Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: South African Rugby Moments of the Decade

South African Rugby Moments of the Decade

Darry Worthington takes a look at five moments that defined the last decade of Springbok Rugby.

South African rugby has had its fair share of ups and downs during this decade. The Boks lowest point came at the tail end of 2018 where they dropped to their worst every position on the IRB World Rankings. However, they would finish the decade on a high note bagging the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

There were also some classic moments and massive lows prior to the tail end of the decade.

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2015 Loss to Japan / The End of the Class of '07
The World Cup-winning squad of 2007 dropped like flies during this decade with only Francois Steyn turning out in Japan.

While there were a few players who made it past 2015, I think all and sundry knew that that set of players were passed their prime when Victor Matfield turned out for the 'Boks at the ill-fated 2015 Rugby World Cup. While the Bulls bruiser had a solid World Cup, he just wasn't at his peak anymore. The same went for his former provincial teammates Fourie du Preez and Brian Habana who, while being absolute class, just didn't have the legs to dominate as they had in the past.

While the Springboks did pick up third-place at the 2015 World Cup, it was evident during their shock defeat to Japan, during the tournament's group phase, that the sun had well and truly set on the immaculate class of 2007.

Jean de Villiers Horror Injury
Prior to the 2015 World Cup, then Springbok skipper, Jean de Villiers, picked up a horror injury against Wales that ruled him out of the tournament and put an end to his international rugby career.

The former Western Province stalwart was one of the players of his generation. A class act with slick hands and an amazing ability to read the game.

De Villiers laying on the Millenium Stadium turf was one of the most heartbreaking Springbok moments of the decade.

This video might upset sensitive viewers.

Siya Kolisi's First Game as Captain
Putting this moment into a category of just the past decade does not do it justice as it is arguably the most iconic moment in South African Rugby history.

The current Springbok skipper led his charges out for the first back in May 2017, and in the process became the first black South African to captain the national rugby side. In less than two years he would lead the side out on the biggest stage of them all; A Rugby World Cup final.

Kolisi's backstory is well known and I would not do it justice by trying to summarise it up in just a paragraph or two. Simply put, the man is an absolute icon and his story is a true inspiration to all South Africans.

Lions Return From The Dead
They were down in the doldrums back in 2012 having been relegated from the competition. A few years later the men from Johannesburg roared their way into three consecutive Super Rugby finals.

It was an amazing return to form for Johannesburg's pride who not only found a winning formula but also played a very exciting brand of rugby while making those finals and winning multiple Currie Cup titles.

2019 World Cup Win 
A year and a bit prior to the World Cup the Springboks were down in the dumps. They had had a shocking 2017 season which saw coach Allister Coetzee sacked.

Two years after this they had racked up an away win over New Zealand and secured their first Rugby Championship title.

The Boks saved the best for last, however, with their final game of the decade seeing them beat the English 32-12 in the World Cup final.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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