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The NZ/SA Rivalry, how fierce is it?

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by The Red Baron, Aug 28, 2013.


How Fierce is the New Zealand - South Africa rivarly?

I live to beat the South Africans/Kiwis (omit as appropriate) 19 vote(s) 52.8%
it's reasonably fierce I suppose, no other country provides a challenge though 6 vote(s) 16.7%
I prefer beating up on/getting beaten up by the Aussies (again, omit as appropriate) 5 vote(s) 13.9%
It used to be good, not so much anymore 5 vote(s) 13.9%
meh, when is the End of Year tour again? 1 vote(s) 2.8%
  1. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    This one is mainly directed at our resident Kiwis and South Africans.

    We hear about the great New Zealand - South Africa rugby rivalry reasonably often, and I wanted to dig into what it actually meant.

    Basically, I am asking you guys to tell me who you consider to be your prospective countries greatest rivals are, and why. If you are a South African/New Zealander and you think that the NZ-SA are the ultimate rivals, tell us why!

    I you are a Kiwi and you DON'T consider the South Africans as the ultimate competition for the All Blacks, let me know who you think is the pinnacle of opposition and why. Same goes for our South African contingent, just with the names swapped around!

    As an additional, how would you catergorise the Australians in context to the NZ-SA rivalry?
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  2. Chiefton Herbert Moran (7)

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    Personally for me I grew up on the stories of my father and his brothers and uncles from the other side of the family either playing in or watching midweek games against the Boks in the 50's, 60's and 70's and also blowing their monthly pay packets to get tickets at Eden Park for the test match in the same time frame.

    Also Waikato beating the touring 1956 Springboks and being gifted the Springbok's head was a bedtime story my brothers and I copped from the elders in my family on my mother's side for a long long time.

    When my brain started to form around Rugby it coincided with the Boks return to the World Rugby fold and I vividly remember everyone's excitement peaking for their first test back and when we lost to the Boks in 95 came a massive trough.

    Living in Australia now and having mates who are passionate Wallabies fans I kind of have to consider them our main rivals, but I've always had knots in my stomach when we play the South Africans as there is so much history and passion.

    There's never been anything malicious about the rivalry for me, but with so many classic matches and memories over the years and the fact it was essentially a heavyweight title fight for world supremacy every time we met previously just makes it a wee bit more special for me personally.
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  3. Dam0 Dave Cowper (27)

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    Still the biggest rivalry for me. They were overtaken by the Wobs briefly in the early 2000's but not for long.
  4. Baldric Jim Clark (26)

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    Biggest rival without a doubt. Aus and Poms are fun to beat, but it is against NZ that we really get excited.
    The games always seem to be that bit more physical between us.
    Dan54, The Red Baron and Bullrush like this.
  5. Bullrush Jim Lenehan (48)

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    As a generalisation, I think the Boks are closer to Kiwis in their approach and philosophy of rugby.

    Like us, they relish the phyiscality of the game and the brute force and mongrel of it. I'm always wary of the SA pack before games.

    The Wallabies are dangerous because of guys like O'Conner, Beale, Folau, Genia etc who can have moments of brilliance and carve you up.

    I think the ABs have a great mix of both - the hard physical edge and the flair, x-factor that makes them hard to beat. A lot of the forwards have pretty good passing and running skills and the backs want to be noted for their physicality as well as their speed and step.

    Again, as a gross generalisation, I think SA and NZ put more value on that physicality and toughness which somehow makes that rivalry special.

    Very poorly worded and very general but that's as close as I can get to it off the top of my head.

    edit: The funny thing is that I can handle losses to SA better than to the Wallabies. If we lose to the Boks there's often a feeling of "Good hard game boys - you came out on top this time." Like losing to one of your mates in a rugby game.

    Getting beat by the Wallabies is like losing to your little brother. How the fuck did we let that happen?!? C'mon - BEST OF 3!! LOL
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  6. ACT Crusader Peter Johnson (47)

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    Like Chiefton I grew up hearing stories of AB v Bok matches and the tours. Whineray, the Meads brothers, Lochore, Laidlaw, Rangi etc. And the way my dad and uncles would talk about never being able to win a series against the 'big' Boks in the Republic instilled in me a win at all costs attitude vs the Boks.

    So when 96 came around and seeing Fitzy and the boys jubilant after our first away series, I don't think I've ever been happier after a rugby test.

