IN THE end England were comprehensively beaten by South Africa 32-12 in a rugby World Cup final that will go down in history.
As Siya Kolisi, the nations first-ever black captain, lifted the famous William Webb Ellis Trophy in Yokohama, fans back in his country erupted into joyous celebration.
Former player and household favourite Bryan Habana said in the immediate aftermath of the emphatic Springboks win that it was a moment that would transcend sport.
“It is absolutely phenomenal. No one expected such a commanding victory from South Africa.
“I think they won almost every big play, some of the tries we saw were absolutely phenomenal.
“I’m as happy as a South African can be at the moment, I’d love to see some of those scenes back home because this is what it was for. It’s immense.”
Sparing a thought for the game opponents Habana added: “You feel for the English, they have been incredible throughout the whole tournament but for Siya Kolisi and his boys this will mean so much more than just rugby, this will be so much bigger than the sport and hopefully from a South Africa perspective, a new generation has been inspired by a team that has carried the hopes and dreams of a nation and done it incredibly well.”
Responding to whether he though this seminal moment in sport would eclipse the significance of the 1995 South Africa World Cup win which saw Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar embrace, Habana said: “This what the best dreams are made of.
“A team that has galvanised together to galvanise a nation and that has put moments together that will be etched forever, not only on a trophy, but in the memory of each and every South African that has been fortunate enough to be in the stadium and each and every South African that has got to watch this incredible team come on a journey that has been inspirational.
“And it will hopefully be a catalyst for much more than just the game of rugby.”