Following last weekend’s fantastic Springbok victory at the World Cup there have been many tributes written celebrating that result. But one of the most poignant of these appeared on The Guardian’s sports blog – and, yes, that’s an English newspaper.
The headline, “Springboks’ victory driven by a strain of desire few others can comprehend” probably sums up the mood in the Bok camp leading up to and during this campaign. We’ve extracted a few excerpts but would urge you to click-through and read the whole thing.
Written by Andy Bull, it begins thus: “Led by a kid from the townships, South Africa’s triumphant side simply had more to play for than England...
“Listening to South Africa’s captain, Siya Kolisi, and coach, Rassie Erasmus, talk about what this victory meant in the minutes after they had won it, you began to understand exactly what England were up against and the way the Springboks were thinking about it, England had lost the match before it even began.”
And referring to Kyle Sinckler going off after being knocked out cold trying to tackle Makazole Mapimpi:
“In the next 40 minutes, the South Africa pack ate up England’s scrum as if it had been charcoal-grilled and served up in a bun with mustard and fried onions. England buckled at the first scrum after the restart, where they conceded the first of the six scrum penalties they gave up in the space of 40 minutes. It was a judo move. The Springboks had taken one of England’s biggest strengths and, by attacking it so ruthlessly, turned it into one of their biggest weaknesses.”