Sowetans rally behind the Boks

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

"Unity is strength," Swartbooi Sibanyoni said, quoting the old English adage during a snap survey in Soweto on Wednesday on tomorrow evening's Rugby World Cup final against England in France.

"Coach Jake White has achieved his goal by putting South Africa on the map in reaching the final through unwavering support from the relevant stakeholders.

"The SA soccer fraternity would be well advised to follow the path of the Springboks after reaching the final of the World Cup.

"The soccer people need to learn a good lesson from their counterparts - that if you work together, you can easily achieve a lot," said Sibanyoni.

On the question of equal representation of colour in the squad, Sibanyoni responded: "Look, it does not still reflect the demographics of the country.

"However, I still feel that we should not put people in just because of the colour of their skin.

"Today we boast of seasoned players including Bryan Habana [rugby] and Makhaya Ntini [cricket] who were selected on merit.''

Bheki Mbuyisa, 23, who is a hawker at the Hector Pietersen Museum, fancied the Springboks to beat England by 30 points.

"I developed an interest in rugby after Bafana Bafana had dismally failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup," said Mbuyisa.

"The Springboks won't let the nation down after keeping their unbeaten record in the competition."

Kgomotso Mahlasela predicted a 45-15 scoreline in favour of South Africa.

"They know that they are left with the last hurdle - beating England," he said.

"This Saturday, soccer will take a back seat. We will be backing our boys from the TV screens."

"The Boks will win the final by two points because England could rise to the occasion this time round,'' said Mandla Tshabalala.

Eva Nako, 68, a vendor from Eldorado Park, said: "I enjoy rugby with all my heart and I will be celebrating tomorrow after the Springboks are through with England.''

She did not bother to predict the score because she believes "any win is a win".

At the Mandela Museum in Phefeni, Prince Ntshalintshali, a member of the Soweto cultural group, said: "We are going to win...

"The Springboks will lift the World Cup for Madiba, our former president."