105 Comments

  1. @Grasshopper: Standardized rules by SA Rugby came into play during this year where the school you matriculated is officially given as the players school. Paul Roos “lost” 3 of their claimed Boks like this. It’s still a contentious issue in some way as some players played up until Gr 11 for their old schools and moved because their parents got transferred etc and the old school who actually groomed the player never gets the recognition. But some guidelines needed to be laid down else the numbers per school would never match up with the total no of Boks. There is still some 55 odd Pre WW players who’s schools could not be identified. Clarkson is listed as Maritzburg College yes.

    ReplyReply
  2. @Grasshopper: All I have is that Clarkson was on the 1917 College admissions register, which means that he should have matriculated in 1921. If he matriculated at Glenwood that would have been the first year that College played against Glenwood. Perhaps he went to Glenwood to do a trade, it was still known as Durban Technical High School back then.

    Interesting that he played his debut in 1921 so there appears to be something a little off, unless he took 2 or three years to arrive at Glenwood, numbers don’t really add up.

    ReplyReply
  3. @Grasshopper: I wonder where Schoolsportsnews got their info – they don’t share that. They will clear up a long standing mystery if they do share their research.

    ReplyReply
  4. To rank these schools, the only stat applicable is the “post isolation” stat. Most of the schools up north is fairly young compared to the mountain goat schools. Is like saying WP won 30 something Currie Cups but neglecting to say they were the only team playing in the competition for 15 years. Post isolation. Surprised that Bishops got more players than the likes of Monnas and Affies. Nellies “”skop ook gat” in tenth place :evil:

    ReplyReply
  5. @Woltrui: Ag nee man…We cant help it if you only learned to play decent rugby after 1950 up north…Remember that N-Tvl played with Tvl as one province up to around 1950…they competed in the Currie Cup since the 1920’s…and those Northern schools are not much younger…Affies and the likes are older than 100 years…Bok rugby is only 108 years old!..Go look at the Post Isolation school stats per region or province..we are still skopping your gatte! :mrgreen:

    ReplyReply
  6. @BoishaaiPa: Yep, Affies founded in 1921. The big question is not how old the school is but when they started to play rugby, I bet most only started post 1900. Glenwood started in 1911 with regular annual fixtures with DHS, College, Hilton and Michaelhouse kicking off early 1920’s. I bet most Cape Schools only really started playing derby fixtures around the same time, bar of course SACS & Bishops…

    ReplyReply
  7. @Gungets Tuft: yep, I’m aware of those. I’m talking about regular annual derbies. These were only really set up post 1900. The 1st world war disrupted this quite a bit. Look at most schools traditional fixtures, started early 20’s…

    ReplyReply
  8. @Roger: according to my grandfather, who was there between 1938 & 1942, proper annual fixtures only started late 1930’s when he played 1st team lock…

    ReplyReply
  9. @Roger: Derby days Roger, that’s when they started playing against College, and it’s still not really even a “derby” in that sense. According to Derby Days the first real KES derby started against Jeppe in 1935, although there were matches against St Johns and Pretoria Boys in 1932.

    ReplyReply
  10. @Gungets Tuft: ah – gotcha – and 100% correct. Jeppe annual derby started in 1935 – rugger at the school actually started in 1932. Pretty sure Boys High goes back to 1932/33 as well.

    When did the KES College annual derby start – was it 2007? Prior to that they met only on tours and festivals. I remember watching KES College at Saints week in ’85 and ’92

    ReplyReply
  11. @Playa: Which version of rugby was played back then? Winchester or real rugby? The first ever international game was played in 1871, so the game must have reached the Eastern Cape extremely quickly. Hamilton & Villagers in the Cape Colony were only founded in 1875 & Stellenbosch club in 1883…….

    ReplyReply
  12. @Grasshopper: I am not sure which version of rugby they played. According to history, by the time the game reached the Eastern Cape, it the Winchester format had been abandoned in the Western Cape already. And this was in 1878.

    I do also know though that Dale’s first recorded rugby game was in 1880 against the Eveready Rugby Club of KWT, with Queens being the first schoolboy opposition only in 1891. Reason I point that out is to say Hamilton and Villagers are the oldest surviving clubs in the country, there were many which were formed not too long after that do not exist anymore.

    From my understanding rugby spread from the WC, to the EC, Natal, Kimberly and lastly to the Transvaal in about 1889. It didn’t take a hell of a long time when you think about it.

    ReplyReply
  13. @Roger: KES only started as an annual fixture in 2009. Before that is was sporadic (59, 83, 85, 92. 96, 2001). Most of those were at KES, so probably on some sort of tour that we played. Played 12, 8 away, 4 home. Won 7, Drawn 1, Lost 4.

    ReplyReply
  14. @Playa: Makes sense. The reason I questioned it is that I’ve been to the Rugby school a few times and even they say proper rugby started post 1880, so in SA 20 years later is about right…the boer war & ww1 slowed the uptake hence proper annual fixtures 1920 onwards…

    ReplyReply
  15. @Grasshopper: I’ll speak from a Dale perspective…after Selborne in 1892, Dale’s next fixture against a school team was Kingswood in 1911. Selborne was the first annual fixture from 1915 when we played them again after that first game. Despite the SA War (to be politically correct :mrgreen: ), also be mindful that soccer was THE MAIN game in schools back then and rugby was banished in most schools – with schools forming unofficial rebel teams. Dale for example played as Shamrocks from 1906 to 1910, and rugby only became recognised as a sport at Queens in 1924 (since their first game in 1891). In that regard, regular annual fixtures from the 1920s is just about right.

    Maybe this may also change your view on KES being spring chickens in good old rugga :lol: :mrgreen:

    ReplyReply
  16. Canon Todd, Rector of Michaelhouse, decided in 1896 that rugby would be the major winter sport and appointed Cambridge Blue JCA Rigby who would later play for England to coach the boys. He believed strongly that vigorous physical exercise got the blood flowing which he deemed good for the brain. :-D

    The 1897 Chronicle stated that “by the end of the first season the game had been thoroughly ground into every MHS boy.”

    Hilton and College were the only schools to provide regular competition in the first decade of the 20th century so schools also played against local clubs. It was also quite normal for school teams to be bolstered by a few masters. The Hilton derby commenced in 1904 in a game that was to be MHS only defeat in an otherwise unbeaten season.
    The 1906 side were unbeaten and at that time it was not unusual for schoolboy players to be selected for Natal.

    Even in the 1920’s there were only 5-6 schools playing regularly so games were played against club sides in DBN or PMB as well. Logistics were a far greater challenge so DHS, for example, had to leave on the train on Friday evening to play on the Saturday. If they were playing at Hilton they were transported by ox wagon from the station to the school.

    An interesting fact that not many are aware of is that the 3-4-1 scrum formation used by all today was pioneered by MHS in 1928 against DHS – a tactic that was strongly disapproved of by the local press at the time.

    ReplyReply
  17. @meadows:

    “It was also quite normal for school teams to be bolstered by a few masters.”

    So why all the whinging about Glenwood’s overage players then? See – you okes all do it too……… :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    ReplyReply
  18. @meadows: I have a similar quote from a Glenwood annual I have, will type it out a little late, sounds the same. Masters in the sides…haha

    ReplyReply
  19. @meadows: The Paarl Interschools regularly featured masters between 1915 and 1926..since 1927 the Interschools teams only had schoolboys. I am not so sure about that 3-4-1 scrum fact of yours. It is well known that Oubaas Markotter from Stellenbosch developed that formation specifically to counter a certain flyhalf called Bennie Osler who was playing for the Ikeys in the early 20’s..by 1928 the Springboks were already using this formation in test rugby and brought about the revolution by using it in the home test series against the All Blacks.

    ReplyReply
  20. @Grasshopper: Well then it could only have been after 1928 as the All Blacks first saw it in SA on that tour….But then again..KZN is do far behind the rest of SA, you might believe that you pioneered something that have been in use for years in the rest of SA!…

    ReplyReply
  21. “In 1913 the School obtained a set of new jersey’s. The School was able to field two teams, although the 2XV contained 2 masters. The first XV played DHS that year but DHS were too much for our fledglings. By all accounts, the side nevertheless acquitted itself well. The two masters in the 2nd XV played well and gave the boys a hot time, on the whole.”

    ReplyReply
  22. @BoishaaiPa: You are quite right on the scrum formation. The Chronicle is wrong and I have no idea what could have upset the writers at the Natal Mercury so much about it in 1928. The Boks used it on the 1906 tour. NZ on the other hand were still scrumming in a diamond 2-3-2 until the early 1930’s. It seems that the IRB only laid down the law around then along with which side of the scrum the ball had to be fed from.

    ReplyReply
  23. @BoishaaiPa: JR Sullivan was a New Zealand trialist before emigrating to South Africa. He was appointed at Glenwood in 1923. He coached the 1st XV to their first win over DHS. After leaving teaching, he became a prominent Member of Parliament.

    ” I joined the staff of the school in 1923. Being a New Zealander with a rugby record, I gravitated to the the sports section in quick time. The then headmaster, Mr David Alexander, specially requested me to take over from him the rugby coaching. This was to my liking. I found the task no easy one, not because the material was lacking, but because there was always present with the players the psychosis of defeat. They had been trounced so often that they never anticipated victory.

    The defensive work of the first XV was superb. It was a product of a school policy to defend, to keep the score down. Heroic yes, but non-productive. The first idea therefore was to get the policy accepted that attack is always the best defense. The team had been trained on Scottish lines, dour, tough, unyielding tactics were the rule. How to transform it into attack? That was the problem. Obviously the three-two-three scrum must go; some means must be adopted to secure the ball from the scrums. The side was light; if it were made a little lighter it would not matter, especially in the pack. That gave me the idea, something in line with my own rugby training and prejudices.

    I decided to introduce the New Zealand game in all it’s aspects, beginning with the forwards. So we practised for a fortnight until we had the two-three-two scrum (7 forwards) working magnificently. This scrum was unknown in Durban. It was elastic; had power; liberated the scrum-half for immediately joining in the back movements, for the eighth forward then to put the ball in the scrum. ……..

    ReplyReply
  24. @meadows: As I have it the 1906 Boks of Paul Roos did try 3-4-1 in practice but never actually used it in a test match…It was only when Oubaas Mark used it effectively against Bennie Osler with the flanks coming off the side at pace that the effectiveness of the formation was realized…it was gradually introduced from club level upwards and in 1928 the Boks was the first team to use in in an actual test match, having practised and used it as players for a while. The All Blacks were totally outscrummed and the Boks won 17-0. A big margin in those days!

    ReplyReply
  25. How funny is this, Glenwood’s first annual fixture was with Hilton in 1915, they were whacked 0-46 and 13-34 in that year. Also lost 0-18 to their 2nd side in 1916…..did Glenwood pull out of fixtures…NO! They went on to record their first win over Hilton in 1923, winning 13-8, a draw in 1924 and a draw and win in 1925. Shows if you stick at it the results will turn….

    ReplyReply
  26. Curiously, South Africa’s Hennie Muller, who played Test rugby between 1949 and 1953 and was universally hailed as the definitive eighthman of his day, never wore an eight shirt in a Test, although by 1951 the British press were referring to him as the team’s No 8.

    ReplyReply
  27. Another interesting fact about rugby matches…The 1960 Springbok tour to Britain and France was over a period of three months (Nov 1960 – Jan 1961) and the Boks played 34 tour matches including 5 tests with a squad of 30 players….In 1888 NZ toured Britain and France over the same period and played 75 matches!…Don’t complain when our schoolboys plays a little more than 20 matches over 5 months!… :mrgreen:

    The era 1960 to 1962 were probably the Boks most successful looking at the opposition they played ..the golden era….They played 17 tests, winning 13 (2x Scotland, 2x NZ, 1x Wales, 2x Ireland, 1x England, 2 x Aus and 3 x British Lions) drawing 3 (1x NZ, 1x France and 1x Lions) and losing only one to NZ. …For me that is a better record that the 17 in a row of the Mallet era just because the home nations in that era was much stronger and they played the British Lions and not teams like Italy etc.

    ReplyReply
  28. @Roger: Gerrie Sonnekus did relatively recently although 10 years apart in ’74 and ’84. He was picked out of position at scrummie against the ’74 Lions and played 8 against England in ’84. Danie Craven in his day played several positions for SA as well.

    @BoishaaiPa: The ’51-’52 grand slam tourists also played 30 games over a similar period losing only once and winning the 6 tests they played.

