The South African rugby team is bringing home the ultimate win from the Rugby World Cup in Japan. ⌛️
There was pressure first
When the Springboks lost their opening pool match to New Zealand, Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, says they started talking about pressure.
"In South Africa, pressure is not having a job or if one of your close relatives is murdered. In South Africa there are a lot of problems, which is pressure. We started talking about things like that," he says.
"Rugby shouldn’t be something that creates pressure; it should be something that creates hope. We have a privilege of giving hope – it’s not a burden."
He says it goes beyond just talking about hope, or sharing a beautiful tweet about it.
"Hope is when you play well on Saturday and people watch the game and have a nice braaivleis and feel good afterwards. No matter if you’ve got political differences or religious differences or whatever; for those 80 minutes you agree with a lot of things you might disagree on."
Erasmus adds: "We just believed that this was not a burden, it’s our privilege and the moment you see it in that way it becomes a helluva privilege to try and fix those things. The moment you see it in that way it becomes a helluva privilege. We started working towards that; and that’s how we saw this whole World Cup campaign."
The wonderful support
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says its difficult to explain how he felt holding the trophy after their win.
"But to see the joy in my team mates faces that was the best thing for me because I know how hard they have worked and how hard the coaches have worked," he says.
"The way we played was because we wanted to say thank you to our coach who came in and changed a lot – on the way that we saw rugby – and I’m really grateful that we could do this for him and the coaching staff and everyone in the management."
Kolisi says they received such tremendous support from South Africa that it inspired them.
"I have never seen such support from our people back at home and I honestly don’t think we could have done it without them. The videos they sent of people coming together, it was really beautiful for us to see. I really don’t think I can say any more."
Stats pertaining to South Africa
According to the Rugby World Cup website:
- South Africa had the highest points – 185 – in the pool stage.
- From the entire tournament, the team only received one yellow card during the quarter-final match against hosts, Japan. It was handed to Tendai Mtawarira.
- The Springboks won 98% of lineouts before the final.
- Handre Pollard scored the most points in the tournament – 69 – , with 22 scored during the final match.
Other than the team being crowned world champs, Erasmus has been named as Coach of the Year, the team have been named Team of the Year, and Pieter-Steph du Toit has been named as World Player of the Year. 👏
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