‘It does mean that much more’ – Dan Biggar on the Springboks’ two per cent edge in the Rugby World Cup

Jared Wright
Former Wales fly-half Dan Biggar and Springboks fullback Willie Le Roux celebrating.

Former Wales fly-half Dan Biggar and Springboks fullback Willie Le Roux celebrating.

Wales legend Dan Biggar believes that the Springboks’ mantra of giving South Africa ‘hope’ played a role in their one-point play-off victories.

South Africa won their fourth Rugby World Cup title in 2023, defeating France, England and New Zealand in the knockout matches en route to lifting the title.

The Springboks’ why

During their run to and after lifting the title, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and the coaches explained that they wanted to give South Africans hope.

“This was not about us as players. This victory was for every South African, and we showed what is possible with this diverse team,” Kolisi said upon arriving back in South Africa after their success in France.

He added: “We may not be able to change people’s circumstances, but we can give hope we can inspire people.”

Wanting it more

Biggar believes that those weren’t empty words and that the players really did want it more because it meant more to them than the opposition that they came up against, and that is what decides close Test matches.

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“You look at the World Cup that’s just been, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final, all three games they could have easily have lost, but they ended up winning by one point,” Biggar said on The Rugby Pod.

“When you break down what they say in terms of it meaning more… when you put New Zealand up against South Africa, England against South Africa or Ireland against New Zealand, it comes down to one per centers.

“If it does mean that much more to them, maybe Pieter Steph-du Toit is going to get up and make one more tackle when he’s tired.

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“Maybe Damian de Allende’s going to fight for an extra yard, maybe they’re going to give that one per cent and if you add them all up, you end up winning by a point, not losing by a point.”

Biggar added that, of course, every team has their own ‘why’ and reason to be successful, and that doesn’t mean that South Africa were more motivated than the other teams.

“It’s not that any other team is less motivated than the Springboks, or want to win less than the Springboks, but sometimes if that’s their why and they’re doing it for those reasons then you just find that one, two per cent more in you to get yourself over the line in big games,” he added.

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