It was the Springboks’ best performance of the tour. A real confidence booster after the shock defeat against the University side but at the same time a game that had a negative impact in more than one way. It showed New Zealand the danger of allowing the Springboks space to play the Craven-linking pattern. Not that New Zealand was unaware of the Springbok style but it re-affirmed the necessity of keeping the Springboks on the back foot.
The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) have announced that will be raising funds for former player, Tinus Linee at next week’s Super Rugby match between the Stormers and the Reds at Newlands.
Former Springbok Tinus Linee has been diagnosed with the same disease suffered by former Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen, it was reported on Tuesday.
Noticeably, conversation about the 1956 tour always detour to the match against the New Zealand Universities. Historically, it was the first time a New Zealand University team played against an international touring side but this match is synonymous with the 1956 tour for other reasons. The fact that the Universities team won is also not really the main reason why Kiwi’s still rate this match as the best match of the tour. It was the manner in which the Universities team won that delighted the New Zealand rugby fraternity. All the good football came from the home side. The backs demonstrated opportunism, sensible anticipation and application while the pack totally dominated proceedings. The game is nevertheless mostly remembered as the game of the great Ron Jardon ‘try-that-wasn’t’. A great howl went up in protest when Jardon was called back after a spectacular 65 meter run through almost the entire Springbok team (listen to Winston McCarthy highlights of the match here) and old-timers almost without exception still mention the Jardon try to this day whenever the 1956 tour are under discussion.
After the trails for the selection of a Springbok side to tour the United Kingdom in 1931 the general feeling among selectors was that another equally strong Springboks side could easily be selected. That is a second Springbok team of almost equal ability that could potentially challenge if not beat the side that was selected to tour.
A tour was consequently arranged for these unlucky players to Argentina and the team was officially called the Gazelle. This tour took place in 1932 under the management of Paul Roos and the captaincy of Joe Nykamp. The side consisting of uncapped players wore blue shirts emblazoned with springbok head, red stockings and white shorts. They played eight matches; won all of them and scored 269 points with only 24 points scored against them. The two matches against a representative Argentinian side the Gazelles won 42-0 and 34-3 respectively. Gimnasia y Esgrima, a club coached and captained by B.H Heatlie gave the South African Gazelles stern opposition and lost by only 11-5 in the last game of the tour. Heatlie was the man who captained South Africa in their first ever international against a British touring side.
We take a look at Springbok participation in the Tri-Nations (now expanded and renamed The Rugby Championship).
The Springboks took part in the Southern Hemisphere’s premier international competition just five years after being readmitted to international competition in the 90′s.
With the news this week that Springbok great, Jan Ellis, passed away at the age of 71, I just had to write this tribute to Jan.
Jan Ellis personifies Springbok rugby for me. It has been said that as humans we think in pictures. When we think of something we see a picture of some sorts and this picture can differ from one person to the next, which is why we sometimes voice the same words but come up with different understanding or meaning. The best communicators are those who can create clear and vivid pictures in the mind of his listeners.
When I think of Springbok rugby I see Jan Ellis. Hard, uncompromising, fast with a touch of artistic moodiness and flair but with relentless motivation to succeed based on a staunch work ethic and absolute conviction of what is right and wrong – that is Jan Ellis in a nutshell, for me.
So, I don’t see all that, I just see pictures of Jan Ellis flashing through my mind.
(see the photo gallery I’ve created of Jan Ellis here).
The analogy between the Springboks and Jan Ellis, for me, came along probably because I had so many pictures of Jan Ellis when I started with my sampling of rugby pictures in 1970. I was born in Windhoek, South West Africa (now Namibia) and Jan was SWA’s second Springbok, the first being Sias Swart.
The South African Rugby Union on Friday expressed its deep sadness at the passing of legendary former Springbok looseforward, Jan Ellis.
The one-time joint record holder for the number of Springbok caps succumbed to cancer at a hospice in Pretoria after suffering from the disease for some time. He celebrated his 71st birthday in January.
The 1974 Tour of the Lions to South Africa was undoubtedly the most unsettling tour ever for Springbok rugby. Touring unbeaten through South Africa superior in every aspect in virtually every single match including the test matches it was a massive wake-up call for South African rugby.
I was 12 years old when this tour eventuated. In my mind at that time the Springboks had an aura of invincibility. I was too young to know about the 1956 and 1965 tours as the patriotic Afrikaans media did not write much about it. The country was still in euphoria after the 1970 victory over Lochore’s All Blacks and the unbeaten 1971 tour to Australia. It was never said in so many words but generally the 1972 loss against England was seen as just a hiccup; a fleeting glitch due to team selections and underestimation of the opposition.
Doctor Louis Luyt, a big man and bigger figure in Rugby Circles in South African Rugby, passed away ealier today, 1 February 2013.
First match: 15 May 1956 – Canberra
South Africa 41 / Australian Capital Territory (ACT) 6
Promoting rugby union was paramount in Australia when the Springboks arrived in 1956. Consequently -soon after arrival- at a civic reception at the Sydney Town Hall Danie Craven and Basie Viviers promised to play open attractive rugby to help rugby union in their battle for player volume against rugby league.
The team travelled to Canberra for the first match against an Australian Capital Territory team. This match was not part of the original tour itinerary and was arranged as a tribute to the resolute efforts of local administrators to gain footing for union rugby in an area with a population basis slightly bigger than Paarl in Cape Province, South Africa.
Former Australia coach Bob Dwyer was recovering in hospital Thursday after suffering a heart attack, the Australian Rugby Union said.
Morne van der Merwe, ex WP and Stormers prop, has only days to live.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago and his wife, Cindy, is hurriedly putting together mementoes of his life to keep for the couple.s two young boys.
Ian Kirkpatrick, great rugby man, died suddenly at his home in Helderberg Village on Sunday. He was 82. His influence on South African rugby over six decades cannot be overestimated.
On Friday he complained of a ‘stomach upset’ and cancelled a meeting with an overseas company about to make a documentary on the 1974 tour, when Kirkpatrick was a national selector.
His playing career was great. He left Kimberley Boys’ high and at the age of 19 and played for Griquas. The next year he went to the Springbok trials at Newlands when the great Springbok team was chosen for the 1951-52 tour. In 1953 he made his Springbok debut against the Wallabies at Newlands, playing flyhalf.
Kirkie played for South Africa in 13 Tests. Of the 13 two were lost, and on each occasion it was at Newlands (against Australia and France) and he was at flyhalf. In 10 Tests he was at centre in partnership with John Gainsford.
Third Test – Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 18 August 1956
New Zealand 17 / South Africa 10
Skinner: “From what I’ve read over the years you’d have thought the fighting in that third test lasted the entire game, but that simply wasn’t true. There were only two punches – one that floored Koch and the one that stopped Bekker.”
Don Clarke: “Kevin Skinner is quite a modest man but I saw his knuckles after the match.”