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Wednesday Jun 24, 2015

Japie Mulder's perfect tackle on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final

Japie Mulder's perfect tackle on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final
18
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Today it is exactly 20 years since South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup by famously beating New Zealand 15-12 in a tense Ellis Park final. The win saw the newly democratic country overcome a number of odds, including stopping the imposing figure of a young giant named Jonah Lomu.

The surviving members from that historic day in 1995 got together in Johannesburg today to relive the wonderful occasion, and share in what was a very special time for South Africa. While the late coach Kitch Christie and star flanker Ruben Kruger were notable absentees, their memory lives on in what the Springboks accomplished at a significant time for the country.

The result unleashed a tide of goodwill and nation-building across South Africa, which a year earlier had celebrated democracy after decades of racial segregation.

“Mr Mandela together with that Springbok team pointed the way to a new future for our people and 20 years later that day still has a massive resonance. We continue to salute the 1995’ers for what they achieved as a rugby team and what they meant to a nation,” said SARU president Oregan Hoskins.

As described by Springbok right wing on the day, James Small, centre Jampie Mulder’s tackle on Lomu was a hugely signicant moment in the match. It’s a tackle that will forever be remembered by South African fans, at a time when Lomu was all but unstoppable.

18 Comments

  • rugbydump
    12:58 PM 03/07/2015

    You might have realised by now but that's Andre Joubert at 0:31 btw, with the glove and number 15

    Reply
  • facepalm
    3:47 PM 29/06/2015

    @Guy I heard that about his rib too. Absolutely heroic. One of my favourite tackles of all time.

    Reply
  • larry
    7:46 PM 27/06/2015

    I'm in California. And that's the state where rugby is strongest, because it does have a long history here, as 100 years ago it was being played, not American football, that is until 1915, when University of California and St. Mary's, ironically enough (they currently are the co-national champs in rugby), decided to switch to American football for the fall season, leaving two key schools with less competition: Santa Clara and Stanford. By 1918 rugby was toast in California, as nationalism surrounding America's entry into WW1 meant rugby was considered foreign and not worthy of playing. By 1920 American football once again got its former position back that it had prior to 1906 in California as a major sport. Rugby in the decades since became a minor sport, and it was only fortunate that enough former players were still around in 1920 to field that Olympic winning side, and four years later still enough veteran players, with some new players who had to learn the game, to win again in '24. In 1995 there was much publicity in America surrounding the World Cup. Part of this was furnished by the fact that a "basic" cable channel, the International Channel, was broadcasting the matches, and had indeed broadcast the 5 Nations the previous winter. So plenty of people were able to catch the games on their cable TV subscription for no extra charge, as would happen by the 1999 WC when Fox Sports World had already supplanted the International Channel from broadcasting rugby matches in America, and it cost more money to get that "premium" channel! I imagine plenty of Americans didn't want to pay more money just to get that channel, when a few years previously they could watch matches for a lower price on their basic cable subscriptions. I blame this in part for a fall-off of people even knowing about the sport. Rugby is just not easily found on TV, excepting that the USA-NZ match was televised live last November, competing against televised American football games.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    5:21 PM 26/06/2015

    Are you based in the US as well? I moved here a couple of years ago - and by a very weird coincidence, I am colleagues with the brother of the current Eagles coach. Anyway, I think 7s in the Olympics will give the game a major boost here; plus the NZ test in Chicago last year was a great success, so I see the US being a regular stop-off in future for the Sanzar teams on their end-of-season tours. It will take time, but I do think popularity will grow. It'll never compete with the big 4 sports, but it can carve a decent niche for itself.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:04 PM 26/06/2015

    Yes, Mulder probably was a bit larger than the average center. Lomu was way bigger than the average wing. There's some irony in that a year later, when New Zealand won a test series for the first time ever in SA, Wilson and Osborne were the All Blacks' wings.

