Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, July 24, 2009

Greatest Rugby Duel - Springboks vs All Blacks Parts 1-3

This weekend in Bloemfontein the Springboks will host the All Blacks as another chapter of their story continues. It has been called the greatest rivalry in rugby, as the history between the two sides is filled with fierce competition and intense battles.

"When South Africa plays New Zealand, consider your country at war," said legendary Springbok Boy Louw when speaking to his team ahead of a Test against New Zealand in 1949.

In both countries, the game is like a religion, with the long running fight for supremacy a thing of legend. This fascinating ESPN Classic documentary looks at what is arguably the greatest duel in Rugby, the Springboks vs the All Blacks.

It is broken up into six parts with the first going back to the history of both countries, covering how rugby came to be, and how it came to prominence in different sectors.

Off the field, in the trenches, rivalry was formed and following successful tours to Britain, the world knew that these two sides needed to meet. It happened for the first time in 1921.

The Springboks were unbeaten in a series until 1956 when they arrived in New Zealand to much hype as fans were desperate to meet the players from South Africa.

On the field, the All Blacks took the first Test in the perfect start for the country. With Danie Craven in charge of the Boks though, they had an amazing leader and motivator, which helped them to take the second.

It was one of the dirtiest and toughest Tests between the two sides, with SA coming out tops. By the time the third Test came around, NZ demanded success, so they made big changes, including bringing in prodigious kicker Don Clarke.

The Springboks had one of the most powerful forward packs in the world, with a highly dominant and intimidating front row. So New Zealand brought in Kevin Skinner, a former heavyweight boxer. His impact was immediate, as Chris Koch found out in no uncertain terms.

We'll post the next three parts for you soon.

Part 1
Part 2



  • Brilliant!!!!! Best of luck to both teams ( from a neutral Irish fan)

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at July 24, 2009 4:51 pm  

  • Fantastic. Looking forward to the other 3 parts. Thx for putting this up

    By Anonymous Ben, at July 24, 2009 5:25 pm  

  • Just to anticipate a few users of this site, 'greatest rugby duel' is of course a subjective term, entirely based on opinion, so let's not have lots of people posting 'hang on what about England vs. France/Harlequins vs. Bath/Grasshoppers vs. Dungmunchers' type comments.

    Other than that, great post really looking forward to this game. Cheers RD

    By Anonymous Ted, at July 24, 2009 6:44 pm  

  • I admire both countries love for the game... I really loved this documentary, looking forwrd for the other 3 parts, its awesome!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 24, 2009 7:09 pm  

  • Awesome documentary, loved it. Makes me proud to be a Saffa and passionate Bok supporter.
    Woza Saturday, woza!

    By Anonymous S-Dogg, at July 24, 2009 7:48 pm  

  • love the way the players were not as well trained (gym work wise)but were harder...and the ref calls an off side but not the kick in the back.. now days the vid ref can spot you talking badly about your opp number and have you banned.

    Love it ...Bok's by 10 ...Mcaw is a cheat

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 24, 2009 10:01 pm  

  • Great video; thanks for posting RD.

    By Anonymous El, at July 24, 2009 10:50 pm  

  • thanks RD.. very interestin.. lookin forward to the next parts

    By Anonymous doos, at July 24, 2009 11:00 pm  

  • Great documentary - these two teams should play each other only every two years.

    By Blogger Wessel, at July 24, 2009 11:34 pm  

  • Skinner = hard dirty bastard.

    Fascinating documentary.

    It reminds you of the psychological impact and importance of players like Bakkies Botha/Martin Johnson in the modern game!

    By Anonymous Ally, at July 25, 2009 12:51 am  

  • Great series, I'd love to see the other 3 parts.

    Really goes to show how foundational rugby can be. I mean if you think about it, the success that these two teams have today, being probably the best teams around, really owe it to the history of the game that allowed it to grow so immensely in their countries.

    By Anonymous theother6, at July 25, 2009 1:45 am  

  • Oh come on its simply a whole world of difference of a game!!Clearly you got away with so much more in those days which is fair enough no cameras following every move you just cant compare it. blah blah blah its still a tough game so go on the all blacks as i like them slightly more than the south africans(2 awsome teams though) scotland for the next world cup oh yeah

    By Anonymous roddymac, at July 25, 2009 3:21 am  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:00 pm  

  • These two teams are the ones to beat no doubt and when they play each other - the world watches! Hope the Boks win today (as I like them ALOT more than the AB's, but both a great teams in their own right - and boy what history!) and this from a neutral Welsh fan!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:03 pm  

  • Thanks RD, some of this i've never seen before - loved it and would like more from a neutral fan - love the boks and ab's all the same and love to watch them play each other - may the best team win today! good luck to both!! Rugby is the winner at the end of the day!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:05 pm  

  • Bril , just bril! thanks RD - more pls!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:06 pm  

  • If you watch this you can understand why these two teams are no1 & 2 in the world - the history speaks for itself and as a neutral fan i will watch the 3n match today, may best team win!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:07 pm  

  • WOW - is all I can say, more pls RD!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2009 3:08 pm  

  • skinner was a criminal..

    Great documantry!!

    By Anonymous Cheis, at August 06, 2009 12:40 pm  

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