After the huge upset of losing their opening game of Rugby World Cup 2015 to Japan, the Springboks had bounced back to win their remaining pool B games and secure a quarter-final against Rugby World Cup 2011 semi-finalists Wales.
Having traveled around the country to watch the Springboks and enjoyed an unbelievable month with friends, I was quite content not having a ticket for the quarter-final and was planning to watch in a pub. My luck was in, though and when a friend offered me a Category D ticket, still expensive but the cheapest going at £95, I simply couldn’t refuse. The Springboks were in a World Cup quarter-final at Twickenham!
Twickenham is a special place to watch rugby and I had been fortunate to enjoy two Springbok wins their before, once in 2010 and then again last year in 2014. As expected, there was an incredible atmosphere inside a full house Twickenham and what a game it was.
As you would expect from a world cup quarter-final it was a tight game with no quarter asked or given. With five minutes left to play, Wales were leading 19-18 and poised for only their third victory against the Springboks in 109 years.
The Springboks won a scrum near the Welsh 22-metre line number eight and we all held our breath, screaming for a drop-goal to take the lead. Duane Vermeulen, the number eight, had other ideas however, breaking away blindside and throwing an audacious pass behind his back to scrum-half du Preez, who sprinted to the corner and dived over for a famous Springbok try.
The boys had won it and were into a World Cup semi-final, one better than 2011. We now all hoped for another French miracle, similar to 2007, but knew deep-down that a showdown with the mighty All Blacks awaited.