CHASING THE SUN 2: Achieving the impossible, a South African true story

rugby15 February 2024 11:28| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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© SuperSport

In 2019, to conquer the world, with 18 months preparation, was considered improbable.But it was done.

In 2023, conquering the world again, against a nightmare draw and a rugby world intent on toppling your reign, was simply considered impossible.

Yet, drawing from Madiba’s famous words: It always seems impossible until it is done.

The story of a Springbok victory at the Rugby World Cup is not a new one. Chasing the Sun introduced us to the heroics of Rassie Erasmus’ team - the grit and determination, the unbelievable odds and the emotional tapestry that bound a group of rugby warriors together to create history.

And yet, it seemed like a pinnacle had been reached. The story had been told. The chapter had been written.

The tale of 2019 was something special to behold.

Still, while Hollywood movies often fall short when it comes to the sequel, this Springbok team refused to fall into that trap.

Faced with an unbelievable Everest to climb - a rugby world that didn’t want them to succeed, the rise of Ireland and France as superpowers atop the world rankings and a draw that bundled the top five sides in the world into the same side of the tournament. This was never going to be an easy ride.

Their journey had been ravaged by Covid - losing a full year of test rugby - and a British and Irish Lions tour that fell squarely in the surreal department - devoid of fans, and filled with quarantine.

Never even close to the perfect build up, it had to do.



Incredibly, where so many teams fell short, succumbed to the pressure or fell apart at the seams, this Springbok team bandied together to show they were made of sterner stuff.

It was during the tournament that we saw UFC World Champion Dricus du Plessis tell the world “Hulle weet nie wat ons weet nie!” (They don’t know what we know).

But the motto was adopted by this group of Springboks and etched in sweat and blood on their journey to France 2023.

While their 2019 motto: “Stronger Together” still encompassed the same spirit that took them to glory in Japan, it was clear that they would need something more. Stronger Together still described something magical, but Du Plessis’ mantra hit home hard, and became an unofficial team saying.

It signified something deeper within the Springbok spirit - something that transcended explanation and something that cuts straight to the heart of what it means to be a South African.

Because, presented with the option of an uphill battle, of a “Pool of Death” and the prospect of two of the four top sides in the world exiting before the semifinals, it didn’t deter one player.

Talk of hardship and overcoming challenges was nothing new to this group. When it got tough, the Boks simply dug deeper.

When things went against them, they fought harder. When they needed inspiration, the most unlikely candidates stood up and were counted.

Because the World Cup victory in France wasn’t just a triumph on the sporting field.



It dug deep within the psyche of what it means to be a Springbok. What it means to be a South African.

It acknowledged the fact that hardship and setbacks are part of the journey, that the stereotype of momentum winning tournaments doesn’t always count.

The 2023 set of challenges may have been different, it may have been larger. The games may have been heart-stopping and the tension unbearable from the outside.

But when they needed to deliver, the Springboks found that place within all of us in the Rainbow Nation. They found the will to ensure that impending disaster does not arrive, that despair does not take hold.

They stood up and found a moment to draw from. A moment that would make the difference. The world didn’t know what the Springboks and South Africans knew at the World Cup. The world would never understand.

And as they did in 2019, they embodied all of us as South Africans. They lifted themselves up on the backs of the millions that were supporting them. They fought harder because they knew what it meant for the rest of us.

This wasn’t just rugby. As the Springboks so often tell us. This was something more.

This was a triumph of everything it means to be South African.

This was the Boks fulfilling their destiny. Fulfilling South Africa’s destiny.

On March 24, Chasing the Sun 2 will take the first steps on that road to Bok glory. It will give unseen footage of the highs and lows of the journey, the passion and desperation involved, the setbacks and the triumphs that followed.


Chasing the Sun 2 is not just must-watch viewing for any rugby fan. It is a compulsory look into overcoming the odds, a blueprint for dealing with the challenges we all face and a thesis on how South Africans come together through diversity to surmount so many odds.


The Springboks are a microcosm of South African society and their triumph is our triumph. Chasing the Sun 2 is the story that needs to be told.

Chasing the Sun 2 - a story for South Africa starts on 24 March - don’t miss it.