The McLook rugby collection

A personal collection that tells the story of Springbok rugby

21 August 1965 - Second test - Carisbrook; Dunedin

McLean and the rest of the New Zealand rugby journalists once again had much to say about the Springbok’s preparation in the week before the test. McLean writes as follows on this matter:  

Training – the importance and fostering of. That could be the theme of the day. In the morning, the Springboks did a good deal of it. Someone threw the ball in incessantly. Goosen, newly and most deservedly capped, rose up at No3, du Preez at No5, Nel at No7. In turn all made the catch.

Everyone else stepped to the right positions; and that was that. Meanwhile, the backs, under care of Nelie Smith, chased around the place and did a good deal of criss-cross scissors passing. It was all very proper and not terribly enthusiastic and re-awakened the feelings of early in the tour that these men weren’t working hard enough.

There was certainly not much humour about anything; nor earnestness, either, for that matter. Just everyone going through a routine.  

The All Black training session was in comparison, according to McLean, noticeably more energetic, stuctured and physically demanding with a lot more fun and emotional involvement by both players and coaches. McLean relate how, during lunch, a conversation unfolded -between All Black players and the media- regarding the lethargic training methods of the Springboks. Speculatively, the conversation moved into the direction of wondering whether the Springboks’ unwillingness to train really hard accounts for their poor success rate so far on tour and for the apparent extra weight some of the South African players seems to be carrying.

The All Black coach Neil McPhail was concerned about over confidence and as a caution against super-optimism got the team together to express his concerns and to warn them against the dangers of being to sure of themselves. In support Colin Meads testified that in comparison with his dream easy encounter with Naude, in the first test, he found Goosen –who was selceted for the second test- in the subsequent game, a lot tougher and much more challenging. He also pointed to the fact that in spite of New Zealand donimating the first test there was only 3 points difference between the two teams, at the end. 

Abie Malan (on the left with the head gear) and Piet Goosen in the lineout during the second test. Tremain the All Black flanker –who scored the first try in this test- can be seen between Malan and Goosen.

The Springbok team for the test were:

Wilson; Engelbrecht; Gainsford; Roux, Brynard; Oxlee; Smith (Captain); Nel; Schoeman; du Preez; Goosen; Ellis; MacDonald; Malan; Van Zyl. Nelie Smith again played in place of Dawie de Villiers who left the field concussed in the last match - against Auckland- before the 2nd test.

The New Zealand selectors made only one change to the team that won the first test. Ray Moreton was brought on inside centre (second five-eight) in place of John Collins. The team can be seen here.

21 August 1965 - New Zeland 13 / South Africa 0 

Players standing at attention during the playing of the national anthems before the start of the second test.

Heavy rain fell non-stop for 24 hours leading up to the match. The field was consequently a mud bath making the game a messy affair in many ways. The backline play was messy, the lineouts were messy, the scrums were messy and the players were messy mud plasterd wresling phantoms by halftime. The wet, greasy playing surface also eliminated the Springboks main attacking weapon namely their dangerous backline. Unforced handling errors and scrappy/sloppy frantic struggles to control the slippery ball was typical in both teams –more so in the Springbok side.

Oxlee knocked the ball several times at No10 and was clearly totally out of his depth in the mud. Murdoch the NZ No10 also had difficulty catching the muddy slippery ball on one or two occasions but generally had a significantly better game mainly because he ran with speed onto the ball. Oxlee in contrast was tentative and hesitant and often spun round 180 degrees in process of catching the ball because he caught it with his arms and not with his hands. 

Oxlee getting ready to kick for touch after a penalty. Oxlee didn’t have a happy match; he was unsure, hesitant and clearly out of his depth in the mud. The other Springboks in the photo is from left to right, Lofty Nel, Piet Goosen, Oxlee with the ball, Sakkie van Zyl, Abie Malan with the head gear, Macdonald diagonally behind Abie, Frik du Preez with hands on knees and Gertjie Brynard. 

