Springboks reveal secret to stopping Lomu in 1995

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South Africa beat the All Blacks in extra time to claim the Cup at their first attempt, a moment Mulder said was the highlight of his career.


"New Zealand's semifinal was the day after ours and I remember us sitting in the team room watching the game," he said in The Rugby Paper.


"It all went a bit quiet when Jonah Lomu started destroying England. Then we started talking about how we were going to manage this guy, but there wasn't a big fuss about it. We just said, 'keep the guy on the inside and don't let him go around James (Small) and someone will get hold of him'.


"Being a physical side, I think everyone was quite looking forward to the challenge. Luckily, the one time I had to tackle him one-on-one, he went down," he said.


But it was Mulder's constant covering that proved significant in denying Lomu the chances he had enjoyed earlier in the tournament.



Mulder, a nephew of 1965 Springbok to New Zealand Boet Muller, like Lomu, came late into his side making his Test debut in 1994. That was in the 9-13 loss to the All Blacks in the second Test in New Zealand.


"Facing the All Blacks in Wellington was not the easiest of introductions to Test rugby but I felt I did okay, especially considering who I was directly up against.


"Everyone asks me who is the best guy I have ever played against and I always come up with the same answer: Frank Bunce," he said.


Mulder said he felt the seeds for South Africa's cup success grew out of their end-of-season tour to Europe at the end of 1994.


"We'd been beaten in our last game by the Barbarians but [coach] Kitch Christie got us together afterwards and told us we were going to win the World Cup and anybody who wanted to take that road with him had better be ready. Personally, I was fitter than I had ever been going into the World Cup, and I bet most of the guys would say the same," he said.


Christie's positive approach gave the side self-belief which grew after they beat Australia in their opening game.


But after being level with the All Blacks in the final, Mulder said no one was sure what would happen next.


"Once it became clear there would be extra-time, we thought that would work in our favour became of the peak condition we were all in. I was probably in bed earlier than I had been the whole of my adult life the night of the final. We got back to the hotel at about 10.30pm and I was absolutely shattered, physically and emotionally, and went straight to bed. I made up for it later, though," he said.



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