VIDEO: Classic Divvy put-down of the Kiwis
IN CONVERSATION WITH VICTOR MATFIELD: Peter de Villiers may not have been everyone’s cup of tea as a Springbok coach, but he has certainly been the most entertaining of all the Bok mentors.
South Africa’s most-capped lock Victor Matfield, speaking to historian and author Dean Allen – as part of a hugely popular weekly fund-raising effort for the Chris Burger and Petro Jackson Players Fund – shared his favourite quirky quote from the former Bok coach.
De Villiers, in classic Divvy fashion, kept his best sharp-witted response for the New Zealand media.
Matfield explained how in 2009, ahead of the final Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, the Boks stayed in the popular Coogee beachside suburb south-east of the Sydney instead of flying to New Zealand.
They only arrived in Hamilton on the Thursday ahead of the Test.
This had the Kiwi media frothing at the mouth.
“There were plenty of questions when we arrived there [in Hamilton],” Matfield told Allen.
“[The coach], Peter [de Villiers] said there is not really a lot to do in New Zealand.”
This upset the New Zealand public and media even more.
“The mayor of Hamilton even dropped off a booklet of things to do in his town,” Matfield said, adding: “After the game [won 32-29 by the Boks to clinch the Tri-Nations] in the post-match media-briefing one journalist asked Peter if he now realises there are more things to do in Hamilton.
“Peter’s response was: ‘Thinking about it, there is something else you can do here – you can win the Tri-Nations.’
“That certainly shut them up.”
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Matfield described his four years with De Villiers as coach as the most enjoyable of his international career.
He spoke of the fun he had during his short stint at Toulon, before being called up by the then Springbok coach, De Villiers.
“I loved playing for the Bulls and I loved playing for the Springboks.
I wanted to play against the 2009 British and Irish Lions and I knew I had to return to South Africa.”
He flew back to South Africa, spoke to De Villiers and decided to return.
“The four years with Peter de Villiers as Springbok coach was probably the most fun [I had] in my Springbok career.”
Matfield, now 43, tops an illustrious list of South African Test centurions – Matfield (127), Bryan Habana (124), Tendai Mtawarira (117), John Smit (111), Jean de Villiers (109) and Percy Montgomery (102).
He made his Test debut from the bench against Italy at Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth, on 30 June 2001.
His last Test was the third-place play-off against Argentina at the 2015 World Cup – at the ripe old age of 38.
Also worth reading …
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE CLASS OF ’95 – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE CLASS OF ’95 – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN SMIT – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN SMIT – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH BRYAN HABANA – Part Two
IN CONVERSATION WITH BRYAN HABANA – Part One
IN CONVERSATION WITH SCHALK BURGER
IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN DE VILLIERS