The few times the ball was despatched down the Springbok backline –and not knocked on- Gainsford looked dangerous; he was fast, ran straight and on at least two occations breaked away in such a way that it could have lead to tries if the last pass didn’t went astray. Mannetjies Roux –like the rest of the backline- didn’t get much opportunity but on the two or three occasions that the ball did go to him he had an unsettling effect on the backline; running either not straight or clinging too long onto the ball -trying to do to much- instead of just shifting the ball.

Nelie Smith was under tremendous pressure behind the scrums and lineouts. New Zealand's primary tactic was to storm through the lineouts and scrums and spoil. Smith was caught 90% of the times behind the scrums and lineouts for several reasons including the fact that he was not nimble enough, the fact that the Springboks tapped the ball in the lineout and were pushed back in the scrums. The All Blacks' first try came when Smith was bustled behind the scrum on the Sprigboks goal line by Laidlaw; the ball slipped out of Smith’s grip as he was about to pass it and rolled backwards in the direction of Oxlee waiting deep in the in goal area, Tremain came from the opposite side of the scrum and fell on the ball. 

Tremain’s try can be seen here.

Schoeman, van Zyl and Whineray wrestling for the ball in a lineout during the second test. Notice how Whineray is holding van Zyl’s arms down so he can’t compete.

I saw Frik du Preez catching the ball only once –during the entire match- with both hands and then messing it up by placing the ball to early on the ground –while Springboks were getting driven backwards.The result was that the ball was -once again- booted upfield by one of the All Black flankers when Nelie Smith fumbled the greasy ball.  

One of the few times that Frik du Preez actually caught the ball with both hands in the lineout. Note how the New Zealand forwards are already starting to drive forward while none of the Springboks are even in position, to either support Frik or to drive in on the ball. Shortly after the photo was taken, Frik placed the ball on the ground and the Springboks were driven back past the ball –which spilled side ways- allowing one of the All Black flankers to boot the ball meters far in the direction of the Springboks goal line.

The Springboks were too upright in the scrums and almost all the tight forwards scrumed with bended backs while the New Zealand pack maintained low body posistions and pushed at a 45 degree angle upwards in the scrums.

The scrums (as the photo below show) was much less structured and organized than today. It was literally a case of once the scrum has been called by the referee the first two or three tight forwards (sometimes the front row and hooker from one team and the loose head or tighthead prop from the other team) at the scene would begin to form the scrum while the rest of the forwards would join in as they arrive.

Depending on who started with the most forwards the scrum will move one way and then the otherway as more of the other team might arrive and join in. Forward backward the scrum will move until all the forwards of both teams are in the scrum at which point the All Blacks would start pushing the Springbok pack backwards because they maintained better body posistions in the scrum. Usually more of the All Blacks pack would arrived first at the scrum providing them with forward momentum right from the onset. 

Note how the props are busy starting the scrum while the rest of the tight forwards -of both teams- are still arriving. Note how curved or round the backs of the Springbok props are in comaprison with NZ props on the left. Look also at the props hips, knees and foot positions. The Springbok props are falling/leaning forward into the scrum with bended backs while the NZ props have their legs under them ready to thrust forward and upward; their feet are on the move while the Springboks' feet are anchored. Note also how the Springbok locks and eightman enter the scrum from top to bottom with the head ending lower than hips. In comparison the All Black locks are starting to bend their knee’s in preparation to enter the scrum; they would therefore enter with their heads higher that their hips giving them straight backs and more thrust.

Terry McLean writes as follows about the lineouts and scrums in this test: 

At the lineout, whether from a tapped ball or because of missing links in the defensive wall, the Springboks permitted the All Blacks to harass Smith, positively to prey upon him.

At the scrummage, they let the ball go to Smith and so encouraged the All Blacks, especially Tremain, Conway, Colin Meads and, less effectively, Lochore, to harass the poor man again, harass him so much that there wasn’t a chance of his putting defensive punts into All Black territory or making effective clearing passes to Oxlee.

Everything as to the winning –and losing- of the match turned upon this dreadfully severe and consistent plaguing of poor Nelie. In permitting it to occur and recur Smith, let’s face it, was ingenuous in his captaincy. 

