Springboks rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus has exposed angry French fans who are sending threats to the Springboks.
Image: X/@PlanetRugby

Springboks: The ultimate unlikely hero emerges

The Springboks had many heroes on the field against France on Sunday, but one man in particular had the match of his life.

Springboks rassie Erasmus

Rassie Erasmus has exposed angry French fans who are sending threats to the Springboks.
Image: X/@PlanetRugby

South Africans around the country are still processing that epic encounter between the Springboks and France. What next can we expect in what’s already been a sensational Rugby World Cup?


Springboks flex their muscles in a Rugby World Cup classic

The world champions’ 29-28 win over France on Sunday was one of the great rugby matches in modern history, or the whole of history for that matter. Antoine Dupont, the French skipper who fractured his cheek earlier in the tournament, produced a scintillating individual display but it wasn’t enough to steer the hosts into the semifinals. A host of Springboks produced stirring displays of their own, not least of which the battered and bloodied Jesse Kriel.

ICYMI: Rassie trolls us all with cryptic post


Kriel puts his hand up in a big way

For a long time, Jesse Kriel has been criticised for his performances in a Springbok jersey. It’s difficult to be the understudy to a player of Lukhanyo Am’s calibre, but Am’s recent injury opened the door for Kriel and the 29-year-old Canon Eagles centre has taken his opportunity. He’s been one of the unsung heroes for Jacques Nienaber’s team in 2023, and that display against France was likely the best of his career. If Kriel keeps playing like this, Lukhanyo Am will battle to get his spot back.

Strength in depth is what might ultimately take the world-champion Springboks all the way in 2023. They’re giving themselves a great shot, that’s for sure.

ICYMI: Why Reinach got the nod over FAF for the Springboks

Jesse Kriel rugby world cup
Jesse Kriel. Photo: @springboks/X

Hit up James Freemantle for more insights, news, views and commentary.

Also, follow The South African on X for up-to-the-minute news updates.