Most memorable moments of 2021
OPINION: The rugby season started with Covid-19 postponements and now it is ending on the same note.
However, despite the disruption, 2021 has delivered some memorable moments on and off the field.
And one can simply not talk about 2021 without the mention of Rassie Erasmus.
SA Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has been dominating the headlines since his 62-minute video during the British and Irish Lions Series in July.
In the video, Erasmus criticises match officials, particularly Australian referee Nic Berry, after the first Test in the Lions series, which the Boks lost.
The Springboks went on to win the Lions Series 2-1.
The World Cup-winning coach was later found guilty of misconduct and banned from all rugby activity for two months.
He’s also suspended from all match-day activities, including coaching and media engagement, until September 30, 2022. SA Rugby has been fined £20 000 (ZAR 418 000).
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) December 24, 2021
Morne Steyn: Déjà vu
Springbok veteran Morne Steyn turned back time.
In 2009, he wrote his name in the history books when he kicked the penalty goal that clinched the Lions series for the Springboks.
Steyn replaced Ruan Pienaar and immediately slotted two conversions and two penalties – including one from 53 metres in the dying minutes of the game, which gave the Springboks an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series they won 2-1.
Twelve years later in 2021 and at the age of 37, Steyn did again.
This time he replaced flyhalf Handre Pollard with 15 minutes remaining and slotted two penalties to give the Springboks a 19-16 win and a 2-1 series triumph.
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Les Bleus shock All Blacks
The France side have been a joy to watch and in November they were particularly incredible.
The side made a big statement and announced themselves as one of the 2023 World Cup contenders with a record margin win of 40-25 over New Zealand.
The victory was the Les Bleus’ first win over the All Blacks since 2009.
It was a classic French performance with World Rugby player of the Year Antoine Dupont pulling all the strings at scrumhalf, while flyhalf Romain Ntamack was also involved – proving decisive when it comes to the counter-attack.
What is your most memorable moment of 2021?