Category Archives: Springbok Greats

Springbok no. 1: Ben Duff

Ben Duff

Ben Duff

Benjamin Robert Duff was born on 16 October 1867 in Swellendam. He attended SACS (South African College School) in Cape Town and played provincial rugby for Western Province.

During the British Isles Tour of 1891, Ben played in all three tests against the visitors. He played fullback. Due to the team being announced from Fullback to the last forward, Ben Duff got the honour of being the first Springbok ever named. South Africa lost the test series 0-3.

Ben also played in one first class cricket match for Western Province. He batted at no. 10 in both innings. He scored 1 & 8. Test cricketer, Gus Kempis took his wicket in the first innings. The wicketkeeper for WP in that game was Alf Richard. Richard also played against the British Isles for South Africa in 1891. He is one of two players that captained both a South African rugby and Cricket team.

Duff’s brother Colin played cricket for Rhodesia.

Ben Duff died on 25 June 1943, aged 75.

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Bryan Habana honoured by Sports Minister

Star Springbok wing Bryan Habana was on Thursday honoured by South Africa’s Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, for his magnificent feat of scoring 50 Test tries in the Green and Gold.
 
Habana reached the milestone two weekends ago when he scored twice against Samoa in the Castle Lager Incoming Series decider at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. He became only the sixth player in the history of the game to score 50 Test tries. The Springboks won the match 56-23.
 
Apart from a special trophy, Habana also received R50,000 from Sports and Recreation South Africa.
 
“I feel privileged to be honoured in this manner by our Minister of Sport,” said Habana, who scored his first Test try on debut against England at Twickenham in 2004.
 
“However, I think it’s only appropriate that I share the accolades with my team-mates, without whom I would not have been able to score any tries. To get one try for the Springboks was amazing – to reach 50 is almost unreal.”
 
Habana donated his prize money of R50,000 to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
 
“Madiba did so much for our wonderful country and this donation is just a small gesture to help his legacy live on forever,” said Habana. “We all know how close children have always been to his heart and I think the building of this new hospital will ensure the world will forever know what Nelson Mandela was all about.”

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Springbok Chronicles – 1891 the first year

I have read many books on the history of Springbok rugby. Most of them are filled with some statistics and antidotes on some of the players and games. The one problem I found with these books are that they don’t give you detail on a lot of players and games. It is just a mention here and there.

My aim with this book is to look at every game and every Springbok player. Yes a lot of it will be statistics however it will also have a short view of each year and the players capped in that year. I hope you will enjoy reading and looking at the information as much as I did researching it and writing it.

1891 – The First Year

Rugby was brought to South Africa by the British when they colonised the region. It seems fitting that the Springboks first series was to be played against Britain. Britain would later become the British & Irish Lions and South Africa would become known as the Springboks.  The first ever test by South Africa was played on 30 July 1891 at Crusaders, now St George’s Park, in Port Elizabeth. The series consisted of 3 tests with South Africa losing all 3.

In the early years the team was selected by the captain. This explains the uneven spread of players from a certain team per test. The Springboks would also play in the club jerseys of the club of the captain. In most cases the captain would be from the province that hosted the test, this did however not always happen. A try was 1 point, a conversion 2, penalty 3 and Drop Goal 3 points.

Played    Won    Draw    Loss    PF    PA    PD    TF    TA    TD    W%    D%    L%

3    0    0    3    0    11    -11    0    4    -4    0    0    100

30 July 1891 Springboks vs British & Irish Lions

Captian: HH Castens                 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Referee: Dr. John Griffin (South Africa)        Attendance: 6000

Combined Caps: 0 (Starting 15)

Springboks 0-4 British & Irish Lions

Scoring:

Springboks:

British & Irish Lions: 2 Tries, 1 Conversion

Team: Ben Duff, Harry Boyes, Chubb Vigne, Alf Richards, Mosey van Buuren, Frank Guthrie, Oupa Versfeld, Bill Bisset, H.H. Castens, Tiger Devenish, Japie Louw, Edward Little, Fred Alexander, George Merry, Frank Hamilton

Ben Duff


Full Names: Benjamin Robert            Date of Birth: 16 October 1867

Place of Birth: Swellendam, South Africa    School: South African College School (SACS)

Date of Death: 25 Jun 1943 – Aged 75        Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Full Back against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:23 Full Back against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record – 3 Test (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Full Back Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
29 Aug 1891 23 Full Back Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley WP
05 Sep 1891 23 Full Back Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Ben Duff had the honour of being the first Springbok named although he played at full back, the last position in the team.. They named the team in Alphabetical order.

Harry Boyes


Full Names: Harry Churchill            Date of Birth: 12 March 1868

Place of Birth:                    School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 26 October 1892 Aged 26    Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Right Wing against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:23 Right Wing against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record – 2 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Right Wing Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Griquas
29 Aug 1891 23 Right Wing Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

Chubb Vigne


Full Names: James Talbot            Date of Birth: 23 December 1868

Place of Birth: Fort Beaufort, South Africa    School: New College, Eastbourne, England

Date of Death: 9 April 1955 Aged 86        Province: Transvaal

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Outside Centrek against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:22 Outside Centre against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record – 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Outside Centre Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Tvl
29 Aug 1891 23 Outside Centre Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Tvl
5 Sep 1891 23 Outside Centre Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town Tvl

He once told the following Story to Doc Craven: “I would often return to the clubhouse after a match and have a few beers, and sometimes a few beers too many. However, one evening I told everyone at the club that I would not be drinking anymore and I had nothing to drink that particular evening. On my way home, however, I stepped off the pavement and sprained my ankle. I was obliged to sit down on the pavement to recover from the sudden wrench. As it happened a prominent member of the club was passing at that moment and said “Chubb Vigne! – not again!!!” I was so disgusted that I returned to the club and sank a few beers!”

Alf Richards

Full Names: Alfred Renfrew            Date of Birth: 14 December 1867

Place of Birth: Grahamstown, South Africa    School: Leys, Cambridge, England

Date of Death: 9 January 1904 Aged 36        Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Inside Centre against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:22 Inside Centre & Captain against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; O points)

1 Tests as Captain

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Inside Centre Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
29 Aug 1891 23 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley WP
05 Sep 1891 23 Inside Centre (C) Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Alf died at the young age of 36 in 1904. He was however rated as one of the players to make a difference not only in Rugby but in Cricket as well. He is one of two players two have the honour of be captain of both the Springboks and South African Cricket team.

Mosey van Buuren


Full Names: Mauritz Christiaan            Date of Birth: 12 August 1865

Place of Birth: Burgersdorp, South Africa    School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 3 October 1951 Aged 86        Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Left Wing against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Left Wing against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 25 Left Wing Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP

Frank Guthrie


Full Names: Frank Edward Huntingdon        Date of Birth: 3 November 1869

Place of Birth: London, England            School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 19 June 1954 Aged 84        Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Half Back against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1896 Age:26 Halfback against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 21 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
05 Sep 1891 21 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP
30 Jul 1896 26 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-8 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth EP

Oupa Versfeld


Full Names: Marthinus                Date of Birth: 15 May 1860

Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa        School: South African College School (SACS)

Date of Death: 1 September 1931 Aged 71    Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Half Back against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:31 Halfback against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 31 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
29 Aug 1891 31 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley WP
05 Sep 1891 31 Halfback Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Oupa Versfeld and his brother, Hasie, was the first pair of brothers to represent the Springboks. They were also the first brothers to play in the same test. J. and R.L.O Versfeld, their two other brothers also played against the visiting British team in 1891 fior their provinces. R.L.O. is better known as Loftus and Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria is named after him.

Bill Bisset


Full Names: William Molteno            Date of Birth: 11 September 1867

Place of Birth: Kenilworth, South Africa        School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 23 Februaury 1958 Aged 90        Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:31 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 2 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
05 Sep 1891 23 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Bill Bisset was a prominent sportsman. In 1889 he represented Western Province at the first Rugby Currie Cup Tournament. In 1891 he played for South Africa against the first British rugby side to tour this country and was in his own words, “the first loose forward to play for South Africa”.

Ivor Difford’s “History of South African Rugby” says of him: “No less a judge than Barry Heatlie states that Bisset was one of the best forwards he ever played with.”

For many years a stalwart of the Villagers Rugby Football Club he was also a good oarsman and billiard player and was in fact still making breaks of 30 and 40 in his 90th year.

H. H. Castens


Full Names: Herbet Hayton            Date of Birth: 23 November 1864

Place of Birth: Pearston, South Africa        School: Rugby, England

Date of Death: 18 October 1929 Aged 64    Province: Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Forward (Captain) against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Forward (Captain) against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Forward (C) Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP

H.H. Castens was the first Springbok captain and in a time when the host union selected the team this might seem strange. His father, Emile Castens was however the President of EP rugby union. H.H. would later also be the first captain of a Springbok cricket side to tour overseas. They were the first SA team to play at Lord’s and they went on to beat WG Grace’s MCC team in that match. H.H. would go on to referee the 3rd test in 1891. He also refereed two tour matches, in which his brother Emile Castens played against the Touring British side, in 1891.

Tiger Devenish


Full Names: Mynardus Jeremias            Date of Birth: 27 May 1867

Place of Birth: Victory West, South Africa    School: South African College School (SACS)

Date of Death: 10 September 1928 Aged 61    Province: Transvaal

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 23 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Tvl

Japie Louw


Full Names: Jacob Stephanus            Date of Birth: 30 August 1867

Place of Birth: Durbanville, South Africa        School: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch

Date of Death: 17 August 1936 Aged 68        Province: Transvaal

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:23 Half Back against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:31 Halfback against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 31 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Tvl
29 Aug 1891 31 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Tvl
05 Sep 1891 31 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town Tvl

Edward Little


Full Names: Edward McMillan            Date of Birth: 1 November 1864

Place of Birth: Midlothian, Scotland        School:

Date of Death: 1 July 1945 Aged 80        Province: Griqualand West/Western Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age:26 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:26 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 2 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 26 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Griquas
5 Sep 1891 26 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Fred Alexander


Full Names: Frederick Augustus            Date of Birth: 30 December 1870

Place of Birth: Malmesbury, South Africa    School: Kimberley Boys’ High

Date of Death: 20 April 1937 Aged: 66        Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age: 20 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age: 20 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 2 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 20 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Griquas
29 Aug 1891 20 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

George Merry


Full Names: George A                Date of Birth: 3 March 1869

Place of Birth:                    School:

Date of Death: 2 May 1917 Aged:48        Province: Natal

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age: 22 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1891 Age: 22 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 22 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth Natal

Frank Hamilton


Full Names: George Henry            Date of Birth: 30 April 1863

Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa        School:

Date of Death: 7 August 1901 Aged: 38        Province: Eastern Province

Test Debut: 30 Jul 1891 Age: 28 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Last Test: 30 Jul 1891 Age: 28 Forward against Britain at Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
30 Jul 1891 28 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth EP

29 August 1891 Springboks vs British & Irish Lions

Captain: Bob Snedden                 Electic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Referee: Percy Ross-Frames (South Africa)    Attendance: 3000

Combined Caps: 7 (Starting 15)

Springboks 0-3 British & Irish Lions

Scoring:

Springboks:

British & Irish Lions: 1 Drop Goal

Team: Ben Duff, Harry Boyes, Chubb Vigne, Jackie Powell, Arthur de Kock, Alf Richards, Oupa Versfeld, Bob Snedden, Bob Shand, Wilfred Trenery, Japie Louw, Toski Smith, Fred Alexander, Fairy Heatlie, Dan Smith

Back: A Solomon (touch-judge), Arthur de Kock, Chubb Vigne, Japie Louw, Fairy Heatlie, Dan Smith, Alf Richards, Hasie Versveld Middle: Fred Alexander, Bob Shand, Bob Snedden (captain), Oupa Versfeld, Ben Duff Front: Wilfred Trenery, Jackie Powell, Toski Smith, Harry Boyes

Jackie Powell


Full Names: John Mercer            Date of Birth: 12 December 1871

Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa        School: Kimberley Boys’ High

Date of Death: 19 December 1955 Aged: 84    Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:19 Inside Centre against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 5 Sep 1903 Age:31 Halfback against Britain at Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 4 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 19 Inside Centre Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas
29 Aug 1896 24 Halfback Britain Lose: 3-9 Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley Griquas
29 Aug 1903 31 Halfback Britain Draw: 10-10 Wanderers, Johannesburg Griquas
5 Sep 1903 31 Halfback (C) Britain Draw: 0-0 Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley Griquas

Doc Craven believed that Jackie Powell laid the ground work for the way scrumhalves played not only at Griquas, but in South Africa. He held Jackie in high regard and said that he left us an example of how to play the game both on and off the field.

Arthur de Kock


Full Names: Arthur Nicholas            Date of Birth: 29 August 1866

Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa        School: Kimberley Boys’ High

Date of Death: 19 December 1955 Aged: 84    Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:24 Left Wing against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:24 Left Wing against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 24 Left Wing Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

Bob Snedden


Full Names: Robert                Date of Birth: 20 March 1867

Place of Birth: Kirkgate, Dunfermline, Scotland    School:

Date of Death: 3 April 1931 Aged: 64        Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:24 Forward (Captain) against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:24 Forward (Captain) against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 24 Forward (C) Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

Bob Snedden captained the Springboks in the second test of 1891 against the British & Irish Lions, British Isle as they were known then. He also led the Cape Colony, Kimberley and Griqualand West against the visitors. Barry Heatlie said that Bob should have played in more than just the one test. Snedden also represented Griqualand West in cricket.

Bob Shand


Full Names: Robert                Date of Birth: 27 August 1865

Place of Birth: Tullbagh, South Africa        School: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch

Date of Death: 1 March 1934 Aged: 68        Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:26 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:26 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 2 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 26 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas
05 Sep 1891 26 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town Griquas

Wilfred Trenery


Full Names: Wilfred                Date of Birth: 21 September 1867

Place of Birth: Hayle, Cornwall, England        School:

Date of Death: 23 August 1905 Aged: 23    Province: Griqualand West

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 23 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

Toski Smith


Full Names: Christie William            Date of Birth: 9 April 1871

Place of Birth: Wynberg, South Africa        School: Wynberg Boys High, Cape Town

Date of Death: 28 February 1934 Aged: 62    Province: Griqualand West/Transvaal

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:20 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1896 Age:25 Forward against Britain at Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 20 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas
22 Aug 1896 25 Forward Britain Lose: 8-17 Wanderers, Johannesburg Tvl
29 Aug 1896 25 Forward Britain Lose: 3-9 Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley Tvl

Fairy Heatlie


Full Names: Barry Heatlie            Date of Birth: 25 April 1872

Place of Birth: Worcester, South Africa        School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 19 August 1949 Aged: 77    Province: Western Province

Height:     1.92m                    Weight: 94.8kg

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:19 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 12 Sep 1903 Age:31 Forward (Captain) against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 6 Tests (0 Tries; 3 conversions; 6 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 19 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley WP
05 Sep 1891 19 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP
30 Jul 1896 24 Forward Britain Lose: 0-8 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
05 Sep 1896 24 Forward (C) Britain Win: 5-0 Newlands, Cape Town WP
29 Aug 1903 31 Forward Britain Draw: 10-10 1 Con Wanderers, Johannesburg WP
12 Sep 1903 31 Forward (C) Britain Win: 8-0 1 Con Newlands, Cape Town WP

Barry “Fairy” Heatlie played 34 games for WP of which 28 were consecutive wins. He also captained WP between 1894 and 1904 (excl 1898). Oubaas Morkel said of him: “Heatlie, I played with and against him, is the greatest all round forward South Africa has produced. I’m inclined to put his name down as the best captain to ever lead a Springbok side.”

Fairy would probably have captained the 1906/07 Springbok side had it not been for a very unfortunate incident. He had to flee from the law in Cape Town for embezzlement. Legend has it that members or supporters of the Villagers club rowed him to a boat in Table Bay to escape. He returned from Argentina 25 years later after most of the money was repaid.

He is credited as the man responsible for South Africa playing in Green. He was the captain in 1903 when South Africa won their first ever international. As captain he elected that the team play in his club, Old Diocesan’s, colours. After the victory the Springboks kept on playing in the green jerseys.

Barry “Fairy” Heatlie was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009.

Dan Smith


Full Names: Daniel Walter            Date of Birth: 8 April 1869

Place of Birth: Durban, South Africa        School:

Date of Death: 27 February 1926 Aged: 56    Province: Griqualand West

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 29 Aug 1891 Age:22 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Last Test: 29 Aug 1891 Age:22 Forward against Britain at Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
29 Aug 1891 22 Forward Britain Lose: 0-3 Eclectic Cricket Ground, Kimberley Griquas

5 September 1891 Springboks vs British & Irish Lions

Captain: Alf Richards                 Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: H.H. Castens (South Africa)        Attendance: 3000

Combined Caps: 15 (Starting 15)

Springboks 0-4 British & Irish Lions

Scoring:

Springboks:

British & Irish Lions: 2 Tries, 1 Conversion

Team: Ben Duff, Jack Hartley, Chubb Vigne, Alf Richards, Hasie Versfeld, Frank Guthrie, Oupa Versfeld, Bill Bisset, Bob Shand, Charlie van Renen, Japie Louw, Edward Little, Jim McKendrick, Fairy Heatlie, Charlie Chignell

Jack Hartley


Full Names: Arthur James            Date of Birth: 18 August 1873

Place of Birth: Krugersdorp, South Africa    School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 15 May 1923 Aged: 49        Province: Western Province

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 5 Sep 1891 Age:18 Right Wing against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:18 Right Wing against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 Points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
05 Sep 1891 18 Right Wing Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Jack Hartly is credited as the youngest Springbok ever to play for South Africa. HE represented the Springboks in his one and only test aged 18 years, 18 days.

Hasie Versfeld


Full Names: Charles                Date of Birth: 24 September 1866

Place of Birth: Wynberg, South Africa        School: Green Point Grammar School

Date of Death: 6 January Aged: 74        Province: Western Province

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 5 Sep 1891 Age:24 Left Wing against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:24 Left Wing against Britain at Newlands, Cape TownTown

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 Points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
05 Sep 1891 24 Left Wing Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

With Hasie’s inclusion in the Springbok side for the final test of 1891, Oupa and him became the first brothers to play together for South Africa. Hasie also holds the record for being the only player to score against the touring British Isle side in 1891. He played in 7 tour games against them in 1891 and went over for a try in one of the tour games.

Charlie van Renen


Full Names: Charles Gerhard            Date of Birth: 23 August 1868

Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa        School: Diocesan College, Cape Town (Bishops)

Date of Death: 20 July 1942 Aged: 73        Province: Western Province

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 5 Sep 1891 Age:23 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Last Test: 5 Sep 1896 Age:28 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 Points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
05 Sep 1891 23 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP
30 Jul 1896 27 Forward Britain Lose: 0-8 Crusaders (St George’s Park), Port Elizabeth WP
05 Sep 1896 28 Forward Britain Win: 5-0 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Jim McKendrick


Full Names: James Alexander            Date of Birth: 27 July 1870

Place of Birth: Stellenbosch, South Africa    School: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch

Date of Death: 1 January 1895 Aged: 24        Province: Western Province

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 5 Sep 1891 Age:21 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age:21 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 3 Tests (0 Tries; 0 Points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
05 Sep 1891 21 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Charlie Chignell


Full Names: Thomas William            Date of Birth: 28 April 1866

Place of Birth: Heavitree, Devon, England    School:

Date of Death: 17 October 1952 Aged: 86    Province: Western Province

Height:                         Weight:

Test Debut: 5 Sep 1891 Age: 25 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Last Test: 5 Sep 1891 Age: 25 Forward against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town

Test Record: 1 Tests (0 Tries; 0 Points)

Date Age Position Opponent Result Score Venue Prov
05 Sep 1891 25 Forward Britain Lose: 0-4 Newlands, Cape Town WP

Andries Bekker: A giant in every sense – By Howard Khan

DHL WP and Springbok lock Andries Bekker will become the first DHL Stormers player to reach the 100-game milestone for the Cape franchise when he takes to the field in this weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby match against the Cheetahs.
 
Star winger Bryan Habana reached the 100-game mark last year – with his Bulls and Stormers caps added together – whilst AJ Venter (Cats and Sharks) was a Super Rugby centurion before playing for the Stormers.
 
Bekker, however, will become the first official Stormers centurion come kick-off in Bloemfontein on Saturday (17h05), and he admits: “It is quite special. I really never thought I’d become the first DHL Stormers player to reach the landmark.”
 
Bekker’s DHL Stormers career began back in 2005 and he has a vague recollection of those early days of Super Rugby, saying: “My first game was against the Highlanders in Invercargill… I was so nervous, I can barely remember what I was thinking then – but I can tell you that playing 100 games for the Stormers was the last thing on my mind back then!
 
“For me, playing for Western Province, the Stormers… the Springboks – it’s a massive honour and a privilege but you have the same feeling each every time you run out; you just want to play your best and give your best and pay back everyone that has supported you – no matter who you’re playing for. But, that said, the DHL Stormers are very, very close to my heart and DHL Newlands is such a great place to play your rugby too.”
 
There have been highs and lows for Bekker and the Stormers since his debut, but the 2,08m giant would not trade his experiences in Cape Town for anything.
 
Speaking about some of those highs and lows, he reveals: “As lows go… Well, I’m not a good loser and I normally sulk for a few days after a loss – I’m like my dad in that way. So, any loss is a low for me. But, yes, there was that big loss to the Bulls in Pretoria back in my first season – that hurt a lot and we got grilled by Nick Mallett in the changeroom afterwards. That was a real eye-opener for a lot of us players, but the key from any bad experience is to learn from it.
 
“For me, the 2010 season was a real highlight,” adds the star Stormers forward, “I think we played some good rugby and made a lot of friends along the way. It’s my standout (memory) amongst many, many good memories I’ve had at the Stormers over the last nine seasons.”
 
But, as we know, the 2013 season will be Bekker’s last in a Stormers jersey, with the 29-cap Bok having signed a deal to further his career in Japan at the end of the current Super Rugby season.
 
He says: “I’ve played all my rugby here – from my days as a schoolboy until now – so it was quite a tough decision to make (the move to Japan).
 
“I am really excited about the new experience and a new lifestyle that awaits my wife (Elaine) and I, but right now all I am focused on is playing well for the Stormers and helping the team win a trophy. It’s my last chance, so I’d love to say goodbye to Cape Town as a Super Rugby winner.”
 
Before that can happen, however, there is the not so small matter of facing the Cheetahs away this weekend – in Bekker’s 100th game – and, then, hosting the Sharks at home before the side travels to Australasia for a tough four-week tour.
 
“It’s all about this weekend and the challenge of facing the Cheetahs,” says Bekker, when asked about his team’s tough schedule in the coming weeks.
 
“The Cheetahs are never an easy side in Bloemfontein and they’re one of the form sides in Super Rugby at present. At the same time, we have a few things we need to rectify from last weekend (against the Crusaders), so we need to concentrate on our own game and get our own execution right.”
 
Of course, whilst it would be fitting for Bekker to finish on the winning side in his 100th Stormers match – his only worry is registering a victory for the sake of the DHL Stormers.
 
“I lost my 50th match for the Stormers (against the Brumbies),” remembers Bekker, “losing my 100th is not something I’d want to repeat, but it’s all about the team winning on Saturday – it’s not about me.
 
“I don’t want a fuss made about this being my 100th game for the Stormers – those people close to me will know what this means to me. Like I said, it’s a special feeling (being my 100th game), but I want a win for the team’s sake – not mine.”
 
ANDRIES BEKKER FACTFILE:
Position: Lock
Height: 2.08m; weight 120kg
Born: 05/12/83, Goodwood
Province: Western Province
Provincial caps: 38
Provincial points: 60 (12t)
Provincial debut: 2004 v Boland
Super Rugby caps: 99
Super Rugby points: 65 (13t)
Super Rugby debut: 2005 v Highlanders
Test Caps: 29
Test Points: 5 (1t)
Test Debut: 2008 v Wales
 
SOUTH AFRICAN SUPER RUGBY CENTURIONS:
125: AJ Venter (Cats 19, Sharks 96, Stormers 10) and John Smit (Sharks)
124: Victor Matfield (Cats 8, Bulls 116)
122: Stefan Terblanché (Sharks)
116: Danie Rossouw (Bulls)
113: Pedrie Wannenburg (Bulls) and Adi Jacobs (Bulls 21, Cats 4, Sharks 87)
112: Fourie du Preez and Morné Steyn (both Bulls)
110: Jacques Botes (Sharks)
109: Bryan Habana (Bulls 61, Stormers 48)
108: Ollie le Roux (Natal 24, Sharks 60, Cats 5, Cheetahs 21)
107: Wynand Olivier (Bulls)
103: Jannie du Plessis (Cheetahs 26, Sharks 77)
102: Albert van den Berg (Cats 7, Sharks 95)
100: Bakkies Botha (Bulls)

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Springboks vs All Blacks 1981: The Flour Bomb Tour

A Poster Calling For Protest Against the Springbok Tour

A Poster Calling For Protest Against the Springbok Tour

One of the biggest rivalries in international rugby is the one between the Springboks and the All Blacks. When ever a game is played between these two teams it is bound to be filled with hard hitting tackles, battles up front and good attacking runs from the backs. Controversy is also never far away. Take the 1995 World Cup when the All Blacks claimed they were poisened before the final. The most controversial tour however was between these two great nations, but the issues wasn’t because of what happened on the field it was rather about what happened of the field. 1981 is a year that will be remembered for the “Flour Bomb Tour”.

Before the tour even started their was controversy in the Springbok camp. Jannie Els, a Springbok hopeful and star at the trials, got a call the night before the team was to be announced. A reporter claiming to have inside information told him he had made the side. The Saturday when the team was announced Els’ name was not among them. Doc Craven later commented that it he felt very sorry for the young Jannie Els. Els never got the opportunity to play for the Springboks again.

A midst the preparation for the tour New Zealand was asked to abandon the tour and honour the isolation of South Africa due to the later’s Apartheid policy. Protests were held in New Zealand before and during the tour. These protests has been recorded as the worst in New Zealand rugby. South Africa selected their first Springbok player of colour for the tour in Errol Tobias. A young Naas Botha also made the Springbok side for this tour.

During the series one game had to be abandoned due to protestors that invaded the pitch. Two others were interrupted due to this, but police and rugby supporters soon removed them from the pitch and they were ejected from the stadiums. Outside the stadiums protest were going on during the matches.

The first test’s start was delayed due to thumb tacks being strewn on the pitch. Police and officials walked the length of the field to remove them all. To the players on both sides they were their to play rugby and didn’t really care much for politics all they wanted to do was play the game they loved.

The third test was played under the most gruelling condition any test player will ever experience. The pitch was in good condition. The weather was good for rugby and the supporters got behind their teams. Overhead a plane circled, piloted by Marx Jones and Grant Cole, they dropped flour bombs on the pitch while the test was played. They even dropped one or two smoke bombs as well. Luckely no one was injured although the All Blacks fullback was hit by a flour bomb on the head. Springbok greats like Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Hennie Bekker, gysie Pienaar, Danie Gerber and Gerrie Germishuys played in that test.

New Zealand won the test series 2-1. Here is a list of all the tour games and their results:

Date. Venue. Team. Result
Wed 22 Jul Gisborne Poverty Bay SA 24-6
Sat 25 Jul Hamilton Waikato. Match cancelled
Wed 29 Jul New Plymouth Taranaki SA 34-9
Sat 1 Aug Palmerston North Manawatu SA 31-19
Wed 5 Aug Wanganui Wanganui SA 45-9
Sat 8 Aug Invercargill Southland SA 22-6
Tues 11 Aug Dunedin Otago SA 17-13
Sat 15 Aug Christchurch New Zealand (1st Test) NZ 14-9
Tues 19 Aug Timaru South Canterbury Match cancelled
Sat 22 Aug Nelson Nelson Bays SA 83-0
Tues 25 Aug Napier NZ Maori 12-12
Sat 29 Aug Wellington New Zealand (2nd Test) SA 24-12
Tues 2 Sept Rotorua Bay of Plenty SA 29-24
Sat 5 Sept Auckland Auckland SA 39-12
Tues 8 Sept Whangarei North Auckland SA 19-10
Sat 12 Sept Auckland New Zealand (3rd Test) NZ 25-22

This was the last time New Zealand and South Africa had official sporting contact untill 1992 when Apartheid was dismantled and the Isolation on South africa lifted. There was a Rebel tour by the New Zealand Cavaliers in 1986 but it wasn’t sanctioned by the NZRU or New Zealand Government. After the Tour Rugby support in New Zealand declined until they won the 1987 World Cup. Today the rivalry is as strong as before the isolation years.

Springbok Greats: Os Du Randt

Petrus Jacobus du Randt born on 8 September 1972 in the small town of Elliot in the Eastern Cape. He would later became known as Os du Randt, Springbok loosehead prop and hero to many a schoolboy and granddad a like.

Os went to school at Adelaide Gymnasium and later became a farmer, rugby player and now assistant coach. He made is debut as Springbok in 1994 against Argentina and went on to play 80 tests for the Springboks before he retired in 200z. This could have been much more had it not been for injuries that forced him into retirement in 2000. He missed the 2003 World cup due to this and only made his return to Springbok rugby in 2004 under coach Jake White.

Os was part of the 1995 World Cup winning team against the All Blacks. He has always been a strong scrummager and had brilliant handling skills. after his retirement in 2000 he though he would never play rugby again and concentrated on farming. Long time Cheetahs and Springbok team mate, Rassie Erasmus called him up in 2003 and asked him to consider a come back. Os excepted the challenge.

“When I returned to rugby in 2003, it was to play for Free State and Free State alone,” he recalled. “I didn’t think I would wear the Springbok shirt again, ever in my life. When Jake White, the national coach, gave me the opportunity to play for my country once more, it felt like the first time all over again. I took some criticism in the media. There was a lot of stuff going around – most of it about me being too old.”

He got the call from White in 2004 after a return to form for the Cheetahs. He joined the Springboks and they won the Tri-Nations title and was named IRB Team of the Year. During 2004 he also received his 50th cap for the Springboks against England. The Boks lost this game 32-16 and Os suffered in the scrums against Julian White.

Even though there were many saying he was to old, White persisted with Os and eventually selected him for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. After winning all their group matches, the quarter final and semi-final, the Springboks faced England in the final. It was a rematch of the defending champions, England, and South Africa’s group match. The Springboks won the game 15-6 and Os played the full 80 minutes.

With this victory Os became one of only 6 players to win two World Cups, all of them winning one in the amateur era and one in the professional era of rugby. The others are: Australians Dan Crowley, John Eales, Tim Horan, Phil Kearns, and Jason Little.

When announcing his reiterment after the 2007 final, os said: “I would have to say that I never thought I would bow out in a World Cup final, when I called it a day in 2000. To begin with a world title and to finish with another would be a real accomplishment, a memory that I will cherish for ever. I dedicate this to my best friend, Alex.”

Os will be a household name in South African Rugby for many years to come. He will be remembered alongside Springbok greats like Frik du Preez, Naas Botha, Mannetjies Roux and Danie Gerber. Os du Randt is a true Springbok Legend.

Posted by Dave (@djvanman on twitter)

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