High praise for Habana after another match-winning performance

Habana underlined his world class qualities with two game-winning moves as South Africa beat Italy 44-10 in their Test in Durban on Saturday.

Habana, who turns 30 on Wednesday, won the man-of-the-match award after setting up an early try for centre JJ Engelbrecht and scoring a breathtaking effort of his own at a crucial juncture of the match in the second half.

It extended to 48 his record as South Africa's top Test try scorer and reinforced his image as a match-winner for his country at a time when younger players have threatened to capture the public's imagination.

"In Super Rugby he has looked rather ordinary this season but there is something about Bryan that when you put him in a Bok jersey he's extraordinary," said Meyer, as his side now looks to a Test against Scotland in Nelspruit this Saturday.

"If Bryan plays well, the team plays well. He's still very excited to play for the Boks. I spoke to him in the tunnel just before the team ran out and asked if he was still as excited about playing after all his caps. He said he couldn't wait to get out there."


Habana, in his 84th Test appearance, made the try for Engelbrecht after fielding an Italian kick and then darting off with a jinx or two and at incredible pace before passing for the centre to easily score.

In the second half, as South Africa lost a grip on the game and were struggling, Habana put them back on a winning track with another magical move.

Again fielding a high ball almost on the halfway line, he cut inside from the right wing before suddenly accelerating and cutting straight through the middle of the Italians to dot down between the poles, all in the blink of an eye.

"Our game-plan suits him and it's a reason he scores a lot of tries," added Meyer.

Habana was named after former England football captain Bryan Robson by his Manchester United-supporting father. He made his mark in rugby as a World Cup winner, a three time South African player of the year and was voted the world's best in 2007.

Habana is set to leave for Toulon in France at the end of the Super Rugby season and is likely to remain a steady fixture for the Springboks for some time to come despite Meyer's preference for home-based players. – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday