In the last 97 years South Africa have played England at Twickenham 16 times and honours are even – eight Tests all. They are not the only times the Springboks have played at Twickenham, just the grandest occasions.
When South Africa’s first toured Europe, Twickenham did not exist and South Africa played England at Crystal Palace.
Twickenham was brought into action in 1910 and the Springboks first played there in 1913 when Billy Millar’s team went on tour, On the very first occasion the Springboks played at Twickenham, they lost – beaten 10-8 by London Counties who were awarded a penalty try. Later in the tour, the Springboks played England at Twickenham and beat therm 9-3, the first team to beat England at Twickenham. The Springboks then beat England another three times in a row – in 1932, 1952 and 1961.
1. South Africa beat England 9-3 on 4 January 1913
The match had a sensational start. England’s Ronnie Poulton cut through, swerved twice and scored a brilliant try, which Billy Millar described as ’the most magnificent I have ever seen’. He scored behind the posts, but the con was missed. Shortly afterwards, from a scrum well inside the England half, Poulton set off again, but this time Boet McHardy mowed him down a yard from the Springbok line.
After those starting shocks, the Springboks took control. Dick Luyt intercepted a pass, broke and fed Jan Stegmann who passed inside to Jackie Morkel who scored.
In the second half the Springboks were with the wind and Dougie Morkel scored two winning penalties, the second from some 50 yards out.
The Luyts were brothers – the only trio of brothers to play together in a rugby Test.
Both try-scorers Poulton and Morkel died in World War I. Poulton was shot by a sniper in Belgium. His last words were said to have been: ‘I shall never play at Twickenham again.’
England: Try – Poulton.
South Africa: Try – JWH Morkel. Pens – DFT Morkel (2)
England: WR Johnston, CN Lowe, RW Poulton, FM Stoop, VHM Coates, WJA Davies, WI Cheesman, JAS Ritson, SEJ Smart, CH Pillman, AL Kewney, LG Brown, JE Greenwood, NA Wodehouse (captain), JA King.
South Africa: PG Morkel, JA Stegmann, JWH Morkel, RR Luyt, EE McHardy, FP Luyt, JD McCulloch, JD Luyt, JAJ Francis, AS Knight, SH Ledger, WH Morkel, EH Shum, TFJ van Vuuren, DFT Morkel (captain).
2. South Africa beat England on 2 January 1932
Twickenham was covered with bales of straw in an attempt to keep it dry during the snow and rain of the preceding week. The day itself was rain-free despite low cloud.
The only score in the first half was a dubious try by Ferdie Bergh. Bennie Osler had dropped for goal from a penalty and missed. The ball went across the posts towards the far touch-in-goal line. Robert Barr, the England fullback, took a long time about dotting down and Bergh, the only Springbok following up, dived on the ball and was awarded the try to the surprise of many, including Bergh.
The match’s greatest moment came in the last 30 seconds. Gerry Brand collected Barr’s attempted touch kick on the touchline just inside his own half and into the wind kicked one of rugby’s longest dropped goals. From point to pitch the kick was said to have measured 85 yards (78m) and the English press dubbed him ‘Firebrand’.
The team played three other matches at Twickenham, beating London Counties 30-3 and 16-8 and Combined Services 23-0.
South Africa: Try – Bergh. Drop goal – Brand
England: RJ Barr, CC Tanner, RA Gerrard, JA Tallent, CD Aarvold (captain), RS Spong, WH Sobey, LE Saxby, AJ Rowley, J McD Hodgson, CSH Webb, RGS Hobbs, AD Carpenter, GG Gregory, DJ Norman.
South Africa: GH Brand, M Zimerman, FW Waring, BG Gray, JH van der Westhuizen, BL Osler (captain), P du P de Villiers, GM Daneel, JAJ McDonald, LC Strachan, WFvRvO Bergh, PJ Nel, PJ Mostert, HG Kipling, MM Louw.
3. South Africa beat England 8-3 on 5 January 1952
The score flattered the home team, ‘though England fought all the way and play, on a soft, slippery surface, was open enough to please the crowd of 70 000′.
