The Springboks’ victory in Wellington will go down in history as one of the great Springbok victories.
The dynamics around the Springboks prior to this Test never suggested that they could beat the mighty All Blacks in New Zealand. They entered the Test being ranked number seven in the world and had not beaten the All Blacks since 2014. Also, winning in New Zealand has historically proved to be a very difficult assignment; since 1925 the Springboks have only won ten Tests in New Zealand.
The match statistics suggest that it was nothing short of a miracle and will not easily be repeated with similar statistics. The All Blacks had a very poor day gifting the Springboks two tries and missing four reasonably easy conversions. However, the Springboks need to be praised for their courage and never-say-die attitude which does justice to the great legacy of South African rugby. Progress will be measured with the results against the Wallabies and All Blacks in South Africa.
One swallow doesn’t make a summer. The problems of South African rugby still exist and will need to be solved. The exodus of players to the northern hemisphere, the financial situation with most provinces facing bankruptcy and a lack of rugby passion in the country will need to be addressed. If not, this victory will be nothing but placing a band aid plaster on a gaping wound.
For world rugby it was a great result giving other international teams the belief that the All Blacks are only human after all and can be beaten. Their total dominance of world rugby is not good for the global game and needs to be broken. World rugby needs to be more competitive, especially when it gets to the Rugby World Cup.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan, this result will create more interest because New Zealand’s strong hold is starting to crumble. As good as the current All Blacks are they are not as strong as the team led by Richie McCaw with players like Daniel Carter.
The Springboks created a silver lining in Wellington for South African rugby. The South Africa Rugby Union must not let the opportunity slip to rebuild and restore the Springbok and South African rugby.