On this day 24 years ago, history was made at Ellis Park Stadium when the Springboks beat New Zealand and won the Rugby World Cup.
The mouth-watering clash saw the The All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team, neutralised by solid tackling from the South African side.
The game was decided by the kicking powers of each team, in particular those of Joel Stransky who, through accurate drop goals and penalty kicks, guaranteed that South Africa won the Rugby World Cup at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
The famous ‘Madiba Magic’ played a tremendous role in securing the trophy for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1987. Only making their return to the international stage in 1992, the Springboks had played just a handful of international tests, including five against the Wallabies; losing all but one of those matches. But to bring his nation together, then-president Nelson Mandela knew hosting and winning the Rugby World Cup would unify the divided people of South Africa.
Despite strong competition shown by the All Blacks, the final score was 15-12 in favour of South Africa.
Rugby was once a symbol of division, the separation between white and black South Africa, but in the hands of one amazing man it became a symbol of hope, unity and peace. The 'white man's game' became the unifier of a once broken, but now proud nation.
Two nations became one as Nelson Mandela strode to the centre of the pitch in a Springboks jersey and shook hands with Francois Pienaar as the stadium erupted in celebration.
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