Blasts from the past: Zero sum game for Boks and Kiwis


Blasts from the past: Zero sum game for Boks and Kiwis

David Isaacson

Today in SA sports history: September 17
1921 — The Springbok team captained by eighthman Boy Morkel plays to a 0-0 draw against New Zealand in the final third test at Athletic Park in Wellington to draw the first series between these two sides 1-1.
1949 — The Springboks lose the try count 1-2, but they still beat New Zealand 11-8 in the final fourth test in Port Elizabeth to complete an historical 4-0 series whitewash. Scrumhalf Fonnie du Toit scored the only try, with prop Okey Geffin landing the conversion and a penalty and flyhalf Hansie Brewis nailing a drop. The visitors scored more tries – worth three points then – in three of the four tests, but it wasn’t enough to cancel out Geffin’s deadly boot.
1998 — Ryk Neethling finishes second in the 1,500m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur after engaging in one of the great races of his career. Neethling was up against three tough Australians, including Olymic champion Kieren Perkins, new star Grant Hackett and Daniel Kowalski. Hacket, who later went on to win two Olympic titles and break Perkins’s world record, shot into an early lead and he won by more than 10 seconds. But behind him was a battle royale as Neethling, Perkins and Kowalski duelled it out for the better part of 29 laps. The South African was fourth with 100m to go, but he surged to pass them in a sprint finish. Barely half-a-second separated them in the end, with the South African touching in 15min 02.88sec, Perkins in 15:03.00 and Kowalski 15:03.40.

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