More fear than harm for Cheslin Kolbe. On October 28, the evening of the World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand, the 30-year-old winger received a yellow card in the 73rd minute for a voluntary forward. The Springboks then led by a small point (12-11), leaving the former Toulouse player to fear the worst, as he confided for the first time to the South African media.
“Receiving a yellow card in the World Cup final is disappointing. I let my teammates down at that time but I was even more disappointed because I let the whole nation down, he revealed. Looking at the clock I knew I wouldn't return to the field. I just went and sat in the chair, pulled the jersey over my head, and I was crying and praying at the same time.”
Helpless on the sidelines, in the company of his captain Siya Kolisi, Kolbe finally exulted a few minutes later. Once the pressure has subsided and South Africa's world title has been confirmed. “I think it was God's plan for me, he didn't want me to finish the match even though I would have loved to. To be honest, I didn't even hear the final whistle, admitted the former Top 14 star. A member of the team came up to me and pulled me. That's when I knew we had won the World Cup. It was a great moment of relief. We know what this victory represents, how it unites our country and how important it is for South Africa.”
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