South Africa wins 2023 Rugby World Cup
The South African Rugby Team, the ‘Spring Boks’, won the Rugby World Cup on the 28th October 2023. The tournament was hosted in France. This was their Fourth (4th) Cup and first back to back title win away from home. They beat their Southern Hemisphere Arch Nemesis, the ‘All Blacks’, New Zealand’s Rugby team.
This was a hard-fought victory as they edged out New Zealand by one point. The final score was 12 – 11. They were essentially the away team in this contest as the home crowd rooted for the New Zealand team.
Their path to the final was tough. They had to play Northern Hemisphere giants of France and England in the knockout stages. They also edged out these teams by one point each in each contest.
Three major drivers that propelled them to victory
1. Mental Toughness
The Spring Boks were on another level of mental toughness and resilience. This was evidenced by their defensive posture throughout the game. The man of the match Pieter Du Toit made 28 tackles throughout the game.
They disrupted New Zealand’s game plan and the All Blacks had no answer to the South Africans especially in the 1st half of the game. This rattled the All Blacks and one could actually see the frustration in their faces.
2. Sticking to the basics and game plan
They had one single objective. They came over to win the tournament and not play fancy rugby. This was evidenced in the final. They took every opportunity to convert points. All their points were from penalty kicks and they had no single try.
New Zealand did get the solitary try but at the cost of victory. They failed to take the easy points when they came and when they had the ascendancy in the game. Do not get distracted and always focus on the key objective, to win the game.
3. Discipline, Focus and Team Spirit
The Spring Boks had better discipline and team spirit. All players were committed to their team and nation. Each team member stuck to the task at hand and went the extra mile.
The key highlight was a tackle by Cheslin Kolbe a light winger on Will Jordan. He is a diminutive player but went all out in this game, making tackles on far heavier and faster opponents. Every member of the team dug deep.
In a nut shell it was a nail biting final. Meritocracy was on display. In brutal fashion this is the only area that has functioned for South Africa as a nation lately, their sports teams and individuals continue to shine in the world stage.
Their selection is on merit and not technical ‘know who’. Corruption, nepotism and all its attendant ills are bringing down the South African economy and infrastructure to the level of its Sub Saharan neighbors.
We only hope they take this gritty display by the Spring Boks and transfer it to their political, social and economic arenas. Once more a toast to the victors.