Boks uniting South Africa beyond the Rugby field: ‘The Nelson 111 factor’

In a nation grappling with division and challenges, Siya Kolisi and the Boks emerge as a unifying force. Clinching a historic fourth Web Ellis trophy, their nail-biting victories, often by one point, reflect a potent ‘111 factor’. Beyond their on-field prowess, their resilience and unity resonate as a beacon of hope for South Africa. As they inspire a diverse populace towards a common goal, their journey signifies more than just sporting triumph – it embodies the essence of national solidarity and resilience. #STRONGER TOGETHER.

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Boks certainly made their point : ‘The Nelson 111 factor’.

By Rob Opie

There’s so much going wrong in our country, we are the last line of defence. There’s so much division in the country, it is possible to work together as South Africans, not just on the rugby field, but in life in general. We can’t go away from that, 1995, without that I wouldn’t be here. For people who look like me, I’ve got a job to give whatever I can to the jersey, to show they can get opportunities like this.’  – Siya Kolisi

Well done to Siya and die Bokke for once again showing us how to unite a nation.

Wow, did they make the entire country sweat ?

The Boks going on to capture a record fourth Web Ellis trophy in France – by beating our southern hemisphere arch-rivals New Zealand in a nail biter final by one point: 12-11

What stands out in their victory is that their last three wins all involved a winning margin of one point in each game. – the superstitious ‘111 factor’ of sport coming into play.

Resilience and experience shined through in a team focused and united with a powerful higher purpose in bringing South Africans together as one.


Or put in another way:


This is what champion teams do.

They do more than just winning on the playing field.

People who are not from South Africa don’t understand what this means for our country, this is not just about the game; our country goes through such a lot. We are the very hope that they have.” – Siya Kolisi

Hopefully it represents unity, what teamwork can do. A lot is lacking in our country. People from all races and backgrounds, supporting one goal, something we can learn in everyday life: ‘To make a better country and a better world.’  – Faf de Klerk

The term ‘111’ is called ‘NELSON’ in cricketing slang terminology and superstition as below :

The name Nelson, applied to a team or individual score of 111, is thought to refer to a wicket. Various sources ascribe it to referring to Nelson’s three major naval victories (won, won, won).

In cricket terms, 111, umpire David Shepherd made it popular through his longstanding practice of raising a leg from the ground on Nelson in an effort to avoid ill fate. When crowds noticed this, they would cheer his leg-raising. as NELSON – where fellow players and supporters are also expected to lift their feet while the team or individual batsman remains on 111.

But, for our Bokke there would be no ill- fate, as the country lined up for an epic final with their ‘feet up’ wearing their green jerseys week in and week out – the Boks progressing to the final with one point comeback victories over France and England.

Then wrapping it all up with a one point victory over New Zealand.

I guess as a team we like drama. We have had drama for the last few years. It helped us a lot as a team to get through the drama and cope with it and it shows the resilience of the team and the whole of South Africa.” Pieter Stef Du Toit – the Malmesbury Missile after his 28 tackles made and Man of Match performance in the final. 

Maybe the team was out to prove a point in showing us that when you are united in cause, drama and action – and keep one foot up :

Anything becomes possible.

Welgedaan Bokke.

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