While Karl Tu’inukuafe and Angus Ta’avao have come from nowhere to become All Blacks, the Springboks have their very own bolter.
Winger Aphiwe Dyantyi scored twice in their Wellington win but not long ago rugby wasn’t on his radar.
Dyantyi was unknown to most Kiwis before he tore up the All Blacks in Wellington, but his childhood idol was an All Black – Tana Umaga.
In fact, his trademark try celebration is inspired by Umaga’s role in the debut of the All Blacks’ Kapa o Pango haka in 2005.
“I just wanted something that kids looking up to me could resonate with,” Dyantyi told Newshub.
“Just like Tana, I found what he did in the haka resonating to me and I aspired to that.”
He almost fell short of his aspirations.
At just 61kg, Dyantyi’s dream of playing school boy first fifteen rugby was taken away.
“From the onset I was written off and told I was too small.
Heart broken, he quit and instead decided to focus on his studies at University in Johannesburg.
But he was soon convinced to play socially for his hostel, and things quickly changed.
“I was scoring something stupid, like 10 tries in one game. So they came to me and offered a scholarship.”
The catch – they didn’t want him in his regular slot at first-five.
“They were like Aphi you’re very quick. You get the ball and leave everyone, so consider playing wing. I straight up told them no.”
Luckily, he had a change of heart.
Within two years, the speedster went from University to the Springboks via a scintillating Super Rugby campaign for the Lions.
It’s showed coach Rassie Erasmus the development systems have flaws.
Sometimes we don’t have the guts to back guys who come from a different angle.
Did he ever think that you’d score two tries in a win over the All Blacks in New Zealand?
“Only in my dreams.”
With six tries in eight tests, Dyanti’s dreams have come true.