South Africans are on a high this Monday morning after the Springboks triumphed over France to make it to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
It was a thriller of a game on Sunday night, but the Springboks withstood the crushing weight of an expectant host nation, to keep alive the dream of a back-to-back World Cup win.
The Springboks’ win in Paris has set up a semi-final against England this Saturday at 21:00. In November 2019, the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup final in Japan by defeating England.
Congratulations are pouring in for the defending champions – President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his warm and proud congratulations.
“As a nation, we are proud of the Springboks’ advance to the semi-finals in a game that was an incredible athletic display as well as a metaphor for our country.
“We are indeed stronger together when we come together in our diversity, and we create opportunities for people to live their passion, fulfil their potential, and display their talents.
“But we’re also together on days when we struggle and when we create the space for people to come back from difficulty and to continue the journey to victory with us.
“Out of the 20 nations in the World Cup, the Springboks delighted and inspired us whether they were on the field, on the bench or in coaches’ box.
“We wish the Springboks the very best as they prepare for what we hope will be another unforgettable victory next week.”
Ramaphosa even gave coach Jacques Nienaber a call before the game – the President told Nienaber he has booked his tickets to the final, and he “lift the trophy”.
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) October 15, 2023
Springbok fans were on the edge of their seats last night, after France edged six points ahead in the 52nd minute by which time the Bok bench had been all but emptied (only Vincent Koch remained unused).
However, the Bok intensity went up a level in the chase for an equalizing score.
Some great work by Kwagga Smith resulted in a French penalty for not releasing close to the French line, with Etzebeth ploughing through two tacklers for Handre Pollard to kick a conversion from close in.
Pollard added a penalty goal from inside his own half with 11 minutes to go to stretch the lead to four points only for Thomas Ramos to shave it back to a single point with his fifth successful kick at goal three minutes later.
From their it was hearts in mouths and nip-and-tuck but the Boks were the ones on the road to history!
The celebrations are expected to continue well into this week. It will be a nervous wait for Saturday, GO BOKKE!!!!!!
Watch the highlights HERE.
— Linda Ferns (@Lindaferns) October 16, 2023
— Abuti Nando ⚽🏆💙 (@NandoNice_25) October 16, 2023
— Nature IV (@Nature_IV) October 16, 2023
— Bongani Nkabi (@nkabiyam) October 16, 2023
They are lifting it again!!
— El Capitano⚪ (@_izodlalaiTv) October 16, 2023
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 15, 2023