Magical Moodie marks Springbok debut in style | The Citizen

A star was born in Sydney on Saturday night as 19-year-old Canan Moodie announced himself on the world rugby stage in style with a strong performance to help the Springboks thump the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.

Moodie became the second youngest Springbok of the professional era in the game, and ended the match alongside the player who was the youngest as Frans Steyn came off the bench in the second half.

ALSO READ: Boks celebrate special win over Wallabies in Sydney

Although the ball didn’t find its way to the wing very much, as is expected with the Boks current game style, Moodie made the most of the chances that were afforded to him, chasing and competing well, while he scored a superb try and tackled well.

It was at the expense of last week’s Aussie hero,  left wing Marika Koroibete, that Moodie emphatically made his mark, chasing a Jaden Hendrikse up and under, jumping above Koroibete to take the ball and sprinting away to score his first international try on debut.

In the second half Moodie also made a big hit on Koroibete, which saw the usually powerful winger, knock the ball on, as if to stamp his authority over his opposite number.

In the post-match press conference a clearly happy Moodie admitted that it was a special occasion for him.

“It was very special. Just pulling on the jersey is already special enough, and having the opportunity to score a try on debut is even more special. So I am just happy that I could contribute to the team,” said Moodie.

“Being able to help the team by scoring a try and contributing points was amazing. It was a very emotional moment, getting swarmed by the bench and all the players was very special, so I really enjoyed it and scoring the try was the cherry on top for me.”

Meteoric rise

It has been a meteoric rise for Moodie who just two years ago was playing school rugby, before making his junior Springbok debut last year.

He then enjoyed a superb breakout season in the United Rugby Championship for the Bulls, playing on the wing and at fullback, which impressed the Bok management enough to bring him into the squad as outside back cover after Kurt-Lee Arendse was banned.

Moodie now has an opportunity to build on a fantastic start to his professional career and become a Springbok legend if he can keep his form up and stay largely injury free over the coming years.

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