Win or lose – let’s praise our teams
When the Springboks made it two successful World Cup triumphs in Japan in 2019 and France last year, they showed they weren’t invincible.
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
The Springbok rugby team have made such a habit of reaching a big tournament final and then winning it, that we tend to forget how tough it really is to go all the way and lift the trophy.
And we should realise that we must praise our teams, coaches and players, even if they don’t go all the way and win the title because competing on that stage is an achievement in its own right.
Even though the Springboks made it two successful World Cup triumphs in Japan in 2019 and France last year, they showed they weren’t invincible.
In 2019, they lost their opening match to New Zealand before going on to become the first team to lift the Webb Ellis Cup after losing a match.
In France last year, they not only lost to Ireland in the group stages, but won all three of their knockout stage matches by a solitary point.
Unfortunately Bafana Bafana didn’t reach the Africa Cup of Nations final after they were knocked out by Nigeria following a penalty shoot-out this week.
Coach Hugo Broos admitted they beat Cape Verde in the quarterfinals via penalties by playing badly, and lost to Nigeria playing well. Very few people expected them to reach the semifinals.
It’s the same for our Under-19 cricketers, who narrowly lost to perennial performers India by just two wickets in the World Cup semifinals.
We’ve shown that we are blessed with a number of wonderful sportsmen and women. It’s time they get the praise they so richly deserve, even if they fall short.