04 September 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld

GOLDEN SPRINGBOK MOMENTS – RWC 99

The Springboks have enjoyed many magical moments on the biggest stage of them all since they shook up the world in their triumphant maiden appearance in the global showpiece in 1995, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

As excitement continues to build for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that kicks off in Japan on September 20, we take a trip down memory lane in a six-part series in which we highlight the Springboks‘ most memorable World Cup moments.

Even though the Springboks, coached by Nick Mallett and captained by Joost van der Westhuizen, weren’t able to replicate the heroics of the class of 1995, the 1999 World Cup campaign wasn’t a failure.

It took a 48-metre drop-goal from Wallaby flyhalf Stephen Larkham (and a subsequent penalty from Matt Burke) in extra-time to sink the Springboks in the semi-finals and they bounced back to bag bronze with a 22-18 win over the All Blacks, who had fallen to France in the other semi-final.

There weren’t many standout moments, though, with the tournament primarily hosted by Wales largely being remembered by Springbok supporters as the stage for one of the all-time greatest individual performances in the Green and Gold.

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Ollie slices through Scotland like a hot knife through butter

There are few things more universally loved in the game than a good prop try. The spotlight rarely shines on the big boys, who are mostly tasked with doing the donkey work upfront. It’s a thankless job for the most part. So, when one of the front-rowers get an opportunity to stretch their legs and take a run at the tryline, it’s a joy to watch and makes for a memorable moment.

Fan favourite Ollie le Roux scored one of the best World Cup prop tries when the Springboks started their title defence against Scotland at Murrayfield. After a shaky start, the hosts grew into the game and at half-time, they held a 16-13 lead. As the hour-mark approached, Scotland still had their noses in front (19-18) before big Ollie, who’d come off the bench, found himself in a bit of space with the tryline some 15 metres away – a suitable distance for a man of his stature.

The original Springbok super-sub had wing Pieter Rossouw on his outside, but he was never going to pass up on an opportunity to cross the whitewash. The charismatic colossus pinned his ears back, Scotland wing Cammie Murray drifted wide and with that, a barn-storming Ollie was over for his first try in the Green and Gold in what was his 21st Test. The classic try gave the Springboks the lead and they went on to claim a comfortable 46-29 win.

De Beer's dazzling drop-goal masterclass

In one of the most remarkable individual performances in World Cup history, Jannie de Beer slotted a world record five drop-goals to sink England in their quarterfinal showdown at the Stade de France. After a tense first half, it was anyone’s game as the sides returned for the second half with the Springboks leading 16-12.

Then came De Beer’s heroics, the likes of which had never been seen before (no-one had ever kicked more than three drop-goals in a single game) or since. A stand-in for injured first-choice Henry Honiball, the Free Stater unleashed an aerial assault on a stunned England with military precision. De Beer put on a 31-minute masterclass in the art of drop-goals as he booted the English out of the World Cup, and they weren’t gimmes either.

He didn’t miss a single kick at goal on that perfect day in Paris, adding five penalties and two conversions to his five drop-goals as he racked up a then-Springbok record 34-point haul in the 44-21 win.

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