KSA Shark ©

SA vs NZ at Newlands Part 1, 1928-70

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Springboks on 13 Aug 2008 at 07:06

In 1928 the All Blacks toured South Africa for the first time. There were tours again in 1949, 1960, 1970, 1976 and 1996. They were wonderful occasions. And, of course, there would always be a Test at Newlands, always a wonderful occasion.

South Africa 5 – 13 New Zealand, on 1 September 1928

South Africa led the series 2-1 with the final Test at Newlands. After three Tests in perfect weather, there came the ‘Umbrella Test’ as the rain poured down.

For the first time the visitors chose the vice-captain Mark Nicholls. He played at inside centre and outkicked Bennie Osler, the masterful kicker of his time, the man who invented tactical kicking. The sides each scored a try, but Nicholls’s boot gave his side a thoroughly deserved victory.

The earlier omission of Nicholls is one of rugby’s mysteries. One theory is that there was a personality clash with captain Maurice Brownlie, who found him too crude. Another was that he was not robust enough for Springbok power. Though he wrote a book on the tour and several other articles, he never discussed his omission.

Nicholls scored a penalty soon after the start but a try by JC van der Westhuizen gave the Springboks a lead which Nicholls wiped out with a great penalty to make the half-time score 6-5.

The Springboks had the wind in the second half, but the All Blacks did the scoring – a try by Tuna Swain from a dribbling rush and a Nicholls drop from a scrum.

Nicholls wrote: ‘The game will always live as an example of what determination and confidence can achieve with the biggest odds facing a team.’


For New Zealand:
Try: Swain.
Pens: Nicholls (2).
Drop: Nicholls.

For South Africa:
Try: Van der Westhuizen.
Con: Osler.

New Zealand:
HT Lilburne, ACC Robilliard, MF Nicholls, FW Lucas, BA Grenside, LM Johnson, WC Dalley, RT Stewart, WE Hazlett, IH Harvey, I Finlayson, MJ Brownlie (captain), JP Swain, S Hadley, RG McWilliams.

South Africa:
JC Tindall, PK Morkel, JC van der Westhuizen, Western Province Rousseau, JA van Niekerk, BL Osler, P du P de Villiers, GM Daneel, NF Pretorius, NJV van Druten, AF du Toit, PJ Nel, MM Louw, PJ Mostert (captain), JF Oliver.

Referee: VH Neser (South Africa).

South Africa 15 – 11 New Zealand, on 16 July 1949

It was the first Springbok Test after World War II and against their greatest foe. For the first time since the first Test in 1891, the Springboks had an entire team of new caps, getting together for the first time on the Thursday before the match.

Before the Test, Boy Louw said to the Springboks: ‘When South Africa plays New Zealand, consider your country at war.’

Newlands was packed for the match. Many broke in and many were turned away.

Hennie Muller, the great Springbok eighthman and, later, captain, was in the pack. He said of the first match of a series: ‘The opening Test match of a series is rather like a blind date – one never knows how it is going to turn out! The players in both sides are a bundle of nerves. They do not know quite what to expect and anything is liable to happen.’

It was a match in which a world record was broken. The All Blacks led 11-3 at half-time, but Felix du Plessis’s team gradually found one another, Muller went marauding, and Okey Geffin kept finding the goal posts. He kicked a record five penalties as the Springboks crept up and then overtook the All Black score and won the match. Afterwards Bob Scott, the great All Black fullback, one of the greatest of all time, wept in the dressing room because he had failed where Geffin had succeeded.

Despondency tuned to hope and then euphoria in the packed ground as policemen threw their helmets in the air and did somersaults on the sidelines.


For South Africa:
Pens: Geffin (5).

For New Zealand:
Try: Henderson.
Con: Scott.
Pen: Scott.
Drop: Kearney

South Africa:
JH van der Schyff, FP Marais, MT Lategan, FP Duvenage, C Moss, JD Brewis, JJ Wahl, HSV Muller, LJ Strydom, BS van der Merwe, F du Plessis (captain), HV Koch, AO Geffin, RP Jordaan, CJ van Jaarsveld.

New Zealand:
RWH Scott, EG Boggs, FR Allen (captain), RR Elvidge, P Henderson, JC Kearney, LT Savage, NH Thornton, JR McNab, LA Grant, LR Harvey, C Willocks, JG Simpson, EH Catley, KL Skinner.

Referee: EWN Hofmeyr (South Africa).

South Africa 3 – 11 New Zealand, on 23 July 1960

This was the last New Zealand team to tour South Africa without Polynesian representation.

This was the second Test in the series, and South Africa had won the first. The All Blacks were too proud a team to take defeat lightly, especially (as was the case in this era) when the championship of the world was contested between these two nations.

Cometh the hour cometh the man, and that man at Newlands that day was the big, powerful fullback Don Clarke who, it seemed, could kick the ball out of sight if he chose to do so.

