25 June 1994 – Pukehohe; New Zealand
South Africa 37 / Counties 26
The Springboks second match of the 1994 tour was against Counties in Pukehohe. The counties rugby division team was found in 1926 as South Auckland and affiliated to Auckland. It was granted full union status as South Auckland in 1955. The name was changed to Counties in 1956. Counties returned to the first division in 1994 after two seasons in the second division. It was the home province of Jono Lomu who was on duty with the All Blacks (playing France) on the day South Africa played against them in 1994.
Counties had played 4 matches against Horowhenua (winning 108-12), Manawatu (losing 28-33), Hawke’s Bay (winning 46-15) and Northland (winning 41-31) in the run-up to this match against South Africa.
Kabous van der Westhuzen
Hennie le Roux
Fritz van Heerden
· Bartmann was replaced by Rudolf Straeuli at the start of the 2nd half. In the last 15 minutes of the match Pieter Muller was replaced by FA Meiring and Johan Roux was replaced by Joost van der Westhuizen.
This picture shows Wahl Bartmann leaving the field early in the 2nd half. This was the end of Bartmann’s tour.
The Springboks started well with some good driving amongst the forwards but they kept on losing the ball in the tackle situation. They were taking the driving one or two steps too far culminating in players getting isolated. Silly mistakes like knocking the ball on, throwing 50/50 passes, not finding touch with line kicks or skewing their line-outs throws were also paramount. They were struggling as a consequence to get rhythm and flow.
Counties flyhalf Danny Love were quick to spot openings in the back (fullback being out of position) and to put his team into the South African red zone with some excellent tactical kicks. The support for the local team was boisterous right from the start but grew in volume after Counties –thanks to the tactical kicking of Love- scored two tries in quick succession within the first 10 minutes of the game. South Africa consequently -in spite of a reasonable start- found themselves 14-0 (two tries against none) down after 10 minutes of play.
Leno Foia who was playing in the place of Jono Lomu (who was with the All Blacks busy preparing for a test match against France) in the Counties team scored an impressive try for Counties. He basically hip slammed Andre Joubert out of the way on his way to the try line.
Shockingly for South Africa both tries were scored of set piece. The first try eventuated when winger Leno Foai received the ball from the fullback who jumped into the line and run over Andre Joubert. The Counties No9 stood away and received the ball from the No8 who picked up behind a scrum which was getting pushed backwards; that created the space in the midfield allowing the fullback to receive a good pass when he jumped into the line. The second try was scored by No1 prop Tony Barchard from a set move around the front of the lineout. The line resulted when Hennie le Roux botched-up 25 meter kick-off. The ball went to the front of the line-out and Brain the No8 came with speed around the front of the lineout and when he got tackled he in-passed to Tony Barchard who scored about 10 meters from the touchline.
Prop forward Tony Barchard scored Counties second try. Picture on the left shows him as he goes over the line and the one on the right getting up after scoring the try.
Trailing 14-0 the Springboks systematically started to work themselves back into the match. They were still making a lot of mistakes but the sequences of plays were slowly improving in quality and length. Seventeen minutes into the first half they forced a penalty which Joubert converted into 3 points.
The Springboks kept on clawing their way back after that and it was Johan Roux who scored South Africa’s first two tries. The first try came after an attacking backline move and was the result of a hodgepodge of errors on both sides. The ball went down the backline and Pieter Muller got inside and half past his marker. He threw a good overhead pass in the tackle to Kabous van der Westhuizen on the wing but his opponent intercepted. The interceptor ran a few steps and when he got blocked he turned and threw the ball backward but straight at Kabous who was chasing him. Kabous deflected the ball to Andre Joubert who was the initial blocker and who was running in the opposite direction (towards the Counties goal line). Joubert caught the deflected ball and suddenly find himself in the open. He ran about 20 meters draw the cross defence and send the ball inside to Johan Roux who ran in and scored. Joubert converted but the Springboks got penalised soon afterwards and the score went to 17-10 before Roux scored his second try. Roux's second try came from a 5-meter pressure scrum by South Africa. It was Counties throw in 5 meters out but the boks pushed them back and the halfback under pressure threw a wild pass over the head of his No10. Roux storming up fell on the ball and the try was allowed. Joubert miss with the conversion and the score went to 17-15.
The first Springbok try came after some good work by Pieter Muller. He run himself into a gap and threw an overhead pass to Kabous. This picture shows Muller in process of throwing the overhead pass.
Counties took the score to 20-15 after another penalty before Hennie le Roux scored an intercept try early in the second half. When Joubert converted South Africa took the lead 20-22. This was the 3rd Springbok try all three scored off mistakes by Counties. Some of the mistakes –resulting in tries- were the result of pressure like the second try but mostly the mistakes were caused by the Counties traditional approach to run with everything they get.
Hennie le Roux intercepted and scored the Springboks 3rd try. This picture shows Hennie le Roux on his way to his try.
Soon afterwards Brendan Venter scored the 4th try after a classic centre break after receiving quick 2nd phase ball. This took the score to 20-29.
Brendan Venter scored probably his best try of the tour in this match. The picture on the left shows him scoring the try and the one on the right waiting for the conversion at the halfway line.
Joost vand der Westhuizen came on for Johan le Roux and FA Meiring for Pieter Muller. Joost threw two terrible passes with his left hand right after he came on but picked-up his passing after that and had a reasonable 15 minutes. South Africa was starting to get a lot more flow and kept the ball in hand. There were two penalties (one by Counties and one by Joubert) to take the score to 23-32 before Straeuli scored a good try after some good forward rucking and forward backline interplay. Right at the end Counties got a penalty and the match ended with a 26-37 victory for South Africa.
Rudolf Straeuli came on for Wahl Bartmann and scored South Africa’s last try of the match.
Three of the Springbok tries were ‘soft’ tries as it resulted from Counties trying to run with everything. South Africa started very scrappy but interplay improved as the match progressed. The scrum was solid and in the early part the only thing that kept South Africa in the match. Most penalties’ against SA was at the tackle ball but there were a few for lifting in the line-out.
The South African scrum was solid in this match and kept the Springboks in the game during the early parts of the match.
It was a rusty but a relatively good win. Handling in the backs, decision making with ball in hand, discipline at the tackle ball and line-outs were the major problems at this stage of the tour.