Bok great Habana revisits 2009 British Lions glory: 'One of the great tries I've ever seen'

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Bryan Habana at Loftus against the Lions in 2009 (Gallo)
Bryan Habana at Loftus against the Lions in 2009 (Gallo)
  • Springbok great Bryan Habana has revisited South Africa's 2009 British & Irish Lions series win.
  • Habana was a key figure in the series and helped spark the Bok comeback in the second Test at Loftus. 
  • The 37-year-old reveals that the 2009 Lions series was a major factor in his decision to stay in South Africa after the 2007 World Cup.

Springbok legend Bryan Habana says Jaque Fourie's try against the British & Irish Lions in the second Test at Loftus in 2009 was "one of the best" he has ever seen.

In one of the great days of Springbok rugby, Morne Steyn kicked a penalty from inside his own half to give the Boks a series-clinching 28-25 victory. 

The Boks had trailed 19-8 with 20 minutes to play before tries from Habana and Fourie got them back into the contest in stunning fashion. 

Speaking at a Laureus Sport for Good Foundation webinar on Wednesday night, Habana took a walk down memory lane and revisited the series. 

When asked by former Bok captain Jean de Villiers if his try in that Loftus Test was one of the highlights of his career, Habana was quick to point to Fourie's moment instead. 

"What that game did give us was one of the best tries I've ever seen on a rugby field from Jaque Fourie," Habana said. 

"Mine was a set move that we practiced on the training park for two or three years prior to that, but that finish from Jaque Fourie and the way it happened, to give Morne that final opportunity to make that kick to win ... it was incredible.

"As a rugby player, you always want to make a contribution. It was a great memory and a pretty spectacular moment for all of us involved. The party in the Monte Casino the following weekend summed up what a great moment it was."

Habana also revealed that the 2009 Lions tour was a major factor in his decision to stay in South Africa with the Bulls following the Springboks' 2007 World Cup win, turning down more lucrative overseas offers.

"It's crazy to think that it's been 12 years already," Habana said. 

"The uniqueness of a Lions series as a South African, Australian or New Zealander ... that only happens once every 12 years.

"There are some Test centurions that never get an opportunity to play against the Lions. The passion, pride, camaraderie and uniqueness of it is something that many players would give any waking moment to be a part of.

"We were fortunate that we had that success in 2007 and saw it as a the majority of us staying together with the hope of doing something special in 2009, given that we had lost the series in 1997.

"It was a really important goal, short-term, that I had written down.

"2009 was special and it definitely played a crucial part in my planning and I'm grateful to be part of an occasion that went down in history."

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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