Match report: South Africa win the World Cup!
"Where do I even begin to describe what happened not only to me but to a global rugby community on our journey in the last 4 weeks in Japan with so many emotions topped and amplified when Siya lifted the William Webb Ellis Trophy."
It was arguably one the finest performances not only of his Bok team at The Rugby World Cup 2019 but of all Springbok teams in their proud history of well over a century. Don’t get me wrong as I am not saying that this is the best Bok team in the history but from a rugby point of view, they were almost faultless on the day. To even try and explain what it meant for me in a personal capacity but more importantly for South Africa as a country would possibly be best understood when attending or watching the trophy tour across South Africa the last week-long may this euphoria last not only on the rugby field but across all playing fields all over South Africa.
I was very fortunate to attend The World Rugby Awards Dinner on the Sunday night in Tokyo after the final with all and especially South Africans still on a high after the demolition job done on a much more fancied England team. Let me just stop and congratulate Eddie Jones and his English team on a wonderful Rugby World Cup campaign and as good as they were against The All Blacks the week before in the semi-final, The Boks matched and more in the final a week later.
When you live in South Africa you have a better understanding as to what sport and in particular rugby means to us as a nation. When you are a foreigner you hear the story but it`s very different as to what rugby represents in your country. The night of the awards dinner in Tokyo, Siya and his team were the last to arrive not that they were late but because it was planned that the World Champions arrive to a standing ovation. The standing ovation was not planned nor staged but a genuine appreciation and congratulations from all attending to this special team. During the course of the evening the MC had to ask guest to stop asking the Bok team for autographs and pictures and give them time to eat and more importantly enjoy the evening. The Boks didn’t shy away from any interaction and time with the guests and it was the most humbling experience for the who`s who of World Rugby.
When Siya received the Team of the Year award on behalf of the whole team and being interviewed up on stage you could hear a pin drop in a room of over 1000 guests. At that moment I believe for the first time ever, the world took notice and realized what rugby in this country means to US. If we think that the victory on the field was big you can multiply that by a thousand the moment the penny dropped in that room.
Arriving back my youngest son Cai, was first to greet me at the airport with his mom. He was quick to tell me that he would no longer liked to be addressed as Cai and that I can call him Mapimpi from now on. What more can I say as this team have not only grabbed the imagination of rugby supporters and followers from around the world but the youngest and dearest in our country who will lead this country in years to come - Mission Accomplished!