Kolisi thanks cheering fans Streets lined to get peek at cup
THE after-effects of Typhoon Faxai, which hit Japan two months ago, were felt when the Springboks’ trophy tour hit Gauteng yesterday.
The ground was shaking as adoring Joburg and Pretoria fans filled the streets to cheer the Rugby World Cup heroes as they showed off the glittering gold Webb Ellis Cup on parade.
Through a sea of green and gold, the bus carrying the 2019 Rugby World Cup champions snaked its way through the streets in a victory parade like none other.
First stop was with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, just after 8am.
The crowd cheered when the president arrived on the makeshift stage to meet the team led by coach Rassie Erasmus.
Several government ministers, including Bheki Cele, Patricia de Lille and Pravin Gordhan, were present as well as SA Rugby Union officials.
“The Springboks have made us proud and have even made history. They are the only team to have won the Webb Ellis Cup on three different continents – Africa, Europe and Asia,” said Ramaphosa.
“I must confess, though, that during the match I did have feelings of nervousness. When they scored their first try I had gone to the gents because of my own nervousness.
“When I came back, I found that we had scored a try and then (there was) a second try.
“This was the first time that we have had tries in a final. We must applaud our team for doing that.”
Ramaphosa was presented with the Webb Ellis Cup by Erasmus and captain Siya Kolisi.
Kolisi then paid tribute to the coach and the multitudes of fans across the world who rallied behind the South African team against England at the weekend.
Kolisi was overcome by emotions as he thanked the 16th member of the team – the fans. “We really couldn’t have done it without them. We saw the videos and pictures on social media when we were in Japan; it was inspiring.”
The players were driven along the streets, which were lined with learners and grown-ups alike, in an open-top bus as they showed off their respective silverware.
They inched through the city, past Loftus Versfeld Stadium, parts of Hatfield and Sunnyside and Church Square before making a final stop at Tshwane House on Madiba Street, where they met up with mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.
The victory bus then proceeded to the Joburg CBD through Braamfontein to more ecstatic cheers from fans and ended the journey in Soweto.
Thousands of fans lined the streets to greet the champions. They hooted, took photos and videos, posed for selfies and marvelled at the trophy and players.
Players openly showed their appreciation to the many supporters who cheered them on.
Apart from Kolisi, other players who proved popular among the fans were Makazole Mapimpi and Faf De Klerk.
While most were jubilant and beamed with joy that the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis for the third time, others were overcome by emotions and shed tears of joy.
Public servants, petrol attendants, learners, office workers and residents alike come out to see the bus escorted by the SA Rugby Union (Saru) and police.
With the streets tightly packed, some brave fans clambered on to rooftops to get a better view and salute their heroes.
The buzz was more electrifying when they arrived at Tshwane House to an even bigger reception, where loud music was playing coupled with a vibrant audience.
And if you thought you could get your hands on the trophy? Think again.
Saru said it had appointed a special person to manage the movement of the trophy during the parade. Only winning squad members and authorised personnel are allowed to touch it, and with the exception of the players, all other authorised people are required to wear gloves for the duration of the five-day tour and beyond.
Saru also said it had taken out insurance on the Webb Ellis Cup to the value of about R570 000.
From the capital, the Bokbranded bus travelled to Joburg and Soweto.
Tomorrow, the Bokke will be in Durban, followed by stops in East London on Saturday, Port Elizabeth on Sunday and Cape Town on Monday.
SKIPPER Siya Kolisi proudly shows off the Web Ellis trophy to supporters as the Bok warriors bus inches through the Joburg CBD. | DIMPHO MAJA African News Agency (ANA)
A LARGE crowd of fans converged on the Union Buildings to catch a glimpse of their heroes. | OUPA MOKOENA African News Agency (ANA)
SUPPORTERS cheer as the champions parade at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. | ITUMELENG ENGLISH African News Agency (ANA)
SUPPORTERS cheer the champions at Church Square, Pretoria.
SUPPORTERS danced while waiting for the Springboks during their Webb Ellis Cup tour at Church Square, Pretoria.
CAPTAIN Siya Kolisi at Tshwane House.
THE Joburg streets showed the Bokke their love.
KOLISI holds up the Webb Ellis Cup for the fans to see. | NHLANHLA PHILLIPS
SPRINGBOK players during the bus parade at FNB Bank City. |
‘AMABOKOBOKO’ parade the Cup through Joburg streets. | SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI
SIYA Kolisi in Pretoria.