    The rivalry lives on and they are the team I want the ABs to beat more than any other.
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  7. ACT Crusader Peter Johnson (47)

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    Good thread by the way Red Baron
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  8. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Thanks! :)
    I am keen to write an article on the rivalry and thought that a great source of information regarding NZ-SA would come from our own community.

    The Wallabies tend to have a rivalry with NZ that revolves around the Bledisloe, however the NZ-SA rivalry tends to invoke a lot more feeling between New Zealanders and South Africans. To me, this is a fascinating area to talk about, and I am quite keen to hear about the different opinions regarding the rivalry. There also seems to be a lot of tradition here. There are some really great responses so far and I am really keen to see more!

    [USER=5433]Dam0[/USER] - would you view the rivalry in terms of competitiveness? Such as in the consistent physical challenge the Boks bring? Or are there other significant factors involved?

    [USER=3081]Bullrush[/USER] - generalisations are good here! Interesting insight too!

    [USER=1946]Baldric[/USER] - what factors do you think cause the games seem a bit more physical?

    Keep the insights coming guys!
    Ruggo likes this.
  9. Dam0 Dave Cowper (27)

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    I think competitiveness is a very big part of it. NZ v the Boks has always been competitive at all times throughout its history. We have the slight edge on them recently, but not by all that much. Over history, they are the team that has given us the most trouble, and that has continued in recent times also (I recall that SA has won 7 out of the last 20 games against us, including 2 in NZ). I have a theory that the Springboks play better against us than against anyone else, almost as if playing and beating us is the ultimate.

    The other factor is that I enjoy the brutal nature of the games. Playing the Wallabies brings it's own challenges but in terms of outright brutality and physicalness, no other side in World rugby can compete with the Boks. Even when we beat them by plenty it feels like we have had to go to battle to do so, cf last years tests in Dunedin and Jo'berg with last years tests in Sydney and Auckland. The scorelines were about the same in both cases, but you are never comfortable with how the game is going against SA because they fight and scrap for every bit of possession and every point.
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  10. Dam0 Dave Cowper (27)

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    I agree with this last bit completely. When we lose to the boks, you kind of think "oh well you expect it and these things happen - they are a great rugby country after all". Losing to the Wallabies by comparison feels a bit embarrassing.

    It isn't entirely fair because Australia has a pretty good international record these days, but there you have it. Can't change my gut feeling.
    Cardiffblue, Dan54 and Bullrush like this.
  11. Peter Freedman Frank Row (1)

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    Hi red, good to see you again.

    As a Kiwi, I see the Boks as the No 1 enemy, a historical thing, I guess. Am old enough to remember '56 when the whole country went rugby mad.

    It still feels great to beat the Springboks.
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  12. aeneas Watty Friend (18)

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    I've always considered it the biggest rivalry for the All Blacks. There's so much of general NZ history tied up as a result of the competition with them.

    Some context:

    The 1956 tour had NZ in a virtual siege mentality. Finally a series win! 'im absolutely buggered' from Peter Brown at end of the last test in Auckland is probably the greatest quote in NZ rugby. (Well till Tana's 'Its not tiddly winks ref'

    1960 saw SA ban the AB's from touring with Maori so no tours till 1970 when they consented to allow Honorary Whites.

    The NZ tour in 1976 resulted in the African nations boycotting the olympics.

    1981.. close enough to civil war as you likely to get in NZ. Whatever your view at the time was it's probably safe to say that looking back that history doesn't really make the NZ rugby union or government look too flash.

    1986 - rebel cavaliers tour. And that was it. The NZRU etc seemed to get the message that the general public were not going to allow them to get away a nod and wink type stuff any more.

    My not terribly liberal parents basically stopped me from watching the 81 tour.

    Since the re-introduction of the bok's into world rugby it's been pretty one sided. The 95 WC win was great for SA but killed me personally. The expression on Fitzpatrick's face at the end of 2nd test at Loftus when NZ won a series in SA for the first and last time still comes instantly to my mind. 5 tests for 4 wins to NZ in 96.

    So it's a bit hard for any other rivalry to get a look in really..
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  13. MajorlyRagerly Trevor Allan (34)

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    It's a funny one Baron - I think everybody has diff feelings about it, and judgements are often made on the most recent match ups.

    I love it when we play the Boks and Aussies - and for me, I still get more nervous about Australia - I think it's because as others allude to, I have a feeling of peace about losing to the Boks. Not Australia - that may have something to do with my selection of pals and choosing to post on an Aussie rugger forum! I think the easiest way of putting it is, if I had to choose who we would beat - it'd be Aussie every time. But if I had to choose which games do I prefer to watch - it's SA every time. I think it comes down to the big hard, physical competion that they provide. This is totally not true, but my feel when playing SA is that we've lost the physical contest already, thus we need to provide more skill to beat them - sort of a David Vs Goliath thing.

