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28 October 2014
According to one great cartoon from over 30 years ago....progress has been slow for USA rugby in their hopes of ever beating the All Blacks. Check this version out here.
When working for TVNZ in 1986 I wrote a book called 'New Zealand Sporting Disasters, Disappointments and Curiosities.' It did quite well and was reprinted six years later. The cartoons in it were the brilliant work of George Martin. I tried to write in a humorous way about some of the 'shockers' New Zealand sport had had over the years. Working upstairs then in the art department at the Avalon TV complex was George Martin, himself a man with a brilliant sports playing pedigree. I commissioned the ideas for the cartoons for the book and George brought them to life superbly.
This one here came when I wrote, as a 'Curiosity' about the All Blacks rugby team playing USA at Berkeley, California in 1913 and winning by 51-3 and then 77 years later the 1980 All Blacks went back to USA to San Diego and beat the Eagles by 53-6. I had kept a clipping from the 'Sports Illustrated' magazine who had sent one of their leading columnists out to see the game.
Dan Levin memorably wrote; 'The final score was All Blacks 53 USA Eagles 6, which was one point closer than the last time the two teams had met in 1913. On the scale of improvement shown by the USA in 1980 the United States can expect to draw a game against New Zealand in the year 5129!'
The quote became George Martin's vision of what the game of rugby might look like thousands of years into the future!
[Note; Since 1980 the All Blacks and USA have met one more time. In 1991 in Gloucester at the 2nd Rugby World Cup New Zealand won by 46-6. You would now perhaps have to do some more serious maths to work out what year it could be now re-calculated that USA would get a draw!]
Oh! Aren't we New Zealand rugby reporters arrogant!
Keith Arnold was a flanker who played in such a fiery manner an Aussie commentator Bill Cerutti called him a 'Killer' in 1947. The name stuck!
Western Province and South Africa
8 internationals for South Africa 1955–58
A hard-nosed loose forward, Dawie Ackermann, described by one South African writer as ‘symmetrically built’, was at his very best as a ﬂanker in the three tests he played against the 1955 British Lions team and in two tests against the All Blacks in 1956. After being part of the Springbok team which surprisingly lost to the French XV in 1958, he was no longer required by the South African selectors.
In his frustration Dawie Ackermann turned to the ﬂedgling sport of rugby league and he is remembered as the captain of South Africa’s ﬁrst (and only) touring league team in 1963. The tour to Australia and New Zealand was not a success (even though the South Africans beat New Zealand) and Ackermann and league did not re-surface in South Africa.
Which New Zealand sports broadcaster once described a tight tennis match as 'a Battle of Nutrition.'