Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe says his unforgettable try in the World Cup final was beyond his wildest dreams, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with SA Rugby magazine, Kolbe reflected on a memorable World Cup campaign, while also revealing that he once feared his involvement in the tournament might be cut short after suffering a worrisome ankle injury during the pool stages.
Although Kolbe eventually sat out the semi-final against Wales, he recovered to feature in the final, with his famous late try effectively serving as the moment the Springboks established an unassailable lead.
Kolbe, who is in lockdown in Cape Town, said it was still pretty surreal to reflect on that match against England.
‘Throughout that game, the way we managed to control the game was really special. The way the forwards dominated up front really made life easier for us backs and put the team on the front foot.
‘Of course, what topped off the whole experience was when I got to score that try. For me to be in that position, it’s something you dream about, but don’t ever really think it’s going to happen. You can visualise things in your head during training, and then you just want to make sure you capitalise on any opportunity that comes in the final.
‘That try was for the team and South Africa, and it was an unbelievable feeling. When I look back it was a moment of joy, and hopefully it gave hope to some other young players and people back home. My will has always been to do the best I can, and to show that no matter how small you are, as long as you are hungry and have that desire, then you can make it.’
While the game as we know it has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, Kolbe looked ahead to some of his future goals, which involve aiming to feature against the British & Irish Lions when they tour South Africa in 2021.
‘I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I just want to put myself in the best possible position to play in that series by continuing to keep performing for my club … Having said that, it would be a blessing to be part of the British & Irish Lions series if possible, that would just be a blessing because it only comes around once every 12 years.’
*The full interview with Kolbe will feature in an upcoming issue of SA Rugby magazine.
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images