The McLook rugby collection

A personal collection that tells the story of Springbok rugby

31 July 1976 - Transvaal 10 / All Blacks 12

In the end it was the five crocks which cost Transvaal the match. Transvaal started the match with five players not fully fit and that contributed to 1) running out of puff in the last 5 minutes 2) losing a vital line-out in the last minute and 3) Bosch –one of the crocks- botching it up by missing a penalty kick in the last minute. 

“Pa” Pelser’s remark after the match: “They are a great side. They beat us fairly and squarely” was much appreciated by the New Zealanders. Fact is that the burden of carrying suspect players told on Transvaal and the fade out in the last 15 minutes prevented them from registering their first win in 48 years over the All Blacks. 

Kevin de Klerk needed an injection for his damaged ankle ligaments; Johan Strauss played with seven stitches in a leg ripped by a saw; Johan van Wyngaard moved cautiously on his injured leg; Bosch and Ellis both spend most of the week in run-up to the match in bed with flu. 

Gerald Bosch shouldn’t have played on two accounts. One he was still disturbed by the furious arguing over whether he should have left the field at Durban. He had been hounded over the weekend and in next few days as reporters has sought unceasingly for the Bosch answer to all the quarrelling about the legitimacy of the subbing. Second, he developed complications from playing with the flu in the first test and hardly had a practice kick during the ensuing week as he struggled to shake of the after effects. Bosch succeeded with only two of seven kicks excluding a failed drop kick attempt but including a kick in the last minutes which would have won Transvaal the match. 


Gerald Bosch didn’t have a happy day with the boot and probably shouldn’t have been playing at all as he was still struggling to overcome the ill effects of flu. 

Johan Strauss

Dave Frederickson

Richard Prentis

The Transvaal front-row who gave the All Blacks a torrid time in the scrums 

Transvaal decided to play a strengthened, heavier front row with the recall of Springbok Dave Frederickson, a retreaded prop, as hooker, the ironman Johan Strauss at tighthead and another future Springbok prop Richard Prentis packing on the loosehead side of the scrum. They attacked the All Blacks in the right place namely up front and the All Blacks for the first time on tour felt the slow poison of a well-drilled scrummaging machine. Kevin de Klerk also proved a handful in the line-outs and by halftime Transvaal was leading 10-3. It could have been more but Bosch missed with his first two penalty attempts and with the conversation of Corrie Pypers try. 

Pypers scored a stupendous try in the 26th minute bulldozing his way down the left touchline like a tank eluding Billy Bush first then storming through Bryan Williams and Duncan Robertson before crashing over in the tackle of Kit Fawcett. 

McLean provides this illustrative description of the Corrie Pypers try: 

Corrie Pypers, just a new boy in such company, sold two or three dummies to Paul Bayvel at a forward tussle about halfway.

Mired in the expectation of a ball to touch, the All Blacks let Corrie be. Whereupon he turned about, with the touchline only a meter or so from his left shoulder, and began to run.

Bush, too sour in mind to concentrate, because of a continuing contest with Frederickson, failed the first and easiest tackle. Williams, Fawcett and Duncan Robertson suffered next; and even the ranks of Ponsonby could scare forbear to cheer as the magnificent Pypers completed his run with a try at the corner.  

Corrie pypers breaking away with Kevin de Klerk, Jan Ellis and Paul Bayvel in the background. 

McLean also has this on the Transvaal forwards, the referee, Kevin de Klerk and Jan Ellis: 

Transvaal had vast forwards who averaged more than a stone heavier. The mid-afternoon Johannesburg temperature was 25 degrees and down at the bottom of the bowl it must have been degrees warmer. “It was hot,” “Stoney” Steenkamp, the referee agreed. He contributed to the heat. His 33 penalties, 17 of them to Transvaal, exacerbated players and public. “Pa” Pelser, the Transvaal coach, raged that 9 of the penalties against his side had been at the scrum. The All Blacks did some raging to.  

You never saw more scientific lifting than was done of the lock Kevin de Klerk, as he won one ball after another at lineouts. The hems of his shorts were almost up around his waist, so high and long was he held aloft. But Stoney did nothing which might explain the fractures of body which were the saddening features of the game.  

