After my tribute to Jan Ellis I thought I just have to write something about the man who was a big part of Jan’s success as a Springbok rugby player, Piet Greyling.
Currie Cup-winning Transvaal captain in 1971 and 1972, former Springbok flanker Piet Greyling, was arguably one of the best, but certainly one of the toughest.
The picture below shows Piet Greyling with his Transvaal side who got a share of the Currie Cup for the first time in 19 years -having previously won it in 1952- when they shared the cup with Northern Transvaal in an epic final and controversial 14-14 draw at Ellis Park in 1971. The next year Greyling led his Transvaal side to a 25-19 win over Eastern Transvaal at Pam Brink Stadium in Springs to win the cup with the help of Gerald Bosch who dropped the winning points in the final minutes. It was back in 1972, before the Currie Cup final against Eastern Transvaal in Springs that the former Bok captain uttered these famous words to his Transvaal team-mates: “Eighty minutes of agony for an eternity of pleasure.” Continue reading
There are a host of international teams like Scotland and Ireland not even to mention second tier test nations like Canada, USA, Italia and Argentina who have never beaten the All Blacks. Wales have beaten the All Blacks only three times; the last time being in 1953. In general the only teams really able to foster some occasional wins against the All Blacks are England, France, Australia and South Africa with the latter being by far the most successful in this regard.
The fact that Rhodesia (now of course Zimbabwe) have once beaten the All Blacks are therefore something really unique and says a lot about the state of rugby in Southern Africa at the time this occurred namely in 1949. The fact that South Africa also white washed the 1949 All Blacks 4-0 in the test series leaves the impression that it was a weak All Black side which is something most rugby scribes strongly reject. Continue reading
Allan Perrott wrote an interesting article called ‘The rebel rugby tour: Boots and all’ about the 1986 Cavaliers tour to South Africa.
It is quite timely. Not only for the fact that it happened 25 years ago but because the All Black won their one and only RWC the year after the Cavaliers excursion to the rotting carcass of Apartheid as Chris Laidlaw like to call South Africa.
The Cavaliers of course polarised New Zealand almost like the 1981 tour. So considering the impact of the 1981 tour on New Zealand –and we in SA don’t always appreciate the impact it had- it is astonishing that some of the incumbent All Blacks of 1986 decided to actually rebel tour to South Africa. Continue reading
17 July 1976 – Western Province 12 / All Blacks 11
Cape Town. Weather: fine, calm day. Ground: firm. Crowd: 45 000.
Referee: Fonnie van der Vyver (Northern Transvaal). Continue reading
Bloemfontein was the next stop where almost everyone ceased their daily activities and went to watch the arrival of the AB’s. Gabriel David sums it up in the following paragraph:
There may have well have been one or two people working in Bloemfontein when the All Blacks arrived just after 10:30 a.m. but there wouldn’t have been more than three! There was an awed silence from about 500 people at the airport but the welcome to the All Blacks as they drove through the streets of this city of 100,000 people were almost unbelievable.
Roads, footpaths and building were jammed with waving and cheering Orange Free Staters. There must have been at least 50,000 out in the sun to greet the tourists. Continue reading
The All Blacks travelled form Windhoek to the Transvaal for three matches: firstly, against Eastern Transvaal in Springs; secondly, against Transvaal in Johannesburg; thirdly, against Western Transvaal in Potchefstroom.
Starting with a bit of sightseeing and relaxation the team went down a mineshaft in Johannesburg to view how gold is mined underground. The author could not resist the temptation to boast about the strength of one the All Black players. Here is what
There were conflicting reports about the visit to the Western Areas Gold Mine. Some of the players described it as dull but manager Ron Burk said it was fascinating to go down 6.000 feet, travel two miles by underground train and watch the workmen at the actual rock face. The Taranaki lock, Alan Smith, was not at all impressed with the promises and challenge of the mine manager who showed the All Blacks a 100 lb nugget worth about $ 31,000 and stated that anyone who could lift it with one hand could take it away. Smith, whose powerful hands have become something of a legend, casually lifted the nugget in his right hand. The mine manager hastily assured him that he was only joking -about taking the gold rock away. Continue reading
Here is session 4 of my series on New Zealand perspectives during the 1970 All Black tour
The All Blacks were not at all reluctant to take leave from Kimberley, which they found quite boring. Even a visit to the big hole -which did not impress them much-, could do little to leave them with a good impression or with any positive regard towards Kimberley
Big Hole in Kimberley Continue reading
Here is session 3 in my series on the 1970 All Black in South Africa.
On their way to South Africa the AB’s played two matches (apparently directly after each other, on the same day) in Perth against a President XV and a team from Western Australia. Western Australia struggled to find enough players for two teams due to a lack of quality players -the WARFU apologised afterward to the AB manager for the quality of the teams
A record number of spectators (for Western Australia) namely 7000 watched the AB’s won both games (52-3 and 50-3) with ease. Lochore got injured in one match which prevented him from playing for the first three weeks in South Africa.
On Monday, June 15, 1970, the AB’s arrived at Jan Smuts and the team was welcomed by a crowd of 4000 people. David described the arrival as follow:
The crowd roared and Dr. Danie Craven unashamedly let a tear slip from his eye and Kobus Louw gave one of those beaming smiles that would match the width and breath of the Indian ocean. The All Blacks were moved too.
Bruce McLeod gave a gasp and muttered: “Hell, let’s get down to training, we’re in rugby country!” Now, it would be untrue to label the All Black coach, Ivan Vodanovich, as anything but serious about rugby.
Yet, this extremely dedicated rugby man was so moved by the fantastic Johannesburg welcome to the All Blacks that he allowed himself the luxury of a whimsical comment. Fixing his dark, brooding eyes on me he quipped: “Fancy being dead, and missing all this!” Continue reading