Outstanding, bokkies

Willem AlbertsLast week I lamented about the lack of presence, urgency and innovation in the bok team when they played the Pumas in Mendoza. I concluded that on evidence of the lack of presence of the tight five and the slowness of the back row I can’t see them winning in Brisbane. 

The bokke corrected all those shortcomings this weekend in Brisbane. The result; the greatest ever victory in Australia and the first win in Brisbane in 41 years. 

Here is my list of things that really impressed me in this test match followed by a list of things I think they need to work on before they tackle the All Blacks at Edenpark.  Continue reading

1971 Springbok tour – First test

July 17, 1971 – Sydney Oval, Sydney 

South Africa 19 / Australia 11 

Not much is available about this test apart from some Gerhard Viviers commentary (see comments section below) and brief descriptions of the Springbok tries. There were two changes to the South African team who played against France earlier the season at home.  

Morné du Plessis and Hannes Viljoen got their first caps in the places of the injured Tommy Bedford and Gert Muller. The South African team can be seen in the table below. Continue reading

1971 Springbok tour – Tour matches up to the first test

 The afternoon of the same morning they arrived from South Africa the Springboks played in their first game against a combined team of Western Australia in PERTH 

Charles Blunt the President of Australian rugby formally welcomed every Springbok with a handshake before the first match (see Picture below). 

 This picture shows Charles Blunt president of Australia rugby being introduced to the players by Hannes Marais before the first match. Here he shakes hands with Dirk de Vos.  Continue reading

The 1971 Springbok tour


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

Thirteen reasons why we lost

Halfway through a frustrating night -during which I didn’t sleep well due to the massive disappointment of SA dropping out of the 2011 RWC- I started to see some reasons why we lost. 

The thing that kept me awake most was the fact that we had 76% of the ball, dominated scrums and line-out (Matfield taking 6 of their line-out ball), had territorial advantage for most of the match and had them under massive pressure for almost the entire match and still lost the game. 

Here are the 13 reasons I came up during my night of suffering.  Continue reading

1956 – Australia and Danie Craven

Not much is available on the Australian leg of the 1956 tour. McLean in his book “Battle for the rugby crown” devout a chapter to this part of the tour but writes very little about the actual matches apart from the table below which is a summary or record of matches played in Aussie.  Picture below shows Roy Dryburg scoring one of his 6 tries against Queensland; One the left Basie van Wyk getting carried after braking his leg on the practice field in Australia.

Statistical record of matches played in Australia during the 1956 Springbok tour
Match Date Fixture Ground Half-time Result Tries for SA
1 15 May Australian Capital Territory Canberra 13-0 41-6 Du Preez (2); Dryburg (2); Nel; Viviers.
2 19 May New South Wales Sydney Cricket Ground 8-3 19-9 Van Vollenhoven (2); Nel; Strydom; Retief.
3 22 May New South Wales Tamworth 6-3 15-8 Du Preez; Hanekom
4 26 May Australia Sydney Cricket Ground 3-0 9-0 Nel; Retief
5 29 May Queensland Brisbane 26-0 47-3 Dryburg (6); Van Vollenhoven; Retief; Hanekom; Du Rand; De Nysschen
6 2 June Australia Brisbane 3-0 9-0 Retief; Dryburg


Continue reading

The 1993 Springbok tour to Australia

Second test – 14 August 1993 – Ballymore; Brisbane

This test was probably the test that made the biggest impression on me of all the test I’ve seen in my life mostly because of the way Australia played and won the test. The tactics they employed and the extraordinary precision of execution. 

South Africa re-entered the international rugby community in 1992 with a test against the All Blacks on 15 August 1992 and one against Australia on 22 August 1992 at home. The springboks lost both tests (24-27 against New Zealand and 3-26 against Australia). Most people can probably not even remember the test against Australia but the test against New Zealand are remembered for the two Danie Gerber –past his best- tries. Under the Captaincy of Naas Botha and with John Williams as coach South Africa went on an end of year tour to the UK and France in October and November 1992. The won the first one against France but were heavily criticized for the 10-man style of playing they employed in that match. South Africa succumbed to pressure and tried to play running rugby in the second test against the French and lost badly. They also lost their next (and last math of the tour) against England (16-33).  Continue reading

1963 Wallabies against South Africa

The last time the Wallabies won on the Highveld was in 1963 when they won two of the four tests to level the series. They lost the first test (14-3) at Loftus Versveld; won the second (9-5) at Newlands and the third one (11-9) at Ellis Park; losing the last one (22-6) at Boet Erasmus in Port Elizabeth.  

This 1963 series was interesting for a number of reasons but most importantly because the Wallaby success in this series was the result of a significant change thier approach towards the game. I wrote about this in some of my previous posts (65 Springboks in Australia) and referred in particular to the influence of a man by name of Norman McKenzie on Australian rugby. 

McKenzie after making a thorough study of New Zealand rugby started to promote the idea of pattern rugby in Australian; that is that Australia should start playing with less freedom and more structure and discipline and precision, on the basis of strong forward play. The main trust was that Australia should reduced the freedom and frilleries in their play and start concentrating upon careful, calculated planning, the reduction of mistakes to the lowest possible number, and the development of team-play to the kind of pattern favoured for many years in New Zealand.  Continue reading

The 65 Springboks – Test series against Australia

The 18 days (8 June, 1965 – 26 June, 1965) the Springboks spent in Australia read like a soap opera. There were so many petty and ridiculous off the field incidents, which were milked by the media for sensation, that it is actually ludicrous. 

Terry McLean put it as follows: Never in the field of rugby conflict can there have been so much fuss over so little. 

The Springboks were mostly the creators of these petty incidents, instead of focussing their attention on rugby and on their own game/practice sessions and preparation for the second test they kept themselves busy with all sorts of prima dona behaviour and then tried to justify their actions. Mostly childish acts resulting from the fact that neither the captain nor the two managers (Kobus Louw and Hennie Muller) were dynamic enough as leaders. 

There was the hotel issue; the vicious article in the Transvaler on Australian referees; the Piet Botha/Hawthorne incident and the invitation to an Army lunch. All these incidents occurred after the first test when the Springboks attention should have been on analysis of the first test and on tactics for the second test. One also get the idea (perhaps not consciously done or deliberately planned) that the Springboks were “happy” with the interest given to the off-field incidents because it draw the attention away from their poor performance during the first test.  Continue reading