Keith Nicholls
Keith Nicholls

Where were you in 1995?

It came on suddenly during the week in the build-up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. I had been laid low by flu the previous week, but had recovered enough to make the most of the semifinal against France.

But the flu boomeranged back and left me in bed — at least the All Blacks only had to deal with Suzie’s doings and not the real thing.

I watched the final in a fevered state, bemoaning my lot as the rest of the country seemed to be having one huge party.

Soon after the game, I heard the ruckus of shouts and car hooters. I went outside, still in my pyjamas with blanket draped over my shoulders, and, for quite some time, just watched what was happening in the streets. People were going mad, cars were driving round, flags and occupants hanging out the windows; there was shouting, singing and celebrating.

Like the answer to the famous JFK question, many South Africans are able to tell you exactly what they were doing when the Boks won the World Cup in 1995.

And though I’m no different, should a Bok win come to pass this year, I hope to be celebrating in a somewhat different manner to 1995.

For all that’s been written about the chances of both teams in Saturday’s final, and there has been a lot of it, I firmly believe that if the Boks play with the same composure and in the same clinical manner as they did in the group stages against England, then the Webb Ellis trophy will be revisiting our shores.

It would also be remiss of me not to take some time to say farewell to the great Os du Randt.

For the best part of 13 years, injuries and brief retirement notwithstanding, he has been widely regarded as the best in his position in the world.

Watching the big veteran getting round the field and delivering the goods on Sunday was still great after all these years. A few Argentinians would have woken up on Monday morning knowing they had been well and truly Ossed.

Such play will certainly be missed.

It seems fitting that one of the all-time greats stands on the cusp of becoming the only South African to win two Rugby World Cups.