Beyond the Touchline: What one moment in World Cup history you would go back to?
In the first episode of Beyond the Touchline with EWN Sport, we asked current and former Springboks what their favourite World Cup moment was, and how it has inspired them.
For every Springbok who has played in a World Cup, or who aspired to play in one, there is that one moment that they look back on.
For veterans like Joel Stransky, who kicked the match-winning drop goal in 1995, that moment came when Francois Pienaar held aloft the Webb Ellis trophy in front of 45 000 screaming fans, and one Nelson Mandela.
“One single moment of Rugby World Cup history that will live with me forever. It’s a very simple one, it’s clear as day. It is Madiba celebrating behind Francois Pienaar as the raised the trophy,” Stransky said, “For us as South Africans that is absolutely iconic. It was this great man, this great leader, this sensational human being who used sport to unite a nation.”
For Springbok Victor Matfield agrees that for him the final in 1995 had a huge impact on his life as a rugby player. “The final with Nelson Mandela walking onto the pitch with number 6 jersey, greeting the whole team, getting the whole nation at that stage to pull in as one country and one nation. I think that was a special moment. I think that was probably the most special moment in any World Cup for any country,” Matfield said.
Though Sbu Nkosi, the Springbok winger who is with the Bok squad in Japan, was only a few months old in 1995, he looks to that moment for inspiration as he takes part in the 2019 World Cup.
“I’ll probably go back to the World Cup in 1995, because we won it at home. At Ellis Park Stadium, which is my favourite stadium,” Nkosi said.
The moment Springbok flank Francois Louw would choose to go back to would be the 2015 World Cup where the Boks faced the All Blacks. “Dan Carter kicking a drop goal. If we could have stopped that, we just might have won the game,” Louw said.
Listen to the full episode: