- Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi became the darling of the South African public following his crucial opening try in the Rugby World Cup final
- Mapimpi displayed humility as he credits the important role played by his coaches and teammates in his development
- The 29-year-old's story is inspirational as he comes from a rural area in the Eastern Cape and only played provincial rugby in 2015
World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi became an instant hero on Saturday when he became the first South African to score a try in a World Cup final.
Although the Springboks lifted the trophy in 1994 and 2007, all points were scored through penalty kicks slotted by Joel Stransky, Percy Montgomery and Francois Steyn.
The Springboks were carving out an impressive lead through the boot of Handre Pollard on Saturday, but Mapimpi's beautiful try added the gloss and got South Africans off from their seats.
The winger boasts a phenomenal record of 14 tries in as many matches, but IOL reported that Mapimpi credits others for his success.
Mapimpi said, “I trained hard under instructions from Mzwandile Stick."
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus sent Mapimpi back to his home union, the Sharks, with strict guidelines to improve his kicking, defensive skills and aerial ability.
The 29-year-old added, "I owe a lot to my coaches and teammates.”
Mapimpi revealed that the World Cup was the furthest thing from his mind in 2015 as he was still playing provincial rugby for Border.
Briefly.co.za learnt that Mapimpi's success is all the more remarkable considering he grew up in a rural part of the Eastern Cape and did not play in the Craven Week or SA Schools.
Mapimpi touched on the inspirational nature of his journey: “This is a big achievement, not just for me, but for people who come from a similar background. This is not only about me."
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