Messages of congratulations are pouring in for the Springboks and the Proteas who both beat England in their respective games yesterday, to the delight of South African fans.
The Proteas were first up, in a thrilling Cricket World Cup match-up, which saw them beat England by a mammoth 229 runs, leaving the champions’ title defence hanging by a thread after their third loss.
The win cements South Africa’s third spot with six points. England sank to ninth in the table, tied on two points with last-place Afghanistan.
🇿🇦 RAISE YOUR FLAG
A statement win for the Proteas as they a notch 229 victory over England 🏏
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) October 21, 2023
With the scene set, it was over to the Springboks, but for most of the very tense game it didn’t look like South Africa could pull off the double win for the day.
But with about 10 minutes left in the game, they pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in their history, over turning a 9 point deficit and scoring the only try of the game.
As the clock counted down it was the scrum that proved the decisive factor as another penalty allowed Pollard to land the match-winning kick from 50 metres.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was one of many congratulating the Boks, and he has giving them one last order: to beat the All Blacks in the final to win a successive Rugby World Cup Final.
Congratulations to our heroic Springboks on a hard-won Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final at Stade de France, Paris. Now our nation can focus our hearts and flags on our second successive Rugby World Cup Final in as many tournaments. We are indeed stronger – and victorious –… pic.twitter.com/HfsksZJMpt
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) October 21, 2023
The Proteas were also ecstatic after the Boks’ massive victory:
My favourite video thus far. ❤️🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/G5aBomk5eo
— Nomaswazi (@Nomaswazi_11) October 22, 2023
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi lauded the team’s fighting spirit.
Nienaber gave credit to England, saying they had a good tactical plan and put the Boks under pressure.
“We’ll have to improve on that if New Zealand uses the same tactic (in the final). But one has to commend the strength of this team for the way they find a way to get a result. It took us 70 minutes to get a foothold in the match, and the players refused to give up and fought until the end. I’m very proud of them for that.”
Kolisi echoed Nienaber’s sentiments saying they had to dig deep to get the win.
“It’s great to be in a position to defend our title. It was not about how ugly the game was, for us it was about South Africa winning the game. England were outstanding on the night with the way they played, and we had to fight to make it through to the final.”
Kolisi added that he had no doubt that Pollard would slot over the winning penalty, but ultimately this was a squad effort.
Kolisi also praised the supporters for their passionate support and the inspiration they give the team – both from South Africa and the Africa as a whole.
“We feel and see the support, and even at our hotel one of our sponsors has a screen with all the messages of support. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world where people go to the malls to watch our matches, and they do that in South Africa. As a team we are not only representing South Africa, but the whole African continent, and we appreciate the support.”
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 22, 2023
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 21, 2023
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) October 22, 2023
The team will have today off to recover and will return to the training field on Monday to prepare for the final against New Zealand at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The match kicks off at 21h00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
And the build-up has already started…
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 21, 2023