Editorial | Fans look to new chapter for Boks
SA rugby fans will be hoping the Springboks’ brave upset win over the All Blacks kicks off an exciting new chapter for the national team.
There have been false dawns before, so hopefully the Boks can press on after their first away win over their bitter rivals since 2009.
If they can beat Australia at home in Port Elizabeth next Saturday, and follow up with another win over the All Blacks a week later, they have an outside chance of lifting the Rugby Championship trophy.
Who would have thought that possible after their woeful displays against Argentina and Australia earlier in the competition.
Under-fire Bok coach Rassie Erasmus said his team had targeted a win over the All Blacks because they were desperate to turn things around and become World Cup contenders.
The Boks showed plenty of steel to hold off an onslaught from the All Blacks to snatch a famous win by two points.
The Bok coach has also been under pressure off the field with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) accusing him of treating black players in the team like “second-class citizens”.
Erasmus said he did not want to talk too much about the Cosatu claim. All his players knew where they stood with him and he would be “stupid to comment on something like that”.
If there are cracks in the squad, as Cosatu suggests, they may become apparent in the remaining two championship games.
It is likely, however, that the heroic win over New Zealand will make the squad tighter and we may have yet to see the best from this group of players.
The win, of course, has regenerated the faith of Bok fans who were understandably downbeat after their team’s earlier setbacks. The victory will also ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be full to its 45,000 capacity for the Wallaby Test.
Success against the Australians will set the scene for a grand finale against New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld on October 6.