Kolisi thanks fans as Springboks win Rugby World Cup
South Africans across the country celebrated the Springboks’ third Rugby World Cup victory yesterday as rugby euphoria gripped the country.
Fan parks were erected in most major cities, notably at Johannesburg’s Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, and Cape Town’s Grand Parade for fans to watch the match live and the festivities continued well after Mzansi beat England 32-12.
Supporters went wild at the final whistle after watching SA dominate England.
The Springboks became the first team to lose a pool match at a World Cup and go on to win it, having lost to the All Blacks in their tournament opener at the same Yokohama International Stadium.
Back in Japan, Bok captain Siya Kolisi said the win showed what the nation could achieve if it pulled together to face its challenges.
An emotional Kolisi devoted the Webb Ellis Cup to the people of South Africa, saying he was grateful for their support.
“We have so many problems in our country but a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races, but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it,” Kolisi said.
“I really hope we’ve done that for SA. Just shows that we can pull together if we want to achieve something,” said the captain, who led his team to a resounding 32-12 victory over England in Yokohama.
He said that coach Rassie Erasmus had told the team they were not just playing for themselves but for all the people in SA, which is suffering an economic crisis with unemployment hovering around 30%.
“Since I’ve been alive, I’ve never seen SA like this,” said Kolisi, who said the team had received countless messages from home.
“Thank you so much. We love you SA and we can achieve anything if we work together as one,” said the captain.
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his excitement on twitter, saying “we are the champions”.
Parliament’s presiding officers, led by National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo, said the victory reignited the“uniting and nation-building effect” unleashed by the 1995 crop.
“We are very proud of the team and cherish their resilient spirit.”
The British royal family also congratulated SA. “A great effort by England in reaching the World Cup final 2019 and congratulations to SA on winning a hard-fought game,” a tweet from the royal family reads.
AFP and Staff Reporter