On this day 27 years ago the Springboks won the RWC for the first time

For South Africans 24 June 1995 will live forever in memory as the day rugby brought us together when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup for the first time.

Facing a heavily favoured All Blacks team, complete with Jonah Lomu in full flight and with all-time greats like Sean Fitzpatrick and Zinzan Brooke also at the party, the Springboks put on a defensive masterclass to shut down the potent New Zealanders.

Four of those Rugby World Cup winning Springboks are no longer with us with Chester Williams and James Small both suffering sudden heart attacks and Joost van der Westhuizen and Ruben Kruger succumbing to terminal illness.

Another RWC hero was nearly taken from us when Naka Drotske was shot multiple times during a farm attack in 2018.

The Springboks have since gone on to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy another two times, which sees them now share the record for most RWC triumphs with the All Blacks.

1995 Rugby World Cup Springboks
Springbok captain Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela. (Photo by Jean-Pierre MULLER / AFP)

Springboks win the 1995 RWC final

The 1995 final was a proper Test match in terms of how it was played with neither side able to breach the defence.

Kruger got the ball over the line but was held up by desperate All Black defenders although some fans still believe he dotted it down.

After trading penalties with Andrew Mehrtens, Joel Stransky ensured the Springboks took a lead into half time with a 31st minute drop goal, which could also be one of the most forgotten drop goals in rugby history because of the events that followed.

Mehrtens levelled the scores with his own second-half drop goal and there were no further scores in the second dig.

For the first time ever a Rugby World Cup final went to extra time.

That would prove to be the stage for Stransky to be the hero.

With seven minutes remaining and the Springboks on attack, Stransky dropped back into the pocket and sweetly struck a drop goal that has since been immortalised on the silver screen.

South Africa will never forget that great day.

World Rugby

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