Matfield gets the boot
Fanie van Rooyen
Pretoria – “Your first game in a Springbok jersey is very special and to play your 50th as a Springbok is incredible, but to run out for your 100th game is something you never expect to happen.”
Those were the words spoken by Springbok lock Victor Matfield at the Southern Sun hotel in Sunnyside on Tuesday after receiving a special pair of rugby boots with the words “Vic100” on them from former Springbok Percy Montgomery.
Montgomery was the first Springbok to have played in 100 Tests.
Captain John Smit became the second Springbok to play in a 100 Tests in the weekend’s clash against the All Blacks at the FNB Stadium.
Matfield said he viewed it as an “incredible honour to be able to follow in Montgomery and Smit’s footsteps”.
The Boks are taking on Australia at Loftus Versfeld and are hoping to register their first victory in this year’s Tri-Nations.
“We hope we can turn around our mistakes and bad luck from the first four games and come up with something special on Saturday,” said Matfield.
Puma spokesperson James Mullen said that approximately 35 000 Victor Matfield masks would be handed out outside Loftus Versfeld to honour him for his 100th Test.
“There will be thousands of Victor Matfields next to the pitch,” said Mullen.
Matfield just gave a shy smile when Montgomery pulled one of the masks over his face on Tuesday.
Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn expressed the hope that Matfield would have a better day on the occasion of his 100th Test than captain John Smit.
“Unfortunately we could not pull it off for John against the All Blacks, but hopefully we can make it a special day for Victor at Loftus,” he said.