South Africa had two tries disallowed and England was lucky to be awarded their try – a touchdown following a failed penalty - according to match reports. Fonnie du Toit sneaked over from a five-yard scrum for South Africa’s solitary try.
London Counties beat the Springboks 11-9 at Twickenham and the Springboks beat Combined Services 24-8.
England: Try – Winn.
South Africa: Try – Du Toit. Con – Muller. Pen – Muller.
England: WG Hook, JE Woodward, AE Agar, LB Cannell, CE Winn, NM Hall (captain), G Rimmer, J MacGK Kendall-Carpenter, AO Lewis, DF White, DT Wilkins, JRC Matthews, RV Stirling, E Evans, WA Holmes.
South Africa: JU Buchler, PGA Johnstone, MT Lategan, RAM van Schoor, JK Ochse, JD Brewis, PA du Toit, HSV Muller (captain), SP Fry, CJ van Wyk, EE Dinkelmann, JA du Rand, HPJ Bekker, WH Delport, AC Koch.
4. South Africa beat England 6-0 on 7 January 1961
It was a dull match on during a miserable winter. Doug Hopwood scored a try and then the Springboks kicked Twickenham to booing.
The Times wrote: ‘Booing is an ugly, moronic noise at the best of times, and is usually started by those who least understand the game. But also to whistle and give the slow handclap to a player as he runs up for a place kick is worse than lack of sportsmanship; it is rank bad manners.’
England, packing 3-2-3, wheeled a scrum, 35 yards from their line, but lost control. Johan Claassen gathered and fed Hopwood who sold a dummy to the touchline. Off he charged and with a long dive scored the only try.
The Springboks beat London Counties 20-3 and Combined Services 14-5 at Twickenham.
South Africa: Try – Hopwood. Con – Du Preez.
England: D Rutherford, JRC Young, MP Weston, WM Patterson, J Roberts, ABW Risman, REG Jeeps (captain), WGD Morgan, LI Rimmer, PGD Robbins, JD Currie, RWD Marques, CR Jacobs, SAM Hodgson, TP Wright.
South Africa: LG Wilson, JP Engelbrecht, JL Gainsford, AI Kirkpatrick, HJ van Zyl, DA Stewart, P de W Uys, DJ Hopwood, FCH du Preez, GH van Zyl, JT Claassen, AS Malan (captain), PS du Toit, GF Malan, SP Kuhn.
5. England beat South Africa 11-8 on 20 December 1969
This was a match at the time of vigorous demonstrations against the Springboks because of opposition to apartheid.
England beat South Africa for the first time in 63 years and may have been fortunate. John Pullin was give a try after Dawie de Villiers had dotted down and Andy van der Watt was blown for a knock-on that went a long way behind him to Mike Lawless with an open line.
At Twickenham Oxford beat the Springboks 6-3 and the Springboks beat London Counties 22-6 and the Barbarians 21-12
England: Tries – Larter, Pullin. Con – Hiller. Pen – Hiller.
South Africa: Try – Greyling. Con – Visagie. Pen – Visagie.
England: R Hiller (captain) (CS Wardlow), KJ Fielding, JS Spencer, DJ Duckham, PM Hale, IR Shackleton, NC Starmer-Smith, RB Taylor, BR West, AL Bucknall, AM Davis, PJ Larter, HE Fairbrother, JV Pullin, CB Stevens.
South Africa: HO de Villiers, SH Nomis, OA Roux, E Olivier (MJ Lawless), AE van der Watt, PJ Visagie, DJ de Villiers (captain), TP Bedford, AJ Bates, PJF Greyling, IJ de Klerk, AE de Wet, JFK Marais, DC Walton, JL Myburgh.
6. England beat South Africa 33-16 on 14 November 1992
The Springboks were back from isolation but not away from defeat as they visited Europe and were embarrassed in France and then, after a three-week break, at Twickenham as the English forwards rolled over them.
England: Tries – T Underwood, Guscott, Morris, Carling. Cons – Webb (2). Pens – Webb (3).
South Africa: Try – Strauss. Con – Botha. Pens – Botha (2). Drop goal – Botha.
England: JM Webb, T Underwood (PR de Glanville), WDC Carling (captain), JC Guscott, R Underwood, CR Andrew, CD Morris, BB Clarke, PJ Winterbottom, MC Teague, WA Dooley, MC Bayfield, VE Ubogu, BC Moore, J Leonard.
South Africa: JTJ van Rensburg, JT Small, DM Gerber, PG Müller, J Olivier, HE Botha (captain), GD Wright, AJ Richter, FC Smit, CP Strauss, AW Malan, H Hattingh, KS Andrews, WG Hills, JJ Styger.
7. South Africa beat England 24-14 on 18 November 1995
The Springboks were just too fast for England and ran their pack to fatigue. Only a penalty count of 28-7 saved England from further humiliation.
England: Try – De Glanville. Pens – Callard (3).
South Africa: Tries – Williams (2), Van der Westhuizen. Pens – Stransky (3).
England: JEB Callard, DP Hopley, WDC Carling (captain) (PR de Glanville), JC Guscott, R Underwood, MJ Catt, KPP Bracken, BB Clarke, RA Robinson, TAK Rodber (LBN Dallaglio), MC Bayfield, MO Johnson, VE Ubogu, MP Regan, J Leonard.
South Africa: AJ Joubert, J Olivier (JT Small), JC Mulder, HP le Roux, CM Williams, JT Stransky, JH van der Westhuizen, JF Pienaar (captain), FJ van Heerden, RJ Kruger (RAW Straeuli), MG Andrews, JJ Wiese, TG Laubscher, J Dalton, A van der Linde.
8. South Africa beat England 29-11 on 29 November 1997
this was till then the biggest-ever defeat for England at Twickenham. The Springboks were much the better side, especially as England were without Martin Johnson.
the highlight of the match was a try by André Snyman.
England: Try – Greenstock. Pens – Catt (2).
South Africa: Tries – Garvey, Snyman, Andrews, Swanepoel. Cons – Honiball (2), Montgomery. Pen – Honiball.
England: MB Perry, J Bentley (AS Healey), WJH Greenwood, NJJ Greenstock, DL Rees, MJ Catt (PJ Grayson), MJS Dawson, RA Hill (CMA Sheasby), NA Back, LBN Dallaglio (captain), GS Archer, DJ Grewcock (SD Shaw), DJ Garforth, R Cockerill, J Leonard.
South Africa: PC Montgomery, JT Small, AH Snyman, DJ Muir, PWG Rossouw, HW Honiball, W Swanepoel, GH Teichmann (captain), AG Venter (RB Skinstad – Temp), AD Aitken, MG Andrews, K Otto, AC Garvey, J Dalton, JP du Randt.
9. England beat South Africa 13-7 on 5 December 1998
After 17 successive wins, equalling the world record, England ran out deserved winners of the dominated Springboks. This started a period of English domination at Twickenham.
England: Try – Guscott. Con – Dawson. Pens – Dawson (2).
South Africa: Try – Rossouw. Con – Montgomery.
England: ND Beal, T Underwood (DL Rees), JC Guscott, PR de Glanville (AD King), DD Luger, MJ Catt, MJS Dawson, RA Hill, NA Back, LBN Dallaglio (captain), TAK Rodber (DJ Grewcock), MO Johnson, DJ Garforth, R Cockerill, J Leonard.
South Africa: PC Montgomery, CS Terblanche, AH Snyman, JC Stewart, PWG Rossouw, HW Honiball, JH van der Westhuizen (W Swanepoel), GH Teichmann (captain), RB Skinstad, J Erasmus, MG Andrews (AG Venter), K Otto, AC Garvey (A-H le Roux), J Dalton, RB Kempson
10. England beat South Africa 26-17 on 2 December 2000
The match was open, fast and there for the Springboks whose finishing was poor.
England: Try – Greenwood. Con – Wilkinson. Pens – Wilkinson (6).
South Africa: Try – Van Straaten. Pens – Van Straaten (4).
England: MB Perry, BC Cohen, MJ Tindall, WJH Greenwood (AS Healey), DD Luger (IR Balshaw), JP Wilkinson, MJS Dawson, LBN Dallaglio, NA Back (ME Corry – Temp), RA Hill (MP Regan – Temp), DJ Grewcock, MO Johnson (captain), JM White (PJ Vickery), PBT Greening (MP Regan), J Leonard.
South Africa: PC Montgomery, BJ Paulse, RF Fleck, JC Mulder (G Esterhuizen – Temp), CS Terblanche, AJJ van Straaten, JH van der Westhuizen (DJ van Zyl), AN Vos (captain), AG Venter, CPJ Krige, MG Andrews, PA van den Berg (AJ Venter) (WG Brosnihan), W Meyer (A-H le Roux), JW Smit, RB Kempson.
11. England beat South Africa 29-9 on 24 November 2001
This was, up till then, England’s biggest win over the Springboks who went tryless. Discipline cost the Springboks dearly as Jonny Wilkinson kicked seven penalty goals. The only try was scored by Dan Luger off a silly pass by Bob Skinstad,
England: Try – Luger. Pens – Wilkinson (7). Drop goal – Catt.
South Africa: Pens – Van Straaten (3).
England: J Robinson, AS Healey, WJH Greenwood, MJ Catt (MJ Tindall), DD Luger, JP Wilkinson, KPP Bracken, JPR Worsley, NA Back, RA Hill (LW Moody), DJ Grewcock, MO Johnson (captain) (BJ Kay), PJ Vickery, DE West, GC Rowntree.
South Africa: CA Jantjes, BJ Paulse, TM Halstead, AJJ van Straaten, DB Hall, LJ Koen, JH van der Westhuizen, RB Skinstad (captain), AJ Venter, AN Vos (CPJ Krige), MG Andrews (AG Venter – Temp) (AG Venter), V Matfield, W Meyer (IJ Visagie – Temp) (IJ Visagie), JW Smit (L van Biljon), A-H le Roux.
12. England beat South Africa 53-3 on 23 November 2002
It was a wonderful day for England with this massive win but such was the ill discipline and nastiness of the Springboks that that took some of the gloss off the England achievement. For the Springboks it was a day of dishonour, for rugby a day of shame.
Jannes Labuschagne was sent off in the first half.
England: Tries – Cohen, Greenwood (2), Penalty try, Back, Hill, Dallaglio. Cons – Wilkinson, Dawson, Gomarsall (2), Stimpson (2). Pens – Wilkinson (2).
South Africa: Pen – Pretorius.
England: J Robinson, BC Cohen, WJH Greenwood (TRG Stimpson), MJ Tindall, P Christophers, JP Wilkinson (AS Healey), MJS Dawson (ACT Gomarsall), RA Hill, NA Back, LW Moody (LBN Dallaglio), BJ Kay (DJ Grewcock), MO Johnson (captain), PJ Vickery, S Thompson, J Leonard.
South Africa: WW Greeff, BJ Paulse (RB Russell), RF Fleck, AD James, F Lombard, AS Pretorius (AA Jacobs), JH Conradie (N Jordaan), JC van Niekerk, PJ Wannenburg, CPJ Krige (captain), AJ Venter, JJ Labuschagne, PD Carstens (CJ van der Linde), J Dalton (L van Biljon), WG Roux.
13. England beat South Africa 32-16 on 20 November 2004
The weather was miserable but England were magnificent and the Springboks were never in the game.
England: Tries – Hodgson, Cueto. Cons – Hodgson (2). Pens – Hodgson (5). Drop – Hodgson
South Africa: Try – Habana. Con – Montgomery. Pens – Montgomery (3).
England: 15 J Robinson (captain), 14 MJ Cueto, 13 MJ Tindall, 12 H Paul (WJH Greenwood), 11 OJ Lewsey, 10 C Hodgson, 9 ACT Gomarsall (H Ellis), 8 ME Corry, 6 JPR Worsley, 7 LW Moody (A Hazell), 5 SW Borthwick (BJ Kay), 4 D Grewcock, 3 JM White, 2 S Thompson, 1 GC Rowntree.