Jan Ellis, perhaps because he had been turned by age into a rogue elephant, pursued the All Black skipper and delivered upon him, as his back was partly turned, a punch Luis Firpo might have esteemed (Read more about Firpo here). Leslie saw it coming too late to duck. In fact he turned the wrong way, straight into the blow. At first, so it was thought in the dressing-room after no-side, the jaw was broken. Later, the X-ray revealed a hairline fracture of the cheekbone. 

Was it true Ellis spent the evening patting himself on the back for his feat –the only one of the game which was of account? 

As this group of pictures indicate Jan Ellis had at least one run with the ball during the match which is a bit more than old Terry McLean would like to give him credit for.  


Another Corrie Pypers picture. He scored his second try in his second match against the All Blacks and this try was according to accounts one of the great tries scored at Ellispark. 

It is probably no co-incidence that Leslie suffered the same injury Morné du Plessis did against the same team and the boast by Ellis at the after-match party that Leslie had looked for it and got what he deserved struck a sadly inappropriate note. His outburst won him few friends and there was far less sympathy for him than there might have been when he was dropped only one test away from a record 39 appearances for South Africa.

THis match featured some intense and spirited encounters between the forwards with a few dust-ups. 

All Black scrumhalf getting spear tackled 

New Zealand’s try was a team effort. Duncan Robertson created it by flattening Bosch with a devastating tackle. It led to a penalty which New Zealand tapped. Ian Kirkpatrick stormed through a gap, the forwards drove over the tackle ball like a black tidal wave. The ball popped out and in a flash went through the hands to Williams who put on the supercharger to score an excellent try in the corner. Williams then converted his try with a super kick right from the corner after having been succesful with only one of 6 previous attempts at goal. 

Bryan Willimas scoring in the 46th minute with the TVL fullback Colin Jones on his back. 

Bryan Williams also kicked the penalty that mattered in the 38th minute to take the All Blacks to a 12-10 victory. 

The game featured little back play, being a fascinating battle for forward supremacy between two excellent packs. It was a grinding day for the kiwi’s that was to teach them more than it apparently taught the Springbok selectors. From it was born a secret scrummaging strategy, the brainchild of Tane Norton and which had a profound impact on the second test two weeks later. In essence, it hinged on the All Black tighthead prop becoming the key man on the opposition put-in; boring in at an angle to impede his prop and so hampering the hooker in his sight of the ball and timing for the hook. Wrapped up in the plan was the timing of the “heave” so that the opposition ball won turned into slow possession. It culminated in both Derek van den Berg and Robert Cockrell getting the sack after the second test. 

Frederickson left the field replaced by Gerald Venter in the 64th minute and this conspired to ruin what could have been a perfect day for the Transvaal pack- who received genuine praise from the All Black team afterwards. Venter missed Kevin de Klerk in the dying seconds of the match, close to the All Black line, with Bosch set for a drop at goal. To the Transvaal forwards’ horror, Venter lobbed the ball feet above de Klerk’s head –to No7- where Lawrie Knight made a fine take allowing the All Blacks to clear. 

Kit Fawcett had one of his better games and got New Zealand running with some outstanding counter-attacking runs. He also produced the tackle of the day stopping Johan van Wyngaard stone dead as he raced towards the New Zealand posts. 





 All Blacks



Colin Jones


Kit Fawcett






Johan van Wyngaard

Tommy Symons

Joe Coetzer

Joe van Vuuren


Neil Purvis

Bruce Robertson

Bill Osborne

Bryan Willams




1 try, 1 pen, 1 con



Gerald Bosch

Paul Bayvel

2 pen

D Robertson

Lyn Davis





Braam van Heerden

Jan Ellis (C)

Corrie Pypers



1 try

Andy Leslie (C)

Kevin Eveligh

Ian Kirkpatrick





Salty du Randt

Kevin de Klerk


Peter Whiting++

Hamish Macdonald





Johan Strauss

Dave Frederikson*

Richard Prentis


Kent Lambert

Tane Norton

Billy Bush














 *     Replaced by Gerald Venter in the 64th minute. ++ Replaced by Lawrie Knight after 43 minutes.  

The match official was Stoney Steenkamp from OVS and the crowd attendance was 75 000. 

Run of play 




3rd minute

Bosch penalty, 38 m.


15th minute

Williams penalty, 27 m.


21st minute

Pypers try.


26th minute

Bosch penalty.


46th minute

Williams try, Williams convert.


75th minute

Williams penalty, 38 m.


Bosch failed with a conversion and three attempts at penalty. Williams failed with 6 attempts at penalties.

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