That day he chose to kick it over the posts for eight of the points in the All Blacks’ 11-3 victory that levelled the series.
That thumping boot was like a kick in the pants to the Springboks. Not only did Clarke kick a penalty, a left–footed drop and the conversion of a try by Colin Meads, but his huge 70- to 80-yard touch-finders kept foiling the Springboks whenever they got into the All Black 25-yard area.

When Clarke converted Meads’s try, he reached his 100 points for the tour. He ended with 175 points, then a record for a tour of South Africa.

Oxlee scored South Africa’s only points with a try after a clever jinking run that had several defenders diving at his shadow. His was an auspicious start to a fabulous career that was eventually to gain him recognition as one of the legendary Springbok flyhalves.


For New Zealand:
Try: Meads.
Con: DB Clarke.
Pen: DB Clarke.
Drop: DB Clarke.

For South Africa:
Try: Oxlee.

New Zealand:
DB Clarke, JR Watt, KF Laidlaw, TR Lineen, RF McMullen, SR Nesbit, KC Briscoe, CE Meads, DJ Graham, KR Tremain, IN MacEwan, RH Horsley, IJ Clarke, D Young, WJ Whineray (captain).

South Africa:
RG Dryburgh (captain), JGM Antelme, JL Gainsford, AI Kirkpatrick, HJ van Zyl, K Oxlee, RJ Lockyear, JA Nel, HJM Pelser, GH van Zyl, JT Claassen, AS Malan, PS du Toit, AJ van der Merwe, AC Koch.

Referee: MJ Slabber (South Africa).

South Africa 8 – 9 New Zealand, on 8 August 1970

Again it was the second Test of the series and again the Springboks had won the first, 17-6 in Pretoria. This second Test may just be the most brutal ever played between the two countries.

Those worst injured were hooker Piston van Wyk whose gashed face stopped his match, but the major upset was caused by Fergie McCormick. The Springboks counterattacked. Syd Nomis kicked ahead and a try was a distinct possibility, but McCormick swing a left elbow into Nomis’s face, knocking out two teeth and stopping his pursuit of the ball.

Not that the All Blacks came out of it unscathed. McCormick needed five stitches in a scalp wound, Alan Sutherland six in a face wound and Ian McRae five in a hand wound. Add in Van Wyk’s six and you have a Test of 22 stitches.

Chris Laidlaw got a try off Springbok bumbling at a line-out near their own line and Ian Kirkpatrick got a driving try to take the score to 6-0 at half-time.

Then Joggie Jansen, who was so influential in the series with his shuddering tackling, surged through for a powerful try and the Springboks led 8-6 only to see the All Blacks win in injury time. They attacked down their left and won a quick ruck, moving right. But Mannetjies Roux, who was retreating, was penalised for being off-side when he jumped on Bill Davis. McCormick slotted the penalty and the All Blacks deserved their victory.


For New Zealand:
Tries: Laidlaw, Kirkpatrick.
Pen: McCormick.

For South Africa:
Try: Jansen.
Con: McCallum.
Pen: McCallum.

New Zealand:
WF McCormick, BG Williams, IR MacRae, WL Davis, GS Thorne, EW Kirton, CR Laidlaw, BJ Lochore (captain), AJ Wyllie, IA Kirkpatrick, SC Strachan, AR Sutherland, BL Müller, BE McLeod, AE Hopkinson.

South Africa:
ID McCallum, SH Nomis, F du T Roux, JS Jansen, GH Müller, PJ Visagie, DJ de Villiers (captain), AJ Bates, JH Ellis, PJF Greyling, JJ Spies, FCH du Preez, JFK Marais, JFB van Wyk (RW Barnard), JB Neethling.

Referee: WC Malan (South Africa).

Article Courtesy of Rugby 365


  • I hate to see an article with no comments.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.08.08 14:29:05 by McLovin Reply
  • Anyway it’s much a matter of opinion, so very debatable, whether in 1970 the All Blacks deserved to snatch a late victory in the Newlands’ test.

    Ref Malan did not blow the whistle when Mc Cormick’s hand broke two teeths in Nomis’ mouth but it was a penalty try for us.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.08.08 19:09:13 by Die Jood Reply
    Die Jood
  • @Die Jood (Comment 2) : hey – you’re not Sid Nomis, are you? 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.08.08 20:02:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Rob. Did u enjoy ur trip over to the dark side?

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.08.08 20:41:19 by wpw Reply
  • Rob. Did u enjoy ur trip over to the dark side?

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.08.08 20:41:19 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 4) : Not that I can ever count on any backup when I go out there fighting on behalf of my downtrodden brothers! Not sure why I bother 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.08.08 20:47:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Ive given up bru…

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.08.08 20:57:44 by wpw Reply
  • Im bored… Ag, let me go burp the new boss + change a nappy or two. 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.08.08 21:00:05 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 8) :
    If you have to burp your boss and change his nappies…you must be an able semen :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.08.08 21:25:00 by Kal-El Reply

  • @Kal-El (Comment 9) : Oy! Not in my lounge, thanks!

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.08.08 21:40:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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