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We’ve got our mojo back

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THE Springboks and Banyana Banyana have restored respect to South African sport after weeks of heartbreak.

South Africa celebrate being crowned champions after their 2019 Cosafa Womens Championship final against Zambia.

THE Springboks and Banyana Banyana have restored respect to South African sport after weeks of heartbreak.

National pride on the field had taken a battering after dismal showings by Bafana Bafana at the African Cup of Nations and the Proteas’ forgettable Cricket World Cup performances.

But coach Rassie Erasmus has in just 18 months turned around a team of no-hopers low on morale into serious Rugby World Cup contenders.

What a fantastic way to head to the World Cup.

Success-starved fans excited about the prospects of the Boks packed OR Tambo Airport early yesterday to welcome home their triumphant heroes.

The national team’s resounding 46-13 victory over Argentina in Salta at the weekend, to win the Rugby Championship title for the first time in 10 years, was truly well deserved.

South Africa first walloped Australia with a bonus point in the opening game, and then put all manner of doubt to bed when they held the mighty All Blacks to a 16-16 draw away in New Zealand.

The dominant performance, engineered via a well-oiled scrum, has Trevor Nyakane standing out as arguably the best tighthead prop in the world.

In fact, the Boks have an embarrassment of riches in the front row that stretches all the way to the bench.

Duane Vermeulen, the Springbok captain in Salta, said the Championship title win was an important confidence booster before the World Cup. More importantly, it is a big stepping stone going into the tournament.

It is our hope that this momentum will carry the team in Japan next month. The big job for Erasmus is to ensure that complacency does not creep into the camp.

It is imperative for the Springboks to realise that plenty of work remains before they tackle the All Blacks in their opening game of the World Cup campaign early next month.

Argentina was great, but let us make Japan 2019 even more special.

The Springboks were ably joined by Banyana Banyana in putting smiles back on the sports-loving fans’ faces.

Desiree Ellis’ charges beat Zambia 1-0 on Sunday to win their third consecutive Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Championship.

What a team.

Thanks to you, Banyana, and the Boks, the entire country is beaming with pride.