Good things come to those who
Think back, back to 2009, the year the British & Irish Lions
toured South Africa, and a time for the Springboks to serve a healthy
dollop of revenge.
It had been 12 long years since the
tourists left our shores in 1997 with a 2-1 series victory over the Springboks
in the bag.
With the memories of the 2007 Rugby
World Cup title victory still fresh in the minds of South Africans, the
pressure was squarely on the hosts not to stumble as they did on the Lions’
Where were you when the Lions came to
claim the scalps of the defending world champions? Vodacom was there with all
Springbok fans to experience an unforgettable series!
The table was set for a mouth-watering
series as the decorated Springbok side had its sights set on more accolades,
while the British tourists were looking for the scalp of the world champions.
The first match in Durban went down to
the wire as the Springboks enjoyed a comfortable 26-7 lead with 11 minutes left
in the encounter before the tourists scored to late tries.
The Springboks, however, held on to go
one up in the series and set up another nail-biting encounter in Pretoria the
Like all South African
supporters, Vodacom, the Official Telecoms Partner to the Springboks continued
its loyal support for the national side.
The British & Irish Lions
supporters turned up in their numbers as they painted Loftus Versfeld red with
only patches of green Springbok jerseys visible.
With a series victory within the Boks’
grasp, the match developed into one of the most memorable matches of the past
The match had more plot twists than a
Hollywood blockbuster which started with a Lions try seven minutes into the
match before Springbok flyer JP Pietersen scored five minutes later
The visitors, however, held onto the
lead and the teams went into the half-time break with the Lions enjoying a 16-8
After two failed penalty conversions
after the break Ruan Pienaar was replaced by Morne Steyn, who played in only
his second Test for the Springboks.
Bryan Habana finally found the
breakthrough, with Steyn converting before he added another penalty conversion
to bring South Africa within a point of the visitors.
After a Stephen Jones penalty
conversion the Lions held onto a four-point lead with four minutes left in the
The remaining four minutes, however,
developed into one of the most nail-biting finishes in Springbok rugby.
Jaque Fourie was the final receiver
of an attacking Springbok movement where first fended off Ronan O'Gara before
diving through two tackles to miraculously stay infield to score the try in the
Steyn converted for a slender
three-point lead before Jones again equalised with two minutes left on the
The match was for all practical
purposes done and dusted but fate had a different idea for Steyn and his
With no more time left on the clock,
Steyn stepped to the plate as he slotted a last-second penalty kick to hand the
reigning world champions a dramatic 28-25 victory for an unassailable 2-0
It proved to be a golden year for the
Springboks as they also added the 2009 Tri-Nations title to that of a series
victory over the British & Irish Lions.
Vodacom are proud to say we were there
to see the Springboks through tough times which made the celebrations even