Cape Town - 2019 has been a bitter-sweet year for Springbok rugby.
Flash forward to Saturday, November 2 and the Springboks are now three-time Rugby World Cup winners.
A fact not lost on only the die-hardest of rugby fans was that the players to inherit the left-wing jersey of Williams - Makazole Mapimpi - and the right-wing jersey of Small - Cheslin Kolbe - made history in becoming the first two players to score tries for South Africa in a World Cup final.
Both the Springboks' previous two World Cup final victories were penalty - and lest we forget, drop goal affairs: 15-12 (after extra time) in 1995 and 15-6 in 2007.
It looked for all money that 2019 would see a repeat as penalties dominated the 12-6 half-time advantage South Africa held in Yokohama.
Alas, the try-drought was broken in the 65th minute when Mapimpi combined with centre Lukhanyo Am to enter the record books as South Africa's first World Cup final try-scorer.
Not to be outdone, in the 73rd minute, Kolbe, shortlisted for World Rugby's Player of the Year award, jinxed his way over the tryline to seal victory for Rassie Erasmus' men - and send the Rainbow Nation into raptures.
Makazole Mapimpi will go into the history books after he becomes the first @Springboks player to score a try in a #RWCFinal— SuperSport ???? (@SuperSportTV) November 2, 2019
South Africa lead 25-12 after 70 minutes ??????
Watch live: https://t.co/QmnX1bfvkI.#ENGvRSA #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/wV4c9fkU5f
CHESLIN KOLBE YOU BEAUTY ????????????— SuperSport ???? (@SuperSportTV) November 2, 2019
A sensational step by the @Springboks winger sees him score in the corner to make it 32-12 to South Africa with just two minutes remaining.
Watch live: https://t.co/QmnX1bfvkI.#ENGvRSA #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/kv2UtCQvux