    ReplyReply
  29. @Playa: nope – he perfected it and used it against the All Blacks in 1937 – only SA team to win a series in NZ – the All Blacks had no idea how to counter it.

    Fred Luyt invented the dive pass – SACS old boy

    ReplyReply
  30. @Roger: Captained by Phillip Nel in 1937, with GL van Reenen also in that team I believe. Weird that I can’t find a list of the squad anywhere?

    ReplyReply
  31. @BuiteBreek: It’s interesting that Philluip Nel had actually retired before that tour, he first played for the Boks in 1928, but they called him out of retirement for the tour. The story goes that on the ship coming back he realised that his rugby days were definitely done and threw his boots into the sea. Tough buggers out Kranskop way …

    ReplyReply
  32. @Gungets Tuft: Here is a list of that 1937 group that played 2 games vs Aus and 3 vs NZ only losing the one to NZ. The players listed first played most of the games. interesting fact is that Philip Nel played in the first test vs Aus as tighthead , then moved to Lock for the second test vs Aus and did not play in the first test vs NZ. Craven was the captain in that test which they lost 7-13 and he played Flyhalf. Seemed if they must have had some injury problems before that 1st test vs NZ. Back came Nel ,Boy Louw and Harris for the 2nd and 3rd test and Boks won both.

    Position: Player
    Loose-head Prop: Boy Louw/CB Jennings
    Hooker: Jan Lotz
    Tight-head Prop: Fanie Louw/Kalfie Martin
    Lock: Ferdie Bergh
    Lock: Phil Nel/Mauritz van den Berg
    Flank: Ebbo Bastard/George van Reenen
    Flank: Lukas Strachan
    Eighthman: Ferdie Bergh
    Scrumhalf: Danie Craven/Pierre de Villiers
    Flyhalf: Tony Harris/Danie Craven
    Left Wing: Freddy Turner/Pat Lyster
    Inside Centre: Louis Babrow
    Outside Centre: Jimmy White/Flappie Lochner
    Right Wing: Dai Williams
    Full Back: Gerrie Brand

    ReplyReply
  33. Next Question…Schools the 1937 team represented:

    Name School
    Fanie Louw Paarl Boys High
    Boy Louw Paarl Boys High
    DO Williams Bishops
    Freddie Turner Grey High School
    Pat Lyster CBC Kimberley
    Louis Babrow Grey College
    Flappie Lochner Kingswood College
    Tony Harris CBC Kimberley
    Ebbo Bastard Hilton College
    CB Jennings Dale College
    Jan Lotz Krugersdorp Boys High
    Henry (Kalfie) Martin Grey College
    Mauritz van den berg Glenwood High
    George van Reenen Paul Roos
    Pierre de Villiers Paarl Gimnasium
    Phil Nel Maritzburg College
    Gerrie Brand Sea Point Boys High
    Jimmy White Queen’s College
    Danie Craven Lindley
    Lukas Strachan Parys
    Ferdie Bergh Paul Roos

    Paarl Boys, Bishops, Grey High, Grey College, Hilton, Dale, Queens, Glenwood, Paul Roos, Paarl Gym, Maritsburg College…all familiar sounding names that are still competitive today…

    ReplyReply
  34. @BoishaaiPa: There’s a story that circulates about Ebbo Bastard having a run in with the New Zealand police on that trip, lamp poles and rugby balls were mentioned, and how the cops refused to believe him when he gave them his name. Must have been a little awkward for teachers at school as well, calling him out in class … :mrgreen: :roll: :oops: (Especially Hilton – I am not sure that you can say it in “hot potato” :mrgreen: )

    ReplyReply
  35. That 1937 players were very interchangeable it seems…In the 1st test vs Aus, Phil Nel played Tighthead prop, Craven played Flyhalf and Boy Louw played 8th man…in the second test vs Aus, Boy Louw went to Loosehead, Phil Nel to Lock and Craven to 8thman!…

    I left out Daantjie van der Vyfer (St Andrews) who played flyhalf in the 2nd test against Aus…

    ReplyReply
  36. @Gungets Tuft: I have always had a chuckle when I read his name and thought..”poor Bastard”…(Pun Intended!)…I have read that story about him and the NZ police in one of Doc Cravens’s books…just cant remember which one.

    ReplyReply
  37. @Grasshopper: Mauritz van den Berg is the father of Derek van den Berg (Rondebosch Old Boy and Bok in 1976)…and as such the grandfather of a College Old Boy who is a colleague of mine….Gungets did some detective work and figured out who that is :mrgreen:

    Funny little world we live in…

    ReplyReply
  38. @ Playa- my grandmother once told me a story of a young lass on her way to school in England( by boat) who was able to slip her chaperone and have a ” dalliance” in one of the life boats. The partner in crime was a young springbok captain who would later be referred to as the ” Doc” Apparently in those days he was very dashing :mrgreen:

    ReplyReply
  39. @BoishaaiPa: Jimmy White was known as the killer because of his tackling prowess. His son Gavin went to Selborne and played for Border and his grandson went to KES and played for Tvl Schools and broke Naas Botha’s record at Craven Week in 1989……..

    Nature vs Nurture heh?

    If its in your genes its in your genes!

    ReplyReply
  40. @BoishaaiPa: On the subject of having a bit of fun on tour i remember being told the story on the ’81 NZ tour – I’m sure Gawie Visagie was the culprit who asked the late Louis Moolman to get him some condoms for his headache when he went into the chemist. Louis apparently came out and asked what size he wanted and was sent back to tell the attractive young pharmacist that he had a hell of a headache so he needed the biggest ones they had. Conservative ou Louis was not amused

    ReplyReply
  41. @meadows: I can vaguely remember some story like that ..once told to me by Carel Dup sitting next to a cricketfield…The 81 bunch came up with some real screamers…There is the one with the protester and the policeman…I will try and recall it again.

    ReplyReply
  42. @Roger: Like the Du Plessis’s from Somerset East…they have produced 3 Springboks brothers, another brother playing provincial rugby, a cousin that played EP Cravenweek centre in 1983/84 from Grey PE, a son that played Junior Boks u/20 and another son who played SA Schools….quite a record!

    My dad played played with three 1949 Sprinkboks in his St 9 year at Cradock Boys High, Jorrie Jordaan, Fiks vd Merwe and Salty Du Rand. I have a picture of his Matric 1st team in 1944 with Jorrie Jordaan as captain.

    ReplyReply
  43. @BoishaaiPa: I am biased, or perhaps just old, but rugby in the amateur era definitely seemed to have far more characters. That tour, which was very much my era, was full of them. Philosophically I think that it was because one played for the love of the game rather than as a job to pay the bills

    ReplyReply
  44. @BoishaaiPa: There’s a lot to be said for genetics – take Pat Lambie as an example. His father played for Natal in a career prematurely shortened by injury. His grandfather on his maternal side. Nick Labuschagne, also played for Natal for many years and was capped for England when he was a student in the UK. On his father’s side he is also related to the Brown brothers who played lock for Scotland and in Gordon’s case for the British Lions. Their father in turn played international football.

    ReplyReply
  45. Love this quote from the 1912 Glenwood ‘The Magnet’ publication;

    “Rugby, that tenderly fostered shoot, has sprung up marvellously since goalposts and other accessories have materialised. The keenness of the players now leaves nothing to be desired, save perhaps fewer ‘devil-thorns’ on the pitch. Doubtless a three-quarter when tackled will rise from the pitch of lusty devil-thorns with more alacrity than from mere grass, and this makes a faster game…..A heartfelt prayer for a cleaned-up playing ground arises every Thursday. When will it be answered?”

    In 1913 copy;

    “It brings individuals together, improves fellowship, teaches self control, quickness of decision, loyalty, great pluck, tenacity, broadmindedness, patience, unselfishness and grit to play a losing game. Besides inducing health, happiness, temperance & clearheadedness, it helps a man to keep his wits about him and to use his powers wisely. No man who is addicted to over-indulgence in bad habits, can hope to hold a high place in sport”

    If only the Glenwood management read these two quote’s more often and go back to why the game is played…..sigh!

    ReplyReply
  46. @meadows: I just read an article about the 74 Lions the other day and they had a real royal time in SA…Cause a lot of shyte in Hotels etc and in the Kruger Park!….They don’t envy modern players as they cant do half the things those old guys got up to!