McLean writes as follows about the negative or "spoiling tactics" of NZ in 1965: 

They (the players) are the children of New Zealand rugby –the rugby which is distinguished even at secondary school level, by careful, shrewd, chanceless play, with the touchline always a ready haven and the backs, certainly at representative level, restricted to the snapping-up of trifles rather than the production of thoughtful, calculated attacks at the weak links or men of the opposing side.  

On individual performances specific reference is made of Lionel Wilson. The wet conditions fitted Wilson –not a running fulback on his best of days- like a glove. The constant hoofing of the South African scrum and lineout ball by the New Zealand forwards brought Wilson right into the game, testing his positional play and ability to handle the wet muddy conditions. Wilson, however, was solid as a rock and did not put a foot wrong during the game. McLean writes as follows about Wilson: 

Not many New Zealanders, up till now, had placed Wilson very high among fullbacks. They had thought that his fielding clean and his right-footed punting sound, but as against this they were most critical of his nervous attitude, his painstaking preparation for defensive kicks with the left foot, his susceptibility to injury.

As the two teams surged over the slush of Carisbrook, all criticisms were forgotten. The man was miraculous. His touch in fielding was superb, his kicking long and accurate, his courage faultless, his positional play ideal. This was assuredly one of the great fullback games of South Africa-New Zealand history. 

See a clip of Lionel Wilson here

Goosen, du Preez, Ellis, MacDonald and Van Zyl tried hard, the All Black forwards were, however, clearly better on the day with better technique in the slush. 

Ellis is one of the Springboks who tried hard. Here he charges onto Rangi (first photo) and past Lochore (second photo).  

Run of the game

5th minute of the first half

Tremain score for NZ after Smith was bustled behind a scrum on the Springboks goal line; the ball was rolled to Oxlee standing deep in the ingoal area. Tremain came form the opposite side of the scrum and fell on the rolling ball. Williment converted.
10th minuteOxlee unsuccessful with a difficult penalty 5 to 7 outside the NZ 25 and about 3-4 meters from the left sideline.
8th minutes before half timeDu Preez caught Laidlaw in possession just inside the Springboks 25, the ball went loose and McLeod (NZ, No2) booted the ball into the Springboks ingaol area and won the race to the ball to score an opportunistic try. Williment was unsuccessful with the conversion.
20thminute into the second halfOxlee miss with his second penalty attempt almost on the same spot as his first attempt but this time against the right sideline.
70th minuteAll Blacks force a maul just left of the uprights about 15 yards from the Springboks goal line and recycled quick ball. Murdoch (AB, No10) ran beautifully with speed in on the wet ball and sent the ball down the backline. The ball went through the hands to Rangi who plunged through Gainsford and Brynard to score about 10 yards from the sideline. Williment succeed in the difficult wet conditions with the conversion.

80th minute

Final whistle with the score 13-0 in NZ’s favor

 

McLoad scores New Zealand's second try after he kicked a ball that went loose into the Springboks ingoal area and won the race to the ball.  

Murdoch, the All Black No10 running with speed onto the ball. He played with lot more confidence in the wet conditions than Oxlee and it was mainly due to the way that he ran with speed onto the ball that created Rangi's try. 

Ron Rangi scoring New Zealand's third try after a fine backline move.

Rangi’s try can be seen here.

The general feeling was that the foundation for the NZ victory was laid by the NZ pack; they outplayed the Springboks forwards in all departments. NZ was better in the scrums, although the scrum was not much of a contest in the wet conditions. The lineout was generally speaking a mess, but NZ did the basics better namely caught the ball more often with two hands and secured the ball more efficiently by driving in on the ball catcher.

Laidlaw handled the wet conditions much better than Nelie Smith and kept his forwards on the front foot with well placed punts just over the lineouts and scrums. The punts were so placed that the Springbok wingers Brynard and Engelbrecht had to turn around and scamper desperately to get the ball over the touchline. 

It was the first time that the All Blacks won the second test of a series (against South Africa) in New Zealand. The referee Mr. Pat Murphy pulled his hamstring halfway trough the second half. After treatment he was able to complete the match with a marked limp.  

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