Thousands of Capetonians packed the streets on Monday morning to catch a glimpse of the Springboks as they paraded the trophy for the last leg of their homecoming tour.
Cape Town fans did not disappoint with their flags and finery, with one man even running down Long Street to massive cheers in just his SA flag Speedo, and a replica gold trophy proudly held above his head.
Holding the real deal that was won in Japan, Bok captain Siya Kolisi told the huge crowd gathered in front of the City Hall that everyone had come together for rugby, despite their differences.
“It’s time for us South Africans to stop fighting, stop arguing and move forward as a country,” he said to massive applause.
He also elicited grins and more applause when he greeted fans with: “Aweh, ma se kind!”
One man held a red-and-white cardboard coffin as he walked next to the Boks bus, with the words “RIP England. Buried by Springboks”.
The eclectic soundtrack on the Grand Parade involved a dash of Shosholoza, catchy dance tunes with tweaked lyrics to reflect the Boks’ win, a rapper and, of course, the national anthem.
Bryan Habana soaked up the vibe and beats while carrying his son on his shoulders and was seen capturing the special moment on his camera.
Despite their exhaustion, Kolisi and the team soldiered on and gave their all to the crowd as they hopped onto buses and made their way through the CBD.
At one point, Kolisi was showing off the trophy to those gathered on the sidewalks when he noticed scaffolding filled with construction workers on Adderley Street.
He lowered his trophy and appeared to give them a special wave and greeting.
The boys displayed the same humility during a press briefing beforehand, inside City Hall.
When the towering Pieter-Steph du Toit was asked how he felt about all his achievements, and whether he intended to upgrade his small car, he bashfully answered: “I always try to keep my feet on the ground.”
He added he would like to drive a nice car one day and would pop it onto his Christmas list, just in case.
Herschel Jantjies said he felt really blessed and grateful for the opportunity to play, while Cheslin Kolbe said the goal for the team had been to give hope to the country and make everyone proud.
Kolbe was looking forward to eating local food and spending time with family and friends in the Mother City, before flying back to France on Friday.
Du Toit registered his surprise at how the tour across the country had exploded and how many fans had turned up to see them and hopefully get an autograph or photo.
“I never thought it was going to be that big,” he said.
Fuelled by coffee and energy drinks, the players kept up their energy while on the bus to wave, dance and sign some paraphernalia.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato acknowledged that the players must be exhausted and probably could not wait to return to their families.
He thanked the “heroes” for uniting the country and visiting his city.