How Willie won lottery
Ball bounced kindly for fullback to snap it up and dart over for try that put Boks on course for famous victory
Wellington — Fullback Willlie le Roux does not score many tries and the one he got for the Springboks in the Rugby Championship victory over the All Blacks on Saturday was like winning the lottery.
Le Roux explained that he was preparing for a tackle when a throw from the normally reliable New Zealand Jordie Barrett fell kindly in his path, leaving him with a simple task of touching down after 25 minutes.
The converted try was significant in the bigger scheme of things because the Springboks took a two-point lead and recovered from being 12-0 down inside 17 minutes and conceding two tries.
"I was actually going for the tackle full on, but the ball came to me," he said. "It was the luck of the bounce and I ran towards the line to score a try.
"I don’t get to score many tries but it is a nice feeling and I can say that I was lucky with the lottery there."
Later in the game, Le Roux nearly became a villain as he was sent to the bin for a deliberate offside and left the Boks to play for 10 minutes from the 67th minute with a man down.
The visitors conceded a try from Ardie Savea in that period.
"When I walked off the field, I was thinking that I have let my team down. If they score here and we lose the game it is going to be on me because of the yellow. But, we managed to cross the line in the end and that is what is important," he said.
Le Roux also praised his teammates for the manner in which they managed to capitalise on attacking moments in the game, especially in the second half when substitute Cheslin Kolbe scored a try immediately after the restart.
"The All Blacks are always switched on and if you lose concentration for one second, they will punish you," he said.
"The ball is bouncing and you never know where it will land and luckily it went our way.
"There have been a few good performances before but this week we told ourselves that this is for us. Everyone who was part of the travelling team, it was about putting pride back in the jersey and making people back home proud."
His participation for the remainder of the tournament remains in doubt as he returns to his club Bath this week.
Le Roux said he is not sure whether he will be available against Australia and New Zealand in SA. "It is difficult to say whether I will be available, but I am going back to the UK this week and I think I will be playing there next week."