Siya Kolisi thanked South Africa after the Springboks won a titanic final against the All Blacks with 12 – 11 at the Stade de France.
This is the Boks’ fourth Webb Ellis trophy; an achievement that makes them the most successful World Cup rugby team yet.
“People who are not from South Africa do not necessarily understand what the victory means for our country. It’s not just about the game or the game; our country is going through so many things,” said the Springbok captain.
Just like in 2019, the country once again stood firmly behind the Springbok campaign.
“Thank you South Africa. We are bound together in a close unit by the Springbok and South Africa is our driving force. I cannot explain it to anyone; you have to come to South Africa to understand it. Once we stand together, nothing can stop us – not only on the sports field, but also in life.”
Kolisi also paid tribute to the All Blacks.
The New Zealanders refused to throw in the towel, even after captain Sam Cane’s red card in the first half, and they kept fighting until the final minute of the clash.
“The All Blacks deserve a big pat on the back. They took us to a dark place in the game, as it were. It just shows you what stuff they are made of, to play like that with only 14 players on the field. They put us under intense pressure.”
The Springbok captain then referred to Rassie Erasmus’ words: Big milestones are not necessarily achieved in perfect conditions.
The last three games – against France, England and now New Zealand – have each been won by just one point.
“The coaches have created an environment for us where our families can be with us. So it didn’t matter where we were, it felt like we were at home. There were 15 to 20 children running around the hotel; it was undoubtedly one of the best things they could have done for us.”