Nelspruit’s spine-tingling SA anthem moves Springboks: ‘You could hear the passion’

  • Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was left amazed by the support they received at the Mbombela Test against the All Blacks.
  • The home team triumphed 26-10 in a cauldron the visitors have never experienced in South Africa.
  • The game was capped by a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was left spellbound by the overwhelming support they received at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

It spurred the Boks to a 26-10 win against the All Blacks, their first against their rivals at home in eight years.

The Boks delivered a performance that was as physical as it was passionate, giving the All Blacks no respite on a day where a lot of things went right for Jacques Nienaber’s side.

READ | Boks break 8-year hoodoo in physical style with profound manhandling of All Blacks

Kolisi himself was industrious, but the endearing and enduring support they received from the 42 387 and the rest who watched and listened elsewhere stayed with him.

“I just don’t know how South African people do it,” Kolisi said

“The way they turn up with everything that’s going on in our country.

“People who can still afford it, still come along and still full up the stadium for us and it means the world to us as a team.

“Running out and hearing people screaming like that it drives us as a team. That’s what Jacques [Nienaber] always reminds us: ‘It’s not about me’. If I make a mistake, I must keep on going because it’s about the people who are coming each and every time to watch us play.

“I hope we made them proud today, because they definitely got us going from the anthem onwards.”

While the crowd was enthralled by Pumas’ Currie Cup winning coach Jimmy Stonehouse’s brilliant ‘Sweet Caroline’, it was the national anthem that really set the tone for the game.

It was a rendition that was simply hair-raising and significantly, the vernacular sections of the anthem that are generally mumbled and muffled at other grounds were belted out with clear and intensive gusto.

It seemed like the game was being played in an area of South Africa that New Zealand had never been to and even the hauling out of the Kapa O’Pango fizzled in the heat of the Lowveld noise.

The gusto of the national anthem caught Nienaber by surprise.

“The supporters here in Mbombela have been outstanding, but the rendition of the national anthem was absolutely unbelievable,” Nienaber exclaimed.

“It was outstanding and you could hear the passion. I’m grateful for the support as it was outstanding.”

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Ever the forward thinker, Kolisi made it clear their job was not done and an examination at Ellis Park awaits next Saturday.

“We know the job is not done yet. We still have five more games and the most important one is next week,” Kolisi said.

“Our games against New Zealand have always been close and again, what we need to do is to focus on ourselves. We can’t control other things.

“We’ll prepare as well as we can because New Zealand aren’t going to be easy to play against next week.”