Welcome to this website which is all about the history of springbok rugby. I've been a supporter of the South African rugby team (the Springboks) since I can remember and sampled pictures of past and current Springboks (whatever I could lay my hands on) since 1970. I kept this up until I went to University in 1981. While at University and thereafter -starting with my career- I was less focussed on this process but kept at it in a pretty relaxed way. My process was simply to put every newspaper and magazine that contains articles or pictures of test matches (in some cases provincial matches like Curry Cup finals) in a container.
Once I started with my career and began earning money I bought books, tapes, recordings and official tour publications about previous tours whenever I saw something in bookshops, on internet or wherever. Sort of loosly permantly on the look-out for information, pictures and books of the Springboks.
About two years ago I noticed that some of my pictures and books were getting a little delapedated so I decided to start with systematic scanning process and that was when the idea to actually write pieces about the various tours and post it on the internet sprang to life.
My plan is to write up all matches played by the Springbok on tour and matches of South African provincial sides against touring sides starting with the All Black tours. I will also add bits and pieces about end of year tours (EOYT) to the UK.
This website is therefore a work in progress. Currently I am busy posting information about the 1956 tour. It include match descriptions with pictures of players that played in the various matches.
It is simply my way of honouring the legends who made South African rugby what it is today.
My mission (if you want to put it like that) is to write pieces on all the matches played by the Springboks on tour or by touring sides to South Africa. Readers will get a clear appreciation of what happened during the match(es), who scored, who played and what were the critical players and issues during that particular match. Each match description will be accompanied with photographs and eventually where available I will add short snippets of radio commentary and video footage of tries.
The arch enemy or the nemesis of South African rugby has always been the All Blacks. The All Black/Springbok rugby rivalry is in my mind the fiercest sporting rivalry on the planet. It is a rivalry that started in 1921 and which it still going 90 years later; it has capitivated the minds of South African and I believe New Zealand rugby supporters leaving me with little doubt with what I should start this longterm process. I will be discussing South Africa and New-Zealand rugby tours, starting with the 1965 Springbok tour to New Zealand as well as the 1970 and 1976 All Black tours to South Africa.
Here is a short summary the 90 years of Springbok / All Black rivalry.
The Springboks and the All Blacks have played against each other since 1921, when South Africa toured for the first time to New Zealand. There were a total of 13 tours -6 tours to New Zealand and 7 tours to South Africa including 1996.
Tours to New Zealand
Tours of SA
1 each + draw
2-1 - SA
3-1 - NZ
3-1 - NZ
2-1 - NZ
2-0 - NZ + draw
4-0 - SA
2-1 - SA + draw
3-1 - SA
3-1 - SA
3-1 - SA
3-1 - NZ
Click on the link below to watch a 6 part series about the Springbok vs All Black rivalry.
The 1956 tour is certainly the one that was the biggest for New Zealand. The whole of New Zealand was incited because at that time SA was the only country against whom they have never won a Test series. The 1949 series white wash of 4-0 was still hurting and totally unprepared for what they would encounter Danie Craven’s 1956 team entered a cauldron of obsessive rugby-mania. Craven was almost worshiped, but enemy number 1; with his no nonsense straight and to the point approach he rose to the occasion and played a massive role in a series which is still fixed and ingrained in the memory of the New Zealand rugby public.
Over the past few two years I have increased the intensity of my sampling of information about the rugby tours between SA and NZ looking in particular at newspaper archive articles, books and video material. I collected everything I could lay my hands on. The rugby museum here in Palmerston North, the local library and University Library was sources of great help and I have sampled information which would be hard to come by for most people.
The interesting nature of the information has kept me up daily reading nonstop long after midnight. To truly appreciate the tours you have to read the full story, the team selection, the arrival, the first tour match, every game's progression and drama as well as the tension and mental games preceding the first test including the opinions of sport journalists before and after the respective tests. I will try to share this information here on on this website with anyone interested.
As a child I devoured Chris Greyvenstein’s book Springbok Saga, but was extremely frustrated with the concise nature of the information contained therein. This is therefore something that I have threatened to do for years because I have always had a desire to know the story behind the tours; to know more about the players, coaches, game plans, how the week games went and how the New Zealanders experienced the tours. Who were the key figures? Why did the 1937 team succeed while no other Springbok team could win a series in NZ? What went wrong in 1965 and did Kevin Skinner really had such a big influence on the outcome of the 1956 series.
I am writing these pieces mostly for my personal collection. Inputs, stories, anecdotes and pictures from readers will certainly be much appreciated.
I call this the McLook rugby collection because it is in essence a pesonal collection spanning over 40 years. My aim is to share my collection with all rugby supporters by putting everything I have on this website. I will try and create a fairly comprehensive description of all Sprinbok matches since the very first match. Intially the focus will be mostly on All Black/Springbok tours. I will certainly acknowledge any help and contributions from other passionate Springbok and All Black fans who wants to share information/pictures/recordings and who wants to help to create a comprehensive record of Springbok rugby tests and matches.