The McLook rugby collection

A personal collection that tells the story of Springbok rugby

Pontypool and Cardiff games against 1951 Springboks Add Video

Pathé footage of the 1951 Springboks playing Pontypool and Cardiff,

Posted by All Blacks 1996 on July 14, 2014 at 12:38 AM 1754 Views

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1 Comment

Reply Kimbo
8:40 AM on July 15, 2014 
The Pontypool game was unfortunate for the Springboks, as it was there that their tour captian Basil Kenyon suffered a detached retina, and his playing career ended at that moment. Tour vice captain Hennie Muller took over as the captain for the five test matches (all won). A very great team the 1951-52 Springboks, almost complete (their wings and fullback were maybe not of the absolute highest quality, but everywhere else they were world class).

The commentator has the wrong player scoring the winning try for South Africa against Cardiff. It was wing "Chum" Ochse, not second string scrum half Hansie Oelofse right at the end of the game on the left wing who dotted down from the cross kick just ahead of the defender and just before the touch-in-goal line. Chris Greyvenstein does a good write-up of it in 'Springbok Saga'

This was the Springboks most difficult game on the tour - even though they only lost one, to London Counties. It was a very good Cardiff team, with a world class pairing at both centre (Jackie Matthews and Bleddyn Williams), and in the halves (Cliff Morgan and Rex Willis). Also world class forwards such as Sid Judd and Cliff Davies. Two years later they beat the touring 1953-54 All Blacks 8-3 (one of only two games the All Blacks lost in Britain).

Found this interesting piece of info about Davies:

"Davies then faced his final major touring team, when he was part of the Cardiff team that faced the touring South Africa team. It was a close match which Cardiff lost 11-9. Davies played particularly well in the front row, but when he turned up from working down the mine he was unshaven and used his stubble against the South African prop, Jaap Bekker in the scrum. After rubbing the side of Bekker's face raw, Bekker warned Davies to stop, or he would bite him.[7] Davies did not stop, and Bekker responded by biting a piece out of Davies' ear which caused a heavy bleed"

Obviously Wales could have done with Skinner to take care of Jaap Bekker that day! Jaap getting up to his usual tricks! Obviously in those days what happened on the field stayed on the field.

Mind you, what goes around comes around. This from the same bio on Davies

"Davies made his international debut for Wales during the 1947 Five Nations Championship, when he was selected to face Scotland at Murrayfield. Under the captaincy of Haydn Tanner, Wales beat the Scottish team convincingly and Davies secured his position in the team for the rest of the season. In his second game for Wales, Davies was involved in a memorable match against France at Stade Colombes. In a bruising encounter, Davies bit the ear of French prop Jean Princlary in the scrum, after the Frenchman's continual harassment of Billy Gore, the Welsh hooker."