Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
17 September 2016
545th All Black test
NEW ZEALAND v SOUTH AFRICA (THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2016, 1st test) at AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand
Saturday 17th September 2016
Fulltime score – New Zealand 41 South Africa 13
Halftime – New Zealand 15 South Africa 10
Conditions; Weather clear but cool, dry ground; evening game
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
For New Zealand (41)
Tries: Dagg, J Savea, B Smith, A Savea, Whitelock, Perenara
Cons: Barrett (4)
For South Africa (13)
Pens: Jantjies (2)
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg (rep’d by L.Sopoaga 68m), 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty (rep’d by A Lienert-Brown 67m), 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith (rep’d by T.J.Perenara 64m), 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 A.Savea (rep’d by L.Romano 60m), 6 Jerome Kaino (rep’d by M.Todd 52m), 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks (rep’d by C.Faumuina 54m), 2 Dane Coles (rep’d by C.Taylor 67m) and 1 Joe Moody (rep’d by W.Crockett 46m)
South Africa: 15 Johan Goosen (rep’d by Damian de Allende 51m), 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies (rep’d by Morne Steyn 60m), 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Teboho Mohoje (rep’d by Willem Alberts 51m), 6 Francois Louw (rep’d by Jaco Kriel 60m), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (rep’d by Franco Mostert 63m), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch (rep’d by Lourens Adriaanse 72m), 2 Adriaan Strauss (c) (rep’d by Malcolm Marx 44m) and 1 Tendai Mtawarira (rep’d by Steven Kitshoff 60m)
With this win the All Blacks regained The Rugby Championship; which they had last held in 2014 (Australia had been the winners last year) The win came with two rounds of the competition still to play.
New Zealand’s test winning record moved up to 15 tests in a row.
Kieran Read set a new world record in this game; winning his first 15 test matches as a captain. (Beating Brian Lochore’s former record of 14, beginning in 1966)
Owen Franks completed his 84th test match without scoring a try; thus setting a new world ‘non try-scoring’ mark. The previous record of 83 non-scoring test matches was held by Salvatore Perugini of Italy.
And there's a many a Kiwi who has rung him on this day in the years since - after he grew to be one of our greatest All Blacks.
For many years the record for the largest crowd to watch a rugby international was the 95,000 that packed into the old Ellis Park ground in Johannesburg in 1955 to watch the ﬁrst test between South Africa and the British Isles. There were also 95,000 present in Bucharest in May 1957 to see France play Romania, although it should be mentioned that the game was actually played as a curtain raiser to a major soccer match!
A record was thought to have been set at Murrayﬁeld in Edinburgh in 1975, when it was reported that a crowd of 104,000 watched the Wales v Scotland international. However, in the end the ofﬁcial attendance was listed as 80,000.
The biggest total of people to watch a test match in New Zealand is the 61,240 who attended Eden Park in Auckland for the fourth test between New Zealand and South Africa in 1956.
For decades the record attendance for a test match in Australia was the 48,898 who came to see New Zealand play Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the third test of 1980. That total was impressive enough considering the lesser place rugby held in the hearts of the Australian sporting public at the time. However being twice world champions in the 1990s helped the upsurge in popularity of rugby union. Coinciding with the rise in rugby’s significance came the building of much larger sports arenas, most notably for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.
The latest record total for crowds at a rugby test in Australia therefore also became the world’s best. At Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 15, 2000 with the Bledisloe Cup at stake the All Blacks and the Wallabies played in front of 109,878 fans. A year before on the same ground 107,042 had watched the same two teams in action.
At the other end of the scale, there have been many times when ofﬁcials have been disappointed with the size of crowds that have turned out to see major rugby matches.
Easily the tiniest crowd to watch a signiﬁcant rugby match would have been the few dozen people who stood about on the sidelines of Owl Creek Polo Ground in Glenville, in upstate New York, for the match between USA and South Africa in 1981.
To avoid anti-apartheid protesters and prying news media, the two teams traveled in secret to a destination which only a few ofﬁcials knew about. They also had quietly scheduled the match to begin 24 hours ahead of its planned playing time, and goal-posts were only erected (by the players of both teams) ﬁve minutes before kick-off. When the teams ran on to the sloping, muddy and manure-smelling ﬁeld, 60 state police leapt from unmarked cars to guard the event, but they cannot be claimed as boosters to the total attendance ﬁgure of 25!
Had there been a scoreboard at the ground it would have shown a ﬁnal score of South Africa 38, USA 7. Perhaps this was the only international where there were more points scored than people attending.
One of the South African players in the game, Thys Burger, claims some sort of world record. He says he helped put up the posts; when the game started he acted as touch judge for a time, then he came on to play as a substitute and finished his day by scoring a try between them!
Why did the Wallaby rugby team only practice in the afternoons at the 1987 Rugby World Cup?