The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has congratulated South Africa for winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan yesterday.
The Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup with a 32-12 triumph over England at the International Stadium Yokohama to win the Rugby World Cup for the third time following their conquest in 1995 and 2007.
Wings Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored one try each while flyhalf Handre Pollard booted in two conversions and six penalties to drive South Africa to a well deserved win.
President Mnangagwa took to Twitter soon after the match to congratulate the South Africans for their victory. He said by winning the Rugby World Cup, South Africa had done the region and the continent proud.
“Congratulations @Springboks on a well deserved victory in the #RWCFinal. You have done our region and all of Africa proud! @CyrilRamaphosa,” tweeted President Mnangagwa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was there to watch the final and celebrate with the Springboks after their victory.
Zimbabwe-born Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira won the Rugby World Cup with his adopted country. Mtawarira, who started at loose head prop, was on the field of play for 44 minutes and during that time he was the driving force for the Springboks especially in the scrums.
The British media was full of praise for the Zimbabwe-born front rower whom they described as a rock face, whose scrum destructive attack pushed South Africa to their third Rugby World Cup.
“He went off remarkably early, in the 44th minute, but by then The Beast had driven England to the edge of the precipice. His scrum onslaught propelled South Africa towards their third Rugby World Cup,’’ reported the Daily Mail.
It was the first time that Mtawarira, whose Springboks debut came in 2008 had won the World Cup, at the third time of trying. He was part of the South African team for the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.
Mtawarira was the last Zimbabwean standing at this Rugby World Cup. Loose forward David Pocock and Kotaro Munyaradzi Matsushima were the other players with Zimbabwean roots whose adopted countries failed to make it far in the tournament.
Gweru-born Pocock’s Wallabies (Australia) were knocked out by England in the last eight while Matsushima, who was born in South Africa to a Japanese mother and Zimbabwean father also went as far as the quarter-finals with Japan, the host nation’s journey in the tournament brought to an end by the Springboks.