The Boks exited the World Cup winless after suffering a heavy 75-0 defeat in their last match against the top ranked team in the world, England, at the Waitakere Stadium, in Auckland early on Sunday.
The English, who finished top of pool C, scored 13 tries against the ill-disciplined Springboks. However the Boks will exit the tournament with their pride intact despite suffering a crushing defeat to the top ranked England. They will also take invaluable lessons from the global showpiece.
Boks coach, Stanley Raubenheimer, “We are very blessed to be here we had a good time in New Zealand you can see the players enjoyed themselves here and there was lot of lessons for us and it’s great to see the team still in a good mood after a hiding like that, a growth of our group there are couple of young players with some great names you will see in the future. So we will regroup after this we will have a very good debrief today we were bullied by a much better team and good lessons for us to take forward.”
The Boks showed that they can compete against higher ranked with victories against Japan and Spain prior to the tournament.
Raubenheimer says the team went through trying times during the tournament but never gave up.
“It’s easy to give up when the times are tough, but it made us very close in that group for couple of weeks. Hopefully this is a start for good things for SA rugby.” adds Raubenheimer.
The Boks also lost 40-5 to France in the opening pool match two weeks ago. They also narrowly lost 21-17 to Fiji in the 2nd match last week.
Boks captain Nolusindiso Booi says the team is grateful to have rubbed shoulders with the best teams in the world.
“First of all I would like to say thanks to my team for the great effort and for our supporters thank you for being up early in the morning for us to make sure that you are cheering for us we appreciate that and for my team we will go back home and fix what we need to fix, for us it was a great opportunity to play with the big teams like England number one in the world for the first 20 minutes we showed them that we can play this game I am so proud of my girls.” Booi adds.
Zenay Jordaan who had become the most-capped player retired at the last game which saw the team exiting from the World Cup in their match against England. She made her debut in 2009 and she announced that she would be hanging up her boots after competing in the 2022 Rugby World Cup.
It’s been a stellar 13-year career for @WomenBoks Zenay Jordaan as she’s ended it at a historic #RWC2021@sambytheway99 spoke to her after the game to discuss all her emotions.#WomensRugby pic.twitter.com/OuXW6qIfcH
— The Womens Rugby Show (@WomensRugbyShow) October 23, 2022
The game between the Boks and England ended with singing and dancing as the Boks celebrated Jordaan’s sterling career, lifting her up and giving her a hero’s send off.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 23, 2022
The Boks finished rock bottom in pool C behind England, France and Fiji.