South Africa: 15 PC Montgomery, 14 BJ Paulse, 13 MC Joubert, 12 De W Barry, 11 J de Villiers (BG Habana), 10 JNB van der Westhuyzen, 9 PF du Preez, 8 JC van Niekerk, 7 AJ Venter (DJ Rossouw), 6 SWP Burger, 5 V Matfield, 4 JP Botha, 3 Eastern Province Andrews (CJ van der Linde), 2 JW Smit (captain), 1 JP du Randt.
14. England beat South Africa 23-21 on 18 November 2006
South Africa had much the better of the game but with seven minutes to play prop Phil Vickery scored the try which won the match, for it gave Andy Goode an easy con.
England: Tries – Cueto, Vickery. Cons – Goode (2). Pens – Hodgson (2), Goode.
South Africa: Tries – James, Ndungane. Con – James. Pens – James (2). Drop: Steyn
England: OJ Lewsey, MJ Cueto, M Tait, ID Noon, BC Cohen, CC Hodgson (AJ Goode), PC Richards (S Perry), ME Corry (captain), PH Sanderson (LW Moody), JPR Worsley, BJ Kay (CM Jones), T Palmer, JM White, GS Chuster (LA Mears), AJ Sheridan (PJ Vickery).
South Africa: FPL Steyn, AZ Ndungane, W Olivier, J de Villiers, BG Habana, AD James (AS Pretorius), ER Januarie (R Pienaar), J Cronjé (H Lobberts), DJ Rossouw, PJ Spies, GJ Muller, JN Ackermann (PA van den Berg), BJ Botha, JW Smit (captain), CJ van der Linde (PD Carstens).
15. South Africa beat England 25-14 on 25 November 2006
England led 14-3 and then South Africa scored 13 points just before half-time and André Pretorius four goals.
England: Try – Cueto. Pens – Goode (3).
South Africa: Try – Van der Linde Con – Pretorius. Pens – Pretorius (2). Drops: Pretorius 4
England: OJ Lewsey, MJ Cueto, M Tait, ID Noon, BC Cohen, AJ Goode (T Flood), PC Richards (S Perry), ME Corry (captain), PH Sanderson (LW Moody), JPR Worsley, CM Jones, T Palmer (BJ Kay), JM White, LA Mears (GS Chuster), PJ Vickery.
South Africa: FPL Steyn, AZ Ndungane, W Olivier, J de Villiers, BG Habana, AS Pretorius, ER Januarie, DJ Rossouw, JH Smith (PA van den Berg), L Floors (GH Brits), GJ Muller (MC Ralepelle), JN Ackermann, BJ Botha, JW Smit (captain), CJ van der Linde (PD Carstens)
16. South Africa beat England 42-6 on 22 November 2008
It was icy at Twickenham and for England even colder as they suffered their biggest defeat at Twickenham ever. The Springboks scored five tries to nil.
England: Pens – Cipriani (2)
South Africa: Tries – Rossouw, Pienaar, Jacobs, Fourie, Habana. Cons – Pienaar 3, Steyn. Pens – Pienaar (3)
England: 15 D Armitage, 14 PH Sackey, 13 JD Noon, 12 RJ Flutey, 11 U Monye, 10 D Cipriani, 9 D Care, 8 N Easter, 7 T Rees (T Croft), 6 J Haskell, 5 T Palmer (SD Shaw), 4 SM Borthwick (captain), 3 PJ Vickery (MJH Stevens), 2 LA Mears (D Hartley), 1 TAN Payne.
South Africa: 15 CA Jantjes, 14 J-PR Pietersen, 13 AA Jacobs (J Fourie), 12 J de Villiers, 11 BG Habana, 10 R Pienaar (FPL Steyn), 9 ER Januaries, 8 PJ Spies HW Brüssow), 7 DJ Rossouw (R Kankowski), 6 SWP Burger, 5 V Matfield, 4 JP Botha (A Bekker), 3 JN du Plessis (BV Mujati), 2 JW Smit (captain) (MC Ralepelle), 1 T MtawariraTweet