13 February 2020, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld
Pieter-Steph du Toit: Mr Blood, Sweat and Tears
In a world reserved for only the top one-percent of elite athletes, Springbok and Stormers superstar Pieter-Steph du Toit is one of a kind, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Sport, in general, is about moments – unforgettable moments that stand the test of time, moments that seep into and become part of the very fabric of the game. While appreciated for the poetry in motion that they are, it’s not breath-taking tries but rather iconic images that are forever ingrained in the minds of rugby lovers.
The Springboks have produced some of the most iconic and transcendent images in rugby history. Joel Stransky’s legendary drop-goal in the 1995 World Cup final against the All Blacks at Ellis Park, Francois Pienaar receiving the trophy from Nelson Mandela – the president proudly wearing a Springbok jersey – after the epic 15-12 triumph and most recently, Siya Kolisi – surrounded by his racially-transformed band of brothers – becoming the first black captain in history to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in Yokohama last November.
Tears of a Terminator
On Saturday, 15 September 2018 in Wellington, the rugby world witnessed the resurrection of the Springboks and the emergence of a legend. In one of the all-time classic clashes, the Springboks conquered the world-champion All Blacks 36-34 in an almighty display of desire.
Springbok rugby had been on its deathbed. The men in Green and Gold had gone down 57-15 to New Zealand in Durban in 2016 and had suffered a soul-snatching 57-0 shutout – the worst defeat in Springbok history – in Albany in 2017. The Boks headed into the Wellington Test off the back of back-to-back defeats to Argentina and Australia and with a real sense that the game’s greatest rivalry had died.
Now under Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks refused to go quietly into the night. They emerged from their slumber and turned the rugby world on its axis as they threw everything at the All Blacks to record their first win over the old foe on New Zealand soil in nine years. It was THE key moment of the Bok revival, and Du Toit was at the heart of the heroic triumph.
According to Sanzaar, Pieter-Steph du Toit has made the most tackles (61) in the Rugby Championship, including 24 against New Zealand in New Zealand. He also leads the Boks for carries (39).
— Craig Lewis (@craigolewis) September 27, 2018