Veteran SuperSport rugby commentator Hugh Bladen reaches a significant milestone on Saturday when he calls his 150th Test match in the Springboks’ match against Wales at Loftus Versveld. The match will be televised live on SuperSport 1 and M-Net from 14:00.
News 24 reports that Bladen fondly recalls his first Test match as a commentator, in the Springboks’ 12-10 win over the touring British Lions in the third Test in Port Elizabeth in 1980.
“That was the match where Gerrie Germishuys took a quick throw in and got the return to score a try in the corner. Naas Botha kicked the conversion and the Boks won 12-10.
“My co-commentator that day was Mickey Gerber and the rain was belting down. I do have fond memories of that day, but the most significant thing about it was the fact that the time went by in a flash. Before I knew it the final whistle was being blown and it was all over.”
Bladen’s first overseas assignment was for what in those days was known as M-Net Super Sport. Bladen and co-commentator Nelie Smith were sent to New Zealand for a Test match against France in 1986.
Passion for rugby
“We had no communications with anyone,” remembers Bladen. “Nelie and I sat in the commentary booth with our microphones and as the game was about to kick off I turned to him and said: “We’d better go”. We started to commentate without knowing if the broadcast was actually getting out or if there was anyone listening to it at the other end.
“Things have certainly come a long way since then. Everything has improved a hundredfold…the camera work, the communications and the equipment.”
One of Bladen’s strengths is his obvious passion for rugby, which comes through in his commentary.
“It is great to have got to 150 Tests. I can’t say I have another 150 in me, but I’ll carry on as long as SuperSport will have me!”Tweet