Coronavirus has been the cause of many global sporting events being postponed or cancelled. Super rugby has also been put on hold, so we thought we’d take a look back at some incredible moments in Super Rugby history that made us fall in love with the sport to begin with.
1996 – The Birth of the Super Rugby
1995 saw the success of the first ever Rugby World Cup in South Africa which put South Africa on the map! “SANZAR” - South African, New Zealand, and Australian Rugby was born, and the first official international domestic tournament came into being. This featured (what was then known as) the Super 12. From there, the Super 14 was formed which evolved into “Super Rugby”. Super Rugby traditionally involved the three nations – but has included teams from Argentina and Japan since 2016 - with each hosting multiple competitive games. South Africa has been a proud host of many of these games since.
The Sharks had an unforgettable game against the Highlanders. Rugby legend, Gavin Lawless stole the show by racking up a phenomenal 50 points, making him the player to win the most points in Super Rugby history. With his four tries and the Sharks’ brilliant gameplay, they managed to win a whopping 75 – 43 against the opposition.
The Sharks were absolutely annihilated in this game against the Brumbies, having lost 36-6. The score was a draw at halftime being 6-6 and the Brumbies came back onto the field with an absolute determination to win. And win they did, with flying colours and a place in our memories.
Bryan Habana stole the show in 2007 where he (almost single-handedly) led the Bulls to become the first South African Super Rugby champions in the 2007 Super Rugby final. The 83rd minute saw Francois Hougaard score a breathtaking try to give the Bulls' a 20-19 victory.
Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez were the champions behind this game as they led the Bulls to victory over the Stormers. This, however, is not the factor that made history. For the first time in South Africa, a major rugby event was hosted in Soweto, where fans of all cultures gathered to enjoy the game. The stadium was packed to the brim with 40,000 spectators celebrating one of the nation’s most popular sports. A proud occasion for all South Africans.
The other victories go to when the Sprinboks won the Rugby World Cup three times. In 1995, 2007 and again recently in 2019. We must keep the rugby spirit alive and remember how much we love our boys! Rugby games will be on again soon, and we will be there with our loudest cheers, and the biggest amount of pride for our proudly South African rugby teams!