Sports stars hail Baby Boks
Cape Town - Twitter tributes to South Africa’s maiden triumph in the IRB Junior World Championship have piled in from beyond simply the rugby fraternity.
The Baby Boks deservedly beat traditional rivals New Zealand
22-16 in the showpiece before a record crowd of some 33 000 at Newlands on Friday - something that also earned some praise for this city.
Proteas cricket personalities got busy sending tweets, including coach Gary Kirsten (@Gary_Kirsten): “Unbelievable effort! #Babyboks #Champions.”
Acting captain Hashim Amla (@amlahash) also gamely put the team’s embarrassing successive Twenty20 losses to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on the back burner for a minute, saying from Harare: “Well done babybokke! Putting a smile on the face of South Africans tonight. Enjoy.”
Sitting out that triangular but keeping his finger on the sporting pulse was normal SA limited-overs skipper AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17): “Proud to say the very least! Well done Baby Boks. #thefuture”
Similar sentiments came from top-ranked Test fast bowler Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62): “Well done to our Baby Boks. Future looks good with these young men!”
Former SA bowling coach Vincent Barnes (@VincentBarnes50) was clearly proud of his home city’s staging of the final: “Congrats to the Junior Boks on a great win. CT take a bow for putting up another great show.”
The feat did not escape the attention of the soccer community: FIFA referee Jerome Damon (@jerome_k_damon), who officiated at the 2010 World Cup, said: “RSA are the champions of IRB U20 rugby! Tears of utter happiness! Give thanks to the Almighty boys! We are proud of you.”
here was also an avalanche of well-wishers, of course, from rugby circles.
Springbok lock sensation Eben Etzebeth (@EbenEtzebeth), preparing for Saturday’s third Test against England in Port Elizabeth, wrote: “Great, great, great! Well done Baby Boks. Now I can get over my disappointment of last year’s JWC!”
He was referring to the 2011 side, of which he was a member, ending a disappointing fifth then.
Now French-based Bok and former Bulls loosehead prop Gurthro Steenkamp (@gurthro) said: “Well done to the Junior Boks! You guys made this country proud!”
Here is a selection of others:
Bryan Habana (@BryanHabana): “A big up to Cape Town for packing out Newlands in support of our Baby Boks. #greatcitygreatpassion”
Flip van der Merwe (@flipvandermerwe): “Great win for the Baby Boks, played awesome rugby! Jan Serfontein is a monster, many years of rugby ahead of him.”
JP Pietersen (@Jppietersen14): “Congrats Baby Boks! That was amazing win, great stuff. Well done boys.”*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing