They’ve done it! South Africa has beaten Wales and booked their place in the final!

Okay, so it wasn’t as action-packed and exciting as last night’s game, but a win is a win, right? All I know, and I don’t want to sound negative, is that the Springboks will have to bring a different game plan back to the stadium next week when they face England OR hope and pray that England doesn’t show up because with our continuous kicking game tonight, we found ourselves just one penalty away from crashing out of the tournament. Let’s hope Rassie has a few tricks up his sleeve, but for now, let’s celebrate our victory because, in a world cup, that’s all that really matters!

At 15:00 this afternoon, Elaine and I were onboard the Shinkansen, heading back to Yokohama International Stadium. We were super excited about the day because not only have we had these tickets for 15 months but we also had the opportunity to support South Africa in another Rugby World Cup semi-final, just as we did back in London. In 2015 however, the Boks lost against the All Blacks but today it was time to show Wales who’s boss.

Elaine decided to go all out. Really, the woman gets crazy when you wound her up on events like these and she somehow managed to import Springbok onesies to the UK, made to order and delivered with love, all the way from South Africa. When you think about it, it’s actually bizarre – these onesies took up most of the space in our suitcases and had to travel all the way from London, through Beijing, over to Hiroshima and all the way up to Yokohama just so that we can wear them for 80 minutes as we support the men in green and gold! Conclusion: it was worth it!

The fans around the stadium loved our outfits and I’m not lying (or exaggerating) when I say that we easily took over 100 photos with different fans before we even got to our seats. Elaine and I were slightly annoyed with it being another clash against Wales because, in the last couple of years, we’ve already made 2 trips to Cardiff to support the Boks on their European tour and we lost both games. We simply couldn’t bear the thought of losing again and saw this as payback time. At 18:00 the match got underway and 80 minutes later, finally, South Africa came out on top.

One thing stood out again tonight, just as it did last night and at the semi in 2015 – rugby really has the power to unite fans from all around the world. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what your accent sounds like, in and around the stadium, fans from across the world were sharing beers, making jokes, taking photos together and having fun. It truly does testify to the tournament’s slogan of “The World in Union”.

To watch both semi-finals in this year’s tournament was an incredible experience and a memory we’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Congratulations again, South Africa! Suck it Wales.

 

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