The McLook rugby collection

A personal collection that tells the story of Springbok rugby

Rhodesia vs NZ 1949

This version of the two matches between NZ and Rhodesia in 1949 was send to me by a guy called Peter Jones.

 

The Rhodesia team consited of players from Southern (now Zimbabwe) and Northern (Zambia) Rhodesia) as can be seen below.

 

1. E.J. Painting  (Bulawayo)  2. P.M. Greaves (Bulawayo)  3. I.W. Brownlee (Salisbury)

6. J.M. du Rand (Inyazura) 4. M.C. Prinsloo (Bulawayo) 5. A.H. Birkin (Gwelo)  7. C. Jones  (Nchanga)

8. J.C. Morkel – Captain (Inyazura)

9. W. Viljoen (Copperbelt)

10. E.U. Karg (Mufulira)

11. W. D. B. Kidd (Army)  12. W. E. Brune (Mufulira)  13. R. A. van Schoor (Inyazura)  14. J.A. Brink (Inyazura)

15. J. D. Pretorius (Army)

 

Southern

Northern

 

The two countries played each other for the Clark Cup each year and the North won more times than the South!!

 

Here is the Peter Jones version:

 

THE DAY THE NEW ZEALAND ALL BLACKS WERE BEATEN BY THE RHODESIAN RUGBY TEAM

 

It is a little known fact that the New Zealand All Blacks have in fact been beaten by a non test rugby side once in their history, although many excuses will be given as to why this happened.

 

In the same way when England beat the All Blacks on 9th November 2002 it was claimed that this only happened because it was a 2nd XV (England went on to win the World Cup in 2003).

 

Some have even suggested that the two games played by the All Blacks during the tour of 1949 to Rhodesia were just exhibition matches (with a squad of 24 players!) but in fact all the New Zealanders had been capped before or certainly had by the end of their careers except two. The great New Zealand All Black captain Fred Allen was under no illusions of had happened when he said after the game “We have had many fine games of football in South Africa but today’s, I think, was one of the nicest I have had the privilege and pleasure of playing in. So far as Rhodesia’s win was concerned, they deserved every bit of it and I can tell you that we shall be flat out to reciprocate on Saturday”. Fred Allen knew better than anyone and he accepted the defeat like a gentleman.

And so it was on Wednesday 27 July 1949 at the Hartsdale Stadium in Bulawayo in front of a crowd of 10,000 people Fred Allen lead out his All Black team against the Rhodesians lead by John Morkel. The All Black team in their 354th game was made up of 10 capped players and 3 who went on to be capped later on in the tour. Only two players Bill Conrad and Jack Goddard remained uncapped in their careers.

 

1. * K.L. Skinner   2. ^ N.L. Wilson   3. * R.A. Dalton

6. * L.A. Grant  4. * M.J. McHugh  5. * C. Willocks  7. + P.J.B Crowley  8. * N.H. Thornton

9. W.J.M. Conrad (uncapped)

10. * J.C. Kearney

11. * P. Henderson  12. * F.R. Allen Captain)  13. + G.W. Delamore  14. * E.G. Boggs

15. J.W. Goddard (uncapped)

* capped players    +later capped on 1949 tour   ^capped 1951

 

The Rhodesians, a combined side of players from Northern (now Zambia) and Southern (now Zimbabwe) Rhodesia, were:

1. E.J. Painting  (Bulawayo)  2. P.M. Greaves (Bulawayo)  3. I.W. Brownlee (Salisbury)

6. J.M. du Rand (Inyazura) 4. M.C. Prinsloo (Bulawayo) 5. A.H. Birkin (Gwelo)  7. C. Jones  (Nchanga)

8. J.C. Morkel – Captain (Inyazura)

9. W. Viljoen (Copperbelt)

10. E.U. Karg (Mufulira)

11. W. D. B. Kidd (Army)  12. W. E. Brune (Mufulira)  13. R. A. van Schoor (Inyazura)  14. J.A. Brink (Inyazura)

15. J. D. Pretorius (Army)

 

The Rhodesians were the first to score when “Koos” Brink followed a kick over the line for a try. He kicked the conversion as well. 5 – 0 up to the Rhodesians as they got to half time. Claude Jones was the second to score for the Rhodesians. Bill Kidd had kicked ahead and although the ball had been fielded by the New Zealand fullback, Jack Goddard, he had been descended upon by a host of Rhodesians and he was dispossessed by John Morkel who passed it out to his winger who scored under the posts. Ed Karg converted and the Rhodesians were 10 – 0 up.

 

The New Zealanders sought revenge and shortly afterwards following a superb break by Pat Crowley, Bill Conrad gathered the ball and passed it out to Eric Boggs who skidded over in the corner. Jack Goddard converted to bring the scores to 10 –  5.

 

The New Zealanders maintained pressure and soon enough scrum half Pat Conrad slipped around the scrum and their second try was scored. Jack Goddard failed to convert and the score was now 10 – 8.

 

The last 10 minutes were dramatic and the New Zealanders gave their all to score again. The Rhodesians however had other ideas and cast aside any thoughts of defence and attacked. It was the right thing to do and the All Blacks found themselves defending their line desperately right to the final whistle. The Rhodesians had won the day and a glorious victory was a well earned result.

 

John Morkel, who was carried shoulder high by the crowd after the final whistle, remarked “It is not often Rhodesia does a thing like this”. How right he was but he very nearly achieved it again a few day later at Glamis Park, Salisbury.

The New Zealanders left Bulawayo for Victoria Falls where they played an unofficial game apparently on the other side of the bridge over the Zambezi in Livingstone before making their way their way on the train to Salisbury for the second match of the tour against the Rhodesians.

 

The New Zealanders, smarting from the defeat 3 days earlier, made 8 changes  in attempt to rectify things. Fred Allen was again the captain and this time the only player in the team who remained uncapped as an All Black player was Pat Conrad:

1. * K.L. Skinner  2. + N.L. Wilson  3.  * J.G. Simpson

6.  + P. Johnstone  4. * M.J. McHugh  5. * H.F. Frazer  7. + P.J.B Crowley

8. + D.L. Christian

9. W.J.M. Conrad (uncapped)

10. + N.W. Black

11. * P. Henderson 12. * F.R. Allen (Captain) 13. * R.R. Elvidge 14. + W.A Meates

15. * R.W.H. Scott

* capped players    +later capped on 1949 tour  

 

The Rhodesians made only two changes  in jersey numbers 3 and 6 due to injuries:

1. E.J. Painting  2. P.M. Greaves 3. J. Slabbert (Inyazura)

6. S. Durrant (Army)  4. M.C. Prinsloo  5. A.H. Birkin  7. C. Jones

8. J.C. Morkel - Captain

9. W. Viljoen

10. E.U. Karg

11. W.D.B. Kidd  12. W.E. Brune  13. R.K.M. van Schoor  14. K. A. Brink

15. J. D. Pretorius

 

This was as close to a test match if ever there was one. 14 capped or soon to be capped on this tour All Black players took to the pitch to revenge their defeat in Bulawayo.

The game was a solid one with neither team giving any quarter and by half time Rhodesia led 3 – 0 through a drop goal by Ed Karg, probably the most important kick of his international career. The New Zealanders scored a try late in the encounter, although the film of the game clearly shows Bob Scott, the full back, knocking the ball on as he attempted to pick up the ball. The Rhodesians were expecting the whistle to be blown but Scott weaved his way skilfully through the defences  catching everyone on the wrong foot and dashed 60 yards from inside his own half to score in the corner. 

 

The conversion attempt failed and the score was now 3 – 3. Despite the pressure from both sides it remained this way until the final whistle. But importantly it meant that the Rhodesians had remained unbeaten by the New Zealand All Blacks on the 1949 tour. Not many sides could ever add that prestigious right to their honour boards. It is worth noting that following this game both “Salty” du Rand and Ryk van Schoor were selected to play for the South African Springboks in the Second Test Match against the New Zealand All Blacks at Ellis in Johannesburg which the South African Springboks won 12 – 6.

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