Flank Pieter-Steph du Toit has pinpointed the feeling when he first thought South Africa would go on to win the World Cup final against England last year.
The Springboks delivered arguably their best performance of the World Cup in the final as they thrashed the more-favoured England 32-12 to win the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time in history last November.
A day later, the Boks were crowned Team of the Year and Du Toit scooped the Player of the Year prize at the annual World Rugby awards ceremony.
In an uncut segment in the Springboks’ recently released documentary ‘Chasing the Sun’, Du Toit revealed the moment that instantly led him to believe that South Africa could triumph over England on the day in Yokohama.
‘I didn’t know exactly when we were going to win, but sometimes there’s just a feeling you get, a calmness that comes over you,’ he explains.
‘That’s when you don’t stress about thins like “We have to do this well now”. We [the team] were a machine, but when England were in their own half, the eighthman Billy Vunipola picked up the ball and was ready to run into Damian de Allende and Handre Pollard; then he just threw away the ball. And stuff like when they started to try and play from behind their goal line.
‘I was standing there, thinking “What’s going on? It’s a World Cup final and you are playing from behind your goal line.”
‘In a way, it showed they didn’t have respect for us. They didn’t respect the way we defended and they thought our plan was a stupid plan. That brought a calmness over me and I thought if we stick to our plan, we’ve got this one.’
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