The most violent rugby match of the professional era

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May 08, 2023, 03:24


May 08, 2023, 08:00

This was a very physical contest. Wonderful seeing it live. However, it wasn't as physical as the 2011 contest against Samoa! The Tongan test of the same tournament (2007) was almost a street fight, something I fear might happen again in this year's World Cup. The Tongans are far more aggressive and abrasive than the Samoans. The test that most stands out to me for violence is the 2002 England test. The Boks literally beat the English to a pulp. I recall the huge list of Injuries after the game. There were concerns about the health of the players moving forward, and calls for Boks to be banned! That test took over a decade to overcome in terms of damaged reputation and negative perceptions from the refs. The 2009 Lions series was also a very physical set of tests, some violence, but a real arm wrestle. If I think of most intense physical battles, the first two tests of the 2009 Lions series habe to be included.

Back to this test, the Samoans really had us on the ropes. The introduction of Frans helped break the game open. I believe it was Pretorius who took a massive shot to the head by the Chiropractor, who basically knocked himself out of the game (poetic justice). When the game gets away from them, the Polynesians tend to get dirty. This was also the test where JP really found his feet. Lots of things came together. What a special squad it was.

A shout out to the 2011 Samoan side who absolutely smashed the Wallabies. That was a sign of things to come for us! They hit the Wallabies so hard behind the gainline they looked shell shocked. I could reference the 2003 De Wet Barry show, but that was more a one man show than a generally brutal test. It was the end of Kefu's test career. 

May 08, 2023, 10:34

PI people have memory. They did not come over the biting fest performed SA rugby and pushed under the rug by WR (because people know, post Apartheid and stuff)

Ref will police all the stuff dealing out red cards. Anyone who failed in authority usually compensate by power.

May 08, 2023, 14:01

What a first try by Brian Habana….and what a warrior Schalk Burger was, massive tackles and brilliant hands.

May 08, 2023, 15:07

They tried to ban Schalk for four weeks. The WC saw Schalk show more versatility. His linking, play making ability and intelligence made the Boks more dynamic. There were some great tries in that game. The first Samoan try was a gem as well. A cut through our centres that really rocked us.

Thinking of great back-and-forth tests, I have to reference the 2004 Welsh test on the EOYT. Both sides displayed scintillating attacking play. There was the brilliant Bakkies track back where he caught Shane Williams from behind and munched him. We really have been spoiled over the years. Such wonderful moments and great talent. I almost feel an appetite for the Boks rekindling!

I have an SARugby magazine in the buildup to the 1999 WC. I read through that from time to time. Interviews with Rassie, Joost, Kempson, Skinstad and lots of other interesting articles about Os etc. If there's an interest for it, I could try have that scanned and put into pdf. Might make for some interesting nostalgia heading into the WC this year. 

May 09, 2023, 07:56

Violent? Looks like a typical game of hard rugby to me, with the standard late hits from the Samoans.

May 09, 2023, 08:34

I remember a WC match against Canada way back...that turned into a brawl.

May 09, 2023, 09:23

I almost forgot about that one Plum. That was the 1995 pool game where James Dalton received a red card. Both he and Hendricks were banned for the rest of the tournament. Dubbed The Battle of Boet Erasmus. 

May 09, 2023, 14:47

Yeah, Schalc Burger and Jean De Villiers and many Springboks of that time or who played in that match said it was the hardest to defend the Tuilagis, man those guys are monsters. 

Remembered watching both of them play for Leicester and I think one of Baths full backs tried to tackle the brother that played on the wing. Just picked him up with one like a rag doll and just through him to the side. I think the full back weighed something like 75 kg and was really short. He had no chance. 

But if you listen to the Schalc interview, they eventually ran out of steam by half time. But imagine you had two of them, e.g. the Ndolo and you just sub them around after halftime. Your defence would be knacker or at least quite a few players knocked out of the game

May 10, 2023, 15:39

It was still tense after half time. They had us deep in our 22, and Frans broke out, and JP was sent running; that was the turning point. Once we started opening up, and got a couple of tries, it broke them. It's a shame, I have never seen Samoa handle a deficit well. They give up too easily. The Fijians were much different. But then, they aren't Polynesian. 

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