    ReplyReply
  47. @BoishaaiPa: It certainly did not effect the standard of their rugby. I followed that team like a groupie and still recall the team by memory- gradually fading, but still. ” Old guys” se gat ! Peter Kirsten het daardie jaar vir die Barbarians gespeel en was dit nie vir daai ref vanuit julle geweste (Die Baai)- Jimmy Belton-Smith- sou hulle gewen het.( Of was dit Smith-Belton?)

    ReplyReply
  48. @BOG: Smith-Belton…and he wasn’t even popular in the EP in those days!…I was at the 3rd test at Boet Erasmus in ’74 and had the privilege to carry Phil Bennet’s tog bag out to him while they were standing watching the prelim games from the sidelines…it was given to me by the Lions tour manager from SA “Oom” Choet Visser…

    ReplyReply
  49. My dad said that 74 Lions tour was a complete disaster! Something not to be remembered too fondly as the Lions still use the clips as inspiration….

    ReplyReply
  50. Fran Cotton belting a provincial side player etc….calling a number to retaliate. Why we didn’t just f-up those poms only god knows..

    ReplyReply
  51. @ Playa – I am sure that the ” dalliance” was very innocent by todays standards. :lol:
    @ Meadows- talking genetics I know of a family that had 4 generations of Natal rugby participation. Also 4 generations at House playing Ist team and Natal schools/CW. :mrgreen:

    ReplyReply
  52. @BoishaaiPa: @Grasshopper: I was at that test- sitting opposite the main stand- with my knees higher than my head on those flat steps. But as students at the time, we did not feel those discomforts that much- we were too anaethetized (?) or pickled. And at the time, I did not have an “obstacle” between my chest and my legs.There were only 2 SA players who played in all 4 tests- Hannes Marais and Chris Pope who I played rugby with in the military. For that 3rd test , SA included a “meanie”, Johan de Bruyn, FS lock who had only one eye. However, during the match, JPR Williams ran from fullback to come and sort him out- de Bruyn actually ran away from him. The rugby, from a SA perspective, was terrible, but the party was good. I think their call sign for a fight, was “99”. Fran Cotton had the biggest pair of hands I have ever seen. He captained the side against Boland in Wellington and I stood at the players entrance when the team came onto the field, and one could hardly see the ball ( Or am I confusing him with Roger Uttley, the flank?) Interesting, Andre T worked with him in the UK, he said here once

    ReplyReply
  53. @BoishaaiPa: I had the pleasure of meeting Roger Young, a member of that ’74 Lions team last night. And in true Irish fashion he out-dank me stupidly. Interesting story is that it was on that tour that he decided he was settling in SA, and has been here since. His stories from that tour make my varsity days look lame. I’m good mates with his son – who I also work with.

    ReplyReply
  54. @BOG: Hahahaha! Ask any Dalian and they will tell you about the “99” call. It was part of our practice sessions before derbies against Daniel Pienaar.

    ReplyReply
  55. @BOG: Didn’t Fran Cotton stand on the sideline in front of the Loftus stands and give the crowd a double “1-finger salute”, and then get pinned with a naartije?. I was lead to believe the TV “Hello Vodacom” advert similar to that was based on that incident.

    Sad tour that, the best water polo coach South Africa has ever had died in a car accident driving to the PE test. Owen Pheasant – legendary Howick High School coach. In his predecing 2 years he had a tiny little school (450 kids in co-ed school) like Howick High with 5 or 6 SA Schools players, 4 SA U19 players while still at school.

    99 call – from the horses mouth

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=298_1372701655

    ReplyReply
  56. I met a few of that team at the London Rugby Club, which was owned by Jeff Butterfield, centre of the 1955 British Lions. It was actually a restaurant/pub. Has anyone been there? Not sure if its still going.@Playa: I just boasted that I could name the team- certainly the “Saturday” side. But I cannot recall Roger Young. Which possie did he play? Must have been the “Wednesday” side

    ReplyReply
  57. I went to a dinner in London for Gordon Brown “Broon from Troon” who locked the scrum with Wille John McBride on the ’74 tour. He was suffering from cancer and sadly passed away in 2001. The dinner was a fund raiser for his treatment. I vividly recall a story from the tour where Gordon Brown played against a one eyed lock from SWD (I think) and the chap’s glass eye fell out. Gordon Brown said it was one of the funniest and most terrifying moments on a rugby field when this chap scrabbled around in the grass, found his eye and jammed it back in the empty eye socket with blades of grass sticking out all over the place and turned to Gordon Brown and said “dis reg – kom ons speel”!

