Siya Kolisi’s triumphant squad against the 2021 British & Irish Lions are the best Springbok team in the professional era, according to Mark Keohane.
In his blog, Keohane writes that the series win, given the circumstances, is bigger than any of the Boks’ three World Cup title wins.
The Boks won 2-1 but the three Tests almost never went ahead, after travel restrictions and coronavirus disrupted the tour, leading to numerous schedule changes and the matches in SA taking place without fans present.
Rassie Erasmus also caused an outcry during the series, being on the sidelines and carrying tactical messages during matches, as well as the release of his controversial video on referee Nic Berry’s officiating.
“I have been fortunate to report on and write about the 1995 World Cup-winning Springboks, the 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks, the 2019 World Cup-winning Springboks, the 1997/1998 Springboks that won 17 Tests in succession and the 2009 Springboks, who beat the Lions in a three-Test series and who won three Tests in succession against the All Blacks, including the final Test victory in Hamilton, New Zealand, that won the Boks the Tri Nations,” Keohane writes.
“They were all brilliant teams, who scaled rugby’s World Cup Everest and planted their flag. But nothing compares to the adversity that Kolisi’s modern Rainbow Warriors had to endure to tame the Lions.”