On the bus | The day beautiful Durban smiled on Boks and the Beast

Durban - By the time the Springboks arrived at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday afternoon, Durban had already set a new standard for this 2019 Rugby World Cup trophy tour.

The city centre, quite simply, shut down in yet another reminder of exactly what this moment means to South Africa.

Will a World Cup win solve the country's many problems? Will it create jobs? Will it stop crime and gender-based violence and resolve years of division and inequality? Will it eradicate corruption?

The answer to all of those questions is almost certainly 'no', but one thing that was just so overwhelmingly noticeable on the streets of eThekwini on Friday morning was that everybody was smiling.

For just a few minutes, and just a few seconds in some cases, there was but joy.

The scenes that greeted the Springboks at the City Hall were something out of this world, with even the players themselves awestruck.

Franco Mostert was stunned, and despite his allegiance to Johannesburg given his time at the Lions, he accepted that Durban had taken this tour to a new level.

Most of the Boks agreed.

The Durban City Hall (Lloyd Burnard)

The scenes outside the Durban City Hall (Lloyd Burnard) ...

For a city that is often given grief for not turning up to support major events - Kingsmead has lost cricket's Boxing Day Test, for example - Durban rolled back the years and showed that it can still pull together when it needs to. 

Captain Siya Kolisi, once more, took it all in his stride as thousands roared for him. Kolisi's energy continues to astound. I am yet to see him turn down a request from a fan, and that is quite remarkable given how much pressure the squad is under time-wise as they move from city to city. 

The undeniable man of the hour, though, was Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira.

He may have been born in Zimbabwe, but Beast is as South African as they come and when he returned to Durban, he had returned home.

A man who has now accomplished the ultimate goal in rugby, decided it was time to walk away on Friday.

For Mtawarira, Durban will always be home and even he was rocked by the emotion of it all as a sea of frenzied fans chanted 'Beaaaaaast' one final time to pay tribute to a behemoth of this game.

Mtawarira has never been one to get carried away, but as he left the balcony of the City Hall and disappeared out of the spotlight, he closed his eyes and let out a massive sigh.

There was once a time when a certain ANC politician - his/her name is not important - tried to stop Mtawarira from playing for the Boks because of his Zimbabwean heritage.

Now, 117 Tests and one of the great Bok careers later, I would love to hear that very same politician try make the same case today. 

Through a consistent level of humble professionalism, incredible talent and longevity, Mtawarira leaves as one of the most influential Boks ever seen.

The chaos in the streets continued all the way through the CBD until eventually those chasing the bus ran out of steam or those hanging out of windows had lost sight of it.

The Durban CBD (Lloyd Burnard)

South Africans resorted to drastic measures to get a glimpse of the Boks (Lloyd Burnard) ...

Then, outside Moses Mabhida Stadium, a new but equally vocal mob had turned up.

The thing about these celebrations is that they reach levels of uncontrollable hysteria. The reactions on faces suggest that these individuals will not be able to sleep that night. 

They put their hands to their mouths, they shake, and, most importantly, they smile. 

Unfortunately for them, the Mabhida visit was a closed affair where the Boks sat through speeches from municipal and provincial government.

For the rest of the travelling party, this was a time to get some food in and take a breather.

Beast was asked to say a few words - he never says many - and another Shark in S'bu Nkosi was fielding generic questions about the World Cup.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted former Springbok coach Ian McIntosh, who coached the national side all the way back in 1993/94.

I don't know McIntosh personally, but anyone who understands anything about Sharks rugby is aware of his legend status in these parts.

I introduced myself and we began to chat about the World Cup. I wanted his thoughts on how the 2019 triumph stacked up to 1995.

"I think the thing that's fairly obvious is that ... sorry, I've just got to track Beast down," McIntosh said, scurrying off.

"I told my grandson I would get this shirt signed for him."

Mtawarira had finished shaking the hands of mayors and councillors and was leaving the building, smothered by fans and journalists all trying desperately to get a photograph with him.

In that moment, it dawned on me.

This Bok triumph is for everyone. It doesn't matter if you are from the township or from the suburbs; if you are a petrol attendant or a former Springbok coach ... this is for you.

McIntosh got his autograph from Beast, but he didn't do it in a president's lounge or behind closed doors.

He tried his luck like everybody else, waiting in line and hoping to catch the attention of a man who has smashed down boundaries over the last decade. 

East London will be all about Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi, but Durban was one last chance for everybody to appreciate the beauty of this Beast. 

Durban trophy tour (Lloyd Burnard)

Durban showed its best side on Friday (Lloyd Burnard) ...

*** Lloyd Burnard is travelling with the Springboks on their 2019 World Cup trophy tour as a guest of FNB …

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