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Ten Classic Springbok World Cup Tries

Quintin van Jaarsveld highlights 10 classic tries the Springboks have scored in the Rugby World Cup over the years.

Springboks Classic Tries World Cup

Ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup in France on Friday, Quintin van Jaarsveld takes a trip down memory lane and highlights 10 classic tries the Springboks have scored in the global showpiece over the years.

Hendriks Leaves Campese For Dead

South Africa’s first five-pointer in the international extravaganza will forever be one of the most iconic. A sweeping play from right to left kick-started the underdogs’ upset of the defending champion Wallabies in the 1995 tournament opener at Newlands as Japie Mulder threw a crucial cut-out pass to James Small, who found Pieter Hendriks with a well-timed pass. The bulky left wing stepped beautifully off the right foot and left the legendary David Campese for dead to carve out the path that ultimately led to World Cup glory.

ChesterMania is Born

Drafted into the 1995 squad after Hendriks had been red-carded and subsequently suspended for the remainder of the tournament for his role in the infamous Battle of Boet Erasmus, Chester Williams seized the opportunity and scored four tries on debut in the 42-14 quarterfinal win over Samoa at Ellis Park. The trailblazer’s first was the most memorable as Andre Joubert joined the line expertly and fed Williams to finish in the corner.

Ollie’s Majestic Score at Murrayfield

Fan favourite Ollie le Roux scored one of the best World Cup prop tries of all time when the Springboks started their title defence in 1999 against Scotland at Murrayfield. The original Springbok super-sub found himself in a bit of space with the try line some 15 metres away and had 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, Cammie Murray drifted wide and with that, a barn-storming Le Roux was over for his first Test try.

Vintage Habana

The Springboks kicked off their 2007 campaign against Samoa at Parc Des Princes where Bryan Habana emulated Williams’ performance 12 years earlier as he scored four tries in the 59-7 win. The legendary winger was lethal throughout the tournament and went on to equal All Blacks great Jonah Lomu’s record of eight tries in a single World Cup. His chip-and-chase effort in the semi-final against Argentina at Stade de France, one of his two tries on the night, was vintage Habana. 

Hougaard The Dragon-Slayer

The Springboks faced a tough test first up in 2011 against Wales in Wellington. Trailing 16-10, they worked their way into the Welsh 22 where the forwards hit the ball up twice. Fourie du Preez then summed up the situation, picked up from the ruck, drew pillar defender Paul James and popped a short pass to a flying Francois Hougaard who darted in untouched for what proved to be the match-winning seven-pointer. 

Du Preez Saves The Day

As was the case in their pool match four years prior, the Springboks were pushed to the limit by Wales when they faced off in a tense quarterfinal clash at Twickenham in 2015. Down 19-18 with six minutes remaining, two of the Springboks’ best combined from an attacking scrum inside the Welsh 22 to save the day. Duane Vermeulen picked up from the back, drew two defenders and threw a beautiful behind-the-back offload to Du Preez, who sprinted over for the winning score.

Reinach Completes Record-Breaking Hat-Trick

Nominated as one of the contenders for the 2019 International Rugby Players Try of the Year award, Elton Jantjies sparked a sweeping, length-of-the-field cracker against Canada. The flyhalf executed a perfect crosskick to Warrick Gelant, who beat DTH van der Merwe and linked up with Damian de Allende. He lobbed the ball to Cobus Reinach, who’d already scored twice and cantered in under the posts to complete the fastest hat-trick in World Cup history.

De Allende’s Dagger Through Dragons’ Hearts

In a tense and tightly-contested semi-final battle against Wales in Yokohama in 2019, De Allende, who was fantastic all tournament, emerged as the game-changer. Dominance and desire in motion, the barnstorming midfielder bulldozed Dan Biggar and Tomos Williams to force his way over the try line in the 56th minute to put the Springboks in the lead.

Mapimpi Etches Name in History

The layers of beauty and significance of Makazole Mapimpi’s try against England in the 2019 final perfectly encapsulated the cohesion in the camp and team effort the Springboks produced on the day. After quick hands and a well-weighted chip by the winger, Lukhanyo Am was on hand to collect with the try line at his mercy. With Ben Youngs and Elliot Daly in pursuit, the No 13 left nothing to chance and selflessly floated a deft pass to Mapimpi to score the Springboks’ first-ever try in a World Cup final. 

Kolbe Puts Final Nail in England’s Coffin

With the Springboks in complete control of the 2019 final in Yokohama, leading 25-12 with seven minutes left on the clock, Cheslin Kolbe produced one last thrilling showcase of x-factor excellence off turnover ball, embarrassing England captain Owen Farrell with a slicing step and storming over to cement South Africa’s third Webb Ellis Cup triumph in style.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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