From left to right: Robbie Barnard; Piet Visagie; Johan Spies and Joggie Jansen
One of the brightest stints in the history of Springbok rugby was in 1970 and 1971. In 1970 South Africa of course won the 4 test series against Brain Lochore super All Black team at home. The 1971 international season started off with two tests at home against a French touring side. The Springboks won the first one on 12 June 1971 in Bloemfontein 22-9 and drew the second one 8 all on 19 June 1971 in Durban. Continue reading
’56 Springbok tour : 18th July 1956 – Fraser Park; Timaru
Springboks 20 / South-Canterbury;North-Otago;Mid-Canterbury Combined 8
Craven took a week off –resting at Mount Cook- and under instruction of assistant manager Dan de Villiers the Springbok intentions was to run the ball against a team not likely to front any stiff opposition.
A number of factors combined to derail the effort especially in the last quarter of the second half when the match turned into an extremely scrappy affair. These factors being injuries –before and during the match- poor refereeing, and a general sort of holiday or lack of real application attitude amongst the second stringers.
The team was essentially made up of the second stringers who spend the 6 days before the test in Queens Town for a bit of skiing and relaxation. Only Dryburg, Johnstone and Lochner had appeared in the test team the previous weekend. A number of players like Buckler, Briers, James Starke, Melt Hanekom played in their first match on tour. Brain Pfaff who was struggling with injuries was also in the team on flyhalf. Basie Viviers was supposed to start but re-injured himself the day before the match during practice.
This picture shows Theuns Bries beating his man. Briers and Starke played in the first matches on tour after arriving in New Zealand as replacements just before the Otago game. Continue reading
14 July 1956 – Carisbrook; Dunedin
First test; All Blacks 10 / South Africa 6
Test matches are won by taking your changes. The prevailing thought after this test match was that New Zealand deserved to win mostly because they took their chances while South Africa made it easy for them by employing the wrong game tactics; with poor decision making on attack; and annoying ball handling errors. Reg Sweet writes in his book ‘Springbok and Silverfern’: “New Zealand had three chances throughout the match. New Zealand took them; and so New Zealand won. It was as straight forward as that.”
The Springbok forwards surprised everyone and were without a doubt the better team in the scrum pushing the All Blacks on repeated occasion’s meters back in the scrum. New Zealand worked out some strategies to counter Claassen in the lineout as the game progressed -making it a bit more of an even contest in the latter stages of the match- but South Africa still won the lineout contest comprehensively 28-35. South Africa won the scrum count 12-21. Reg Sweet wrote: “New Zealand’s pack, astonishing sight, was attempting to heel at times while obviously on the back pedal.” Continue reading
This post is a bit out of sequence with the rest of the posting on the 1956 Springbok tour. I recently got some more information on the ’56 tour especially about the Australian leg of the tour. I also needed a posting on the arrival in New Zealand for my website so I decided to add this info. By the end of this week I will post on the first test of the ’56 series including some video clips.After a smooth flight of five hours across the Tasman, the Springboks arrived in New Zealand on the evening of Tuesday 5 June. Warwick Roger narrates the arrival as follows in his book ‘Old Heroes’:
A huge crowd waited at dusk at Whenuapai as the TEAL Electra pulled up in front of the terminal and . . . an air hostess carrying a six month-old baby appeared at the door. But then – one by one, resplendent in their green Blazers with the gold trimmings and with the gold springbok on the chest, Basie Viviers holding aloft a mounted springbok head that would go to the first team to beat them, de Nysschen carrying a football, a lot of them wearing hats – the Springboks came down the steps from the aircraft and moved among us at last. Now, after all the months of anticipation, we would find out if these were men or gods.
The Springboks arrive at Auckland’s Whenuapai Airport, dusk, 5 June 1956. The tour was about to begin.
Inside the airport terminal boys crowded forward to catch a glimpse of their arriving heroes. Continue reading