UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES Snapshots from the 1995 rugby World Cup
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”.