    Since the advent of super rugby, 3 nations etc, the specialness of the Boks - who we used to play infrequently - has been diluted somewhat. The only team who probably really comes close to that rivalry now is the Lions. It's quite different knowing you can try to avenge your loss next year, as opposed to 12 years.
  14. Baldric Jim Clark (26)

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    Even though the SA v home countries rivalry is older the AB's have always been the team against which we measured ourselves. I think it is because both teams play such a physical game and nothing is held back when the teams meet. The games were often brutal, but there were no whingers from either side.
    I recall waking up at 4am to listen to a shortwave radio transmission of a test match from NZ. I don't recall doing that for any other opposition.
    During WW2 there were games played between the troops up in Egypt and also in the PoW camps. As an amusing aside the NZ teams were accused of not knowing the rules back in the PoW camps.
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  15. Chiefton Herbert Moran (7)

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    This Doco might give you a better look into the rivalry over the years from an outsiders view.
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  16. Dan54 Tony Shaw (54)

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    Geez Baron, I born in 54, so only really know the 56 series from the 1000 times I heard it talked about as I grew up. I was one of the ones that got up at 2-3 oclock in the morning to listen to the Bok games, followed by 2 weeks of being the one tackling the Boks on the back lawn when they became my imaginery foes.Or sitting in front of radio with Dad and brothers(and sisters ) to listen to almost all 65 tour games of NZ(when I believe the I,m buggered came from after last test in Akld) I was in a nightclub in Wellington in 1970 when a test started , so the band just stopped so they could listen to test, we went and sat in car to hear it properly. I was at Wgton test in 81, dodging protesters etc because it was the Boks. It hard to explain ,the Boks to me are always our greatest foes, mainly because like a few have said they play the game how most of us like bloody hard and physical, and it not something we really expect from Wallabies.I have always thought if you generally go down to Club rugby, both nations play the game just so much harder. Actually up until 1980 most All Black supporters would of named Wales as next in line after Boks as main opponents. Just the history of games between nations, and probably why a lot of older or should I say more mature of us will probably always consider Boks the main foe, though many younger ones will go for Wallabies as main rivals, probably as much to do with other sports like crickets etc though.
    Hell just remembered things that add to legend, in 56 the Bok front row were beating up the All Blacks at scrum time, no problem get NZ heavy weight boxer who was former AB prop to come out of retirement, and go to each side of scrum at different times to give them a smack under the ear! Was considered the correct thing to do.
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  17. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    I really enjoyed that doco, thanks for sharing.
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  18. terry j Ron Walden (29)

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    thanks, really enjoyed that!

    obviously slanted from a kiwi perspective, is there an equivalent SA one?

    Man, so many talking points pop up during the watching, but even as an aussie I thought it was fantastic.
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  19. Chiefton Herbert Moran (7)

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    It's a good one ey.

    I made an effort a few years ago to try and piece together a chronological history of South African International and Domestic Rugger, but I just found myself running around in circles.

    As for a South African version of the doco i'm sure there would be something similar out there (how could there not be), but as to finding it i'm clueless.

    If something along those lines is found please give me a heads up.
  20. terry j Ron Walden (29)

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    as I said yeah, a good one, and tons of things popped into my head as I watched.

    geez, for starters, some of the old footage of the OS tours. I wonder if those were 'newsreels' or snippets of the whole games, and if snippets how would you go about seeing the entire game.

    Was it the ABs vs wales?, when after a try (or game) the crowd were singing 'jolly good fellow' or something. In THOSE days I doubt there were fantastic numbers of kiwis following the team (a la the lions) so the conclusion is that the opposition crowd were singing the praises of the touring team, a wonderful moment (which puts the modern style of booing a player into perspective)

    Of course, me being basically ignorant of rugby history, I get the commentator Stu Wilson mixed up with the player in THAT tackle from Gregan!:eek:

    He bagged the aussies from doing the rounds with the bled when they won it, heck I want to see the wobs do THREE laps next year when we win it back!

    What other sports achievement comes close to the ABs world dominance in rugby I wonder. A possible few off the top of my head, the americas cup was dominated for the first hundred years or so by america, I vaguely recall an australian squash player (?) being dominant for years, sure there are many more but surely the ABs have gotta be up there.

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