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20 August 2014
John Roughan in the New Zealand Herald recently wondered if the All Blacks of today have lost the art of losing gracefully. The great Fred Allen was a hard man who drove his team's hard for test wins. Nothing else mattered but to win. His teams played tough for 80 minutes. Yet see how he lost so generously here in 1949 - with the South African captain Felix du Plessis. And Fred's team lost all four tests in a row on that tour!
The 8-7 victory over France in Auckland was confirmed with a late (and now very famous) Stephen Donald penalty; and the nation which had waited 24 years went wild for Richie McCaw's team.
GEFFIN, AARON (‘OKEY’)
Transvaal and South Africa
7 internationals for South Africa 1949–51
A prop who made the headlines in 1949 when his prodigious goal-kicking for the Springboks helped them to beat the touring All Blacks 4–0 in the test series.
In the first test New Zealand led South Africa by 11 to 3 at one stage. Goal-kicking duties had been allotted to the Griquas fullback, Jack van der Schyff, for the match, but after he missed two shots Geffin picked up the ball and, uninvited, took the next penalty.
Geffin put over five penalty attempts, virtually beating New Zealand, 15–11, on his own. It was a record number of penalties for any player in a test match up to that time. He did the same in the third test, scoring all of South Africa’s points in its 9–3 win, and in the other two tests he kicked three further goals.
Hailed as a hero that year, Geffin made the Springbok team for the 1951–52 tour of Britain where he also scored impressively with seven conversions –a test record – against Scotland. South Africa won 44–0.
By then Geffin was 31 years old and he eventually lost his place in the Springboks’ scrum. But he will always be remembered as a match-winner by fans of the Springboks – and by disappointed New Zealanders!
His nickname of Okey came from his habit of responding ‘Okay’ when called to take a shot at goal.
Who said; 'Rugby League is a simple game played by simple people. Rugby Union is a complex game played by wankers?'