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The only tackle Pieter-Steph du Toit remembers from the World Cup final: Planet Rugby
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The only tackle Pieter-Steph du Toit remembers from the World Cup final: Planet Rugby

Pieter-Steph du Toit produced one of the best performances of all time in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final, making 28 tackles against the All Blacks.

The hard-working backrower racked up an impressive number of tackles as the Springboks defeated the All Blacks 12-11 to clinch their fourth World Cup title, earning the Player of the Match award for his efforts.

Despite making a record 28 tackles in the final, he has revealed that the adrenaline of the match – and the laser focus – meant he only remembered making one.

Playing against the All Blacks

Du Toit said this in an interview with former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton on the Big Jim showin which he explains that he enjoys the defensive side of the game and especially enjoys playing against the All Blacks.

“It’s mainly about the All Blacks, how we have performed against them in the past,” the Bok forward said when asked if New Zealand are still South Africa’s ultimate rival.

“We struggled in some games, just the way they play. It’s always fun with them. They play a very attractive style of rugby and that suits them. For me, I like to defend, so it’s fun to play against them because they give you the opportunity to tackle.”

And that was certainly the case in the final, given the number of tackles Du Toit made.

WATCH: All 28 tackles by Pieter-Steph du Toit in the World Cup final

The lone tackle and marker Jordie Barrett

Asked by Hamilton about his mindset when putting his body through so many tackles and whether he knows he is making so many, Du Toit replied: “In that World Cup final I remember one tackle.

“I was so focused on the next job. I did the job, put it behind me and moved on to the next job. You have to keep pushing and moving forward.

“I remember one tackle after the game and when I started looking back at it or seeing footage that people were sending to me, I was like, ‘Oh’.

“I didn’t know this was such a good tackle or that I hit this man so hard.

“So there’s one tackle I remember. It came from a lineout and Jordie Barrett was carrying the ball and he dummied first and then I just accelerated into the tackle and he knocked the ball onto it. That’s one, I remember.

“The other things were so physically exhausting that you have to keep going and think about the next job, getting up.”

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Throughout the final, Du Toit made several tackles on Barrett, but the back rower explains this was more of a coincidence than him being tasked with marking the All Blacks centre.

“In our system, we don’t give one person the responsibility to flag someone,” he added.

“It was lucky, he was running my way all the time and all credit to him. He came with everything he had and after the match you are sore and tired and everyone wants this trophy so bad that they will have to push their bodies a lot to get there.”

READ MORE: Pieter-Steph du Toit reveals why Japan is an attractive name for top players