    The lock (and maybe its the same fellow Bog alluded to above) was actually at the dinner and spoke about what a privilege it was to play against the 74 Lions.

    Great evening

    ReplyReply
  58. @BOG: JPR ran in and hit Moaner van Heerden…De Bruyn’s glass eye was knocked out by a Lions players (Think it was Utley) and that actually stopped the fight as the players where all looking for the glass eye in the mud…

    ReplyReply
  59. This is an extract from a piece of the Lions 74 tour by The Gaurdian on that 3rd test…

    The match, however, is less famous for its play than its punch-ups. In one exchange, Brown clobbered his opposite number, Johan de Bruyn, so hard the Orange Free State man’s glass eye flew out and landed in the mud. “So there we are, 30 players, plus the ref, on our hands and knees scrabbling about in the mire looking for this glass eye,” recalled Brown, who died from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2001, aged 53. “Eventually, someone yells ‘Eureka!’ whereupon De Bruyn grabs it and plonks it straight back in the gaping hole in his face.” (Shortly after Brown’s death, De Bruyn presented his widow with the glass eye in a specially made trophy.)

    When another fight broke out, the Wales full-back and orthopaedic surgeon, JPR Williams, ran fully 60 yards, in the spirit of “99”, to deliver a right hook to second row Moaner van Heerden. “That’s not something I’m proud of,” Williams said later. “Funnily enough, I bumped into him on a train from London to Cardiff years later and he asked, ‘Do you remember me?’ I had to admit that I didn’t and he just said that he had played against me in South Africa in 1974. We had a lovely chat.”

    ReplyReply
  60. Very interesting.I somehow dont think any other sport (cricket perhaps) carries so many stories and tales with it as rugby@Gungets Tuft: I cannot recall that incident, but remember, this was before TV. They played the 4th test at Loftus, which, if I remember correctly, was a draw- SAs best result.The other was against N-Tvl. At the time, I was a WP supporter and would have avoided the place. (And as I ALWAYS say, Im still suffering the trauma)@BoishaaiPa: You are probably right about it being Moaner. If I have to be honest, I was not in exactly in the best condition, thanks to the Humewood, to give a reliable match report.

    ReplyReply
  61. @BOG: Scrum-half. Sorry, he was on the ’68 tour not ’74. I was still recovering from being out-drunk by a 70 year old man at the time of writing.

    ReplyReply
  62. @Playa: Thanks. For a moment I thought that my memory is even worse than I thought. Not something to admit publicly- the thing about bring undone by a 70 yr old, nogal by an ex scrumhalf. As a teetotaler, I think I would drop just by smelling the stuff. And of course, the scrummie of the 74 side, was the great Gareth Edwards

    ReplyReply
  63. @Roger: As has been pointed out, the “glass eye” incident wasn’t against SWD.

    But I was at that game against SWD in Mossel Bay, what a riot! The Lions won 97-0, with winger JJ Williams scoring 7 tries. JPR Williams came on as replacement late in the second half and still ran in 3 tries.

    Not much fighting in that game, though, but I do remember legendary SWD 8th man Saag Jonker dropping a Lion with a right upper cut, which was about the only time us SWD supporters cheered.

    Funniest thing about that match (in retrospect) was Die Burger’s headline on match day, “SWD gaan Leeus skrikmaak”!

    1974 was a time of panick and despair, but once the dust settled we all realised we’ve seen one of the greatest sides of all time. I was a big fan of Andy Ripley, but he couldn’t make the test side. Flyhalf Alan Old had a fantastic game against SWD, besides the 37 points he scored, but got injured early on tour and had to go home – doubtful whether he would have ousted Phill Bennett in the test side, though.

    Also keep in mind that the Lions beat NZ in a series 3 years earlier.

    ReplyReply
  64. @BOG: Hahahaha! If only to put things in perspective, I’m an ex-scrumhalf myself. Let’s just say he beat me with experience

    ReplyReply
  65. @Playa: Two scrumhalves? Im sure, between the two of you, you could have finished a six-pack IF you drank until midnight and made shandies

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply