#EWNSportingMoments: We were doing it for SA - Kolbe on Rugby World Cup win
Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe brought the Boks their biggest final winning margin since 1999.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s rugby turnaround was confirmed on 2 November 2019 as the Springboks beat England to claim a third World Cup title.
The Boks were seen as one of the underdogs heading into the tournament under coach Rassie Erasmus after struggling for the last two years, but they relished that title and became the first team in rugby history to lose a match in the group stages and then go on to win the Web Ellis cup.
They faced a high-flying England side in the final at Yokohama Stadium on the 2nd of November.
The packed stadium was dominated by English supporters that flew in last minute to watch Eddie Jones and his side trash South Africa.
From the kick-off it was clear; the Springboks were in control and dictating the game with strong defence and smart attack.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard built a strong lead with the boot and then Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe brought the Boks home with two tries for a final score of 32-12 - the biggest final winning margin since 1999.
Try scorer Kolbe spoke to Eyewitness News, saying heading to the final they knew it was not about them...
“One thing that stood out for me, and the coaches said throughout the week, it was never about any individuals, it was about the team,” he said. “The main thing was about South Africa and the whole of South Africa was behind us. We were not just doing it for ourselves, we were doing it for all the people who have been supporting us”.
Kolbe said during the warm-up he got himself fired up thanks to the predominantly English crowd.
“With all the English supporters who were in the stadium, that was… I wouldn’t say terrifying, but to see the amount of support they had, it gave me an extra boost that said ‘listen, you are going to have to pitch up now’. We had to make sure we are ready for this battle because surely they are going to be ready because they have so much support in the stadium”.
Kolbe also reflected on what went through his mind during his try.
“In a final, firstly, you don’t get a lot of balls,” he recalls. “You have to make very good decisions, especially on defence and that. It’s going to be a tactical game but the moment that ball just got loose from a tackle from Malcolm [Marx] and then Pieter Steph [du Toit] passing the ball to me, there was only one way for me and that was to get to the try line as quick as possible”.