Handré Pollard says he could ‘kick another 1 000 kicks’ but nothing will top the feeling of slotting the winning penalty for the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup semi-final against England.
During an interview with former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton, Springbok hero Pollard relived the moment that he stepped up to kick a long-range penalty to put South Africa through to the world cup final.
Having trailed England for most of the contest in the driving rain, the Springboks were awarded a penalty near the halfway line after another dominant scrum from loosehead prop Ox Nche.
Pollard didn’t hesitate in calling for his kicking tee to have a shot at goal, despite the mark being around 50 metres out from the posts. After taking a moment to compose himself, with the home crowd jeering and whistling, Pollard held his nerve to successfully convert the kick, giving the Boks a one-point lead which they held onto for the remaining couple of minutes.
“In that moment of putting the ball down, for me it’s excitement, I love it,” Pollard told Hamilton. “I love those moments. It gets me really excited. It’s the most alive you will feel on a rugby field, at least that’s how I feel as a fly-half and kicker. There’s all that pressure on you to kick that kind of kick.
“I just enjoy it. It’s really fun. For the first time ever in my career, when I got to my mark, as I got back there, I looked up and for a split second in my mind I was thinking, ‘Geez, this is going to be pretty cool if it goes over’.
“I have never had that thought. It was just the mind space that I was in at that moment.
“It was the best strike of my life. It was unreal. I will probably kick another 1 000 kicks and I won’t kick anything like that.”
Handre Pollard talks me through the moment he stepped up for that kick in the World Cup semi Final. The greatest players in sport step up in the biggest moment.
I’ll be pitch side for Leicester vs Leinster on Saturday on RugbyPassTv. pic.twitter.com/4cYB7kIHgJ
— Jim Hamilton (@jimhamilton4) January 18, 2024
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