2009, after victories over Australia and Argentina, and a draw with the All Blacks.

“We always in the past seemed to look at all the bad things. We just decided ‘listen, let’s stand together, and work really hard, play well on the field.’ And all the other things will then from that come out later and that’s what we did.

“And eventually now we’ve won the World Cup, so that’s great, said Erasmus.

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