UN­FOR­GET­TABLE MEM­O­RIES Snap­shots from the 1995 rugby World Cup

CityPress - - Sport -

The oc­ca­sion got off to a real show­stop­per of a start as a Boe­ing 747 Jumbo jet thun­dered over the sta­dium, mak­ing two low passes, with the mes­sage “Good Luck Bokke” em­bla­zoned un­der its wings.

Next, then pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela walked on to the field wear­ing a Spring­bok jersey and cap and the crowd chanted “Nel­son! Nel­son! Nel­son!”

Much fo­cus was on James Small, who had to mark the All Blacks’ gi­ant wing Jonah Lomu. A spec­ta­tor un­furled a ban­ner read­ing: “Jonah has a Small prob­lem.”

Stran­sky kicked two drop kicks in the match – land­ing one in the 31st minute that made the score 9- 6 to the Boks.

In the 77th minute, South African hearts stopped beat­ing as All Black fly half An­drew Mehrtens lined up a drop right in front of the Spring­boks’ posts. But Joost Van der Westhuizen strained ev­ery sinew in his body to get to him, caus­ing Mehrtens to have to read­just his an­gle, caus­ing the ball to skew off to the right.

It was the first time a rugby World Cup fi­nal had been forced into ex­tra time.

Mehrtens gave the All Blacks the lead, 12-9, at the start of ad­di­tional time, but Stran­sky pulled the Boks to level peg­ging with his third penalty.

Stran­sky’s fa­mous drop came in the 94th minute. Stand­ing be­hind a scrum, the fly half spot­ted the All Blacks out of po­si­tion, called for the ball and sent it soar­ing over the posts.

Most who were there re­mem­ber the game end­ing there and then, but in fact there were still seven min­utes left to play – dur­ing which Stran­sky missed a penalty, which would have stretched the lead.

Many also re­call the kick as be­ing from fur­ther back than it ac­tu­ally was. When Stran­sky struck the ball he was about 19 me­tres from the eastern touch­line (kick­ing to­wards the Ponte tower in Hill­brow) and about 14 me­tres in­side the All Blacks’ half – ie, only 36 me­tres from their goal line.

Af­ter­wards, Pien­aar came up with the per­fect sum­ma­tion when he told a tele­vi­sion re­porter that the win was “not for 60 000 South Africans, it was for 43 mil­lion South Africans”.

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