    Reply
  • larry
    2:57 PM 26/06/2015

    I know a few South Africans (women) who live near me. We were talking about this match two weeks ago at a local bar/restaurant. They couldn't believe it's already been twenty years. I saw the game live at the time, at a bar/restaurant that opened at 6am, and it was packed with ruggers, many Pacific Islanders who were cheering for New Zealand to win this game. My three outstanding memories are the pushover try that was disallowed by the referee, which would have given South Africa lots of momentum early on, and the obstruction call on Osborne late in the match when he ran in front of one of his backline mates after a dummy pass, near enough to opposition players to warrant the call. That penalty was huge, as New Zealand had control of the ball just within South Africa's half, and looking likely to penetrate further. Stransky's winning drop kick would be the other standout memory. About this match, it was televised live in the USA. There was a lot of media attention at the time, and talk of rugby really taking off in this nation because the WC had gotten live matches televised (most early in the morning hours), and fairly decent numbers watching. I'd say rugby really hasn't become any more popular over the twenty years as it was then. American football and soccer get way more coverage, along with baseball and basketball. There's been just a few ads on ESPN regarding the up-coming WC. With all the head concussion issues regarding American football, that sport is really watching its back as high school players are being held back from playing by parents. When this issue comes up in the media, soccer or lacrosse are the given alternatives, not rugby.

    Reply
  • 45678
    1:59 PM 26/06/2015

    its nice to see some old clips, but I hate this whole anniversary thing creeping into every facet of life. Social media is to blame I'm sure, but 2 days of hearing about "suzie the cook" and bitterness still lingering over the BOD spear tackle 10 years on makes me feel a little sad. rugby should be above such festering hatred. get over it

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:29 PM 25/06/2015

    Understand it. Get that it's not a big deal. Still don't like it. ;)

    Reply
  • drg
    10:37 PM 25/06/2015

    Interesting to hear you take such an 'old boy' view on such incidents.... Although I do see what you mean about it.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    5:21 PM 25/06/2015

    I hear you, but you gotta imagine the mindset of the SA team for this game. They were all about stopping Lomu, getting in his face, and disrupting the lethal NZ attacks. From the outside, sure, there is no need for the afters, but when you are completely in the moment and wanting to send a message that "we own you", it happens. I'll happily condemn any punching or kicking in this situation, but a shove or two, it's no big deal. Rugby is a physical game, and it can be an intensely emotional game too. And if that's the extent to which things boil over, that's entirely fine by me.

    Reply
  • browner
    5:07 PM 25/06/2015

    Anyone who's ever played the game will understand exactly why SA needed it. I'd argue that even if it had been penalised SA needed to make the 'statement' of intent in this way. My faded memory was of Andrews & co arriving late at each contact with JL and getting a cheap shot dig in! , it might be my old age but that certainly my perception at the time, albeit it might merely be a myth created by warm memory. :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    4:55 PM 25/06/2015

    0:20 - Joost gets bounced. (But halts the big man's progress) 0:31 - Stransky gets wrongfooted.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:51 PM 25/06/2015

    Glad someone else brought that up. Completely agree. I mean I can understand how pumped you'd have to be in that situation, but you've just made a massive statement and I don't see what schoolboy posturing adds.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    12:45 PM 25/06/2015

    Thank you sir! To be fair to Joost, in that clip where he gets bounced, he somehow still manages to cling on to Lomu.

    Reply
  • guy
    8:44 AM 25/06/2015

    Don't know if it's completely true but I read that Joost broke one of his ribs in the semi final against France. True or not he is a legend and the Mulder tackle is also awesome.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:33 AM 25/06/2015

    Ta-day: http://youtu.be/NSFSBwITH_s Fabulous tackle it really is. If you're one of the smallest blokes in the pitch tackling the biggest you're never going to be able to make the tackle and prevent an offload, best you can do is tackle low, tie his legs up and hang on for dear life. Unfortunately this clip also includes Lomu bouncing Westhuizen in trademark style - although you could argue he did enough to stop Lomu and allow his team-mates to rip the ball. Either way, you need onion bhajis of steel to put yourself in the way of a juggernaut like that.

    Reply
  • 8:04 PM 24/06/2015

    Mulder's tackle. Was immense but joost's to me is more impressive.

    Reply
  • eddie-g
    7:07 PM 24/06/2015

    Never forget that tackle. One abiding memory - and you see it at the end of the clip here - is that he completes the tackle with his arms wrapped round just one of Lomu's legs. Mulder was a big guy, but Lomu was huge. The other thing to enjoy about the tackle is Mulder first has to cover Glen Osborne, yet still manages to be the first guy to get to Lomu after he beats Andre Joubert. It's just an immense play. If you can find it, the other great tackle made on Lomu that day was by Joost vd Westhuizen. It's early on in the game, Lomu runs right at him in midfield, and Joost put him down in a textbook 1-on-1 tackle. That set the tone for the afternoon. Anyway, 20 years ago today, what an occasion it was. No words to describe what it meant for the country.

    Reply


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Japie Mulder's perfect tackle on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos