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TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 26 SEPTEMBER

UPDATE: 26/09/2019

26 September 1871, First Catholic marriage in Kimberley (Bultfontein) between James McGonigle and Bridget Maher.
26 September 1892, The inaugural SA Amateur and Open Golf Championship commences.
26 September 1960, WVS Ling, South African cricketer, dies.
26 September 1970, Griqualand West beat Northern Transvaal 11-9 to win the Currie Cup rugby.
26 September 2018, Dutoitspan cemetery re-dedication service.

DID YOU KNOW

(Published 28 October 2010 | By McLook)
Every year this time I just can’t help to think about the 1970 Cinderella story when Griquas came from nowhere to win the Currie Cup. That magical win by Griquas has intrigued me since I can remember and I have been loosely on the look-out for information about that match/season always thinking that I’ll make some serious investigation into it at some stage.
This week I’ve found two great articles on that final which I thoroughly enjoyed. The one is called a time of hero’s by Dan Retief and the other Griquas – the last of the Cinderellas, by Archie Henderson.
Archie’s article is dictated to the 1970 final while Dan writes about the best Currie Cup finals he saw mentioning in the process the 1970 final in Kimberley. I’ll integrate the information of the two posts with some of my own remarks.
Henderson wrote:
Forty years ago they played a Currie Cup final in Kimberley that marked the end of an era. It was the last time a Cinderella team won the cup – an outcome unlikely to happen again in this age of brutal professionalism where the rich prevail.
It was the era of amateurism and players were not allowed to get paid but the big provinces drew players with rewards of jobs.
Northern Transvaal were the outright favorites and had a team as Henderson indicated built on the patronage of the army, air force, police, University of Pretoria and the civil service. A team laden with Springboks including players like Tonie Roux (15), Piet Uys (9 and Captain), Thys Lourens (6), Frik du Preez (5), Johan Spies (4), Ronnie Potgieter (3), Gys Pitzer (2) and Mof Myburgh (1).
Griquas had De Beers and could offer some mining jobs but Kimberley, stuck between the Karoo and the Kalahari, was not a very attractive location for top class players.
Roux drove more than 300km from his farm in Victoria West for practices and matches. Piet Visagie, Piet van Deventer and Joggie Viljoen travelled from Ammasol mine while others travelled from Kuruman.
Ian Kirkpatrick the coach recalls, “We had only 17 players who were Currie Cup standard”. Kirkpatrick, an ex-Springboks centre, is often hailed as the mastermind of the heroic Griquas win, but dismisses it today, according to Archie Henderson.
There wasn’t much practice sessions, “the players just lived too far apart” laments Kirkpatrick. “So we relied on the dedication, the confidence of the players”.
Both Kirkpatrick and Mannetjies Roux recall that there wasn’t much of a game plan for the day.
Mannetjies had the following on this issue: “I am often asked what was the team’s gameplan, but it was rather the approach to the game and the attitude of the players that counted.”
Kirkpatrick said: “Game plans are all very well but you must be able to score tries. We slowly built up a team that could score tries.”
“From 1964, when we started to build a team, we lost very few games,” Roux recalled. “By 1970 we still had 11 players who had started out with us. In every position we had players who were good, so it became easier to play together.”
Buddy Swartz, the baby of the team, scored two tries that day in a packed De Beers stadium in Kimberley. He was the hero of the day recalls Mannetjies Roux, not mentioning that he and centre partner Koos Waldeck had helped to set-up Swarz’s first try.

PT-Piet Uys_and_Mannetjies_Roux_ with_the_Currie_Cup-1970

Piet Uys & Mannetjies Roux with the Currie Cup.

Archie Henderson writes;
Many in the Griquas team were in their thirties and playing their last big game, but Swartz, a product of Kimberley Boys High, was 21 and had only returned to his home town to fulfil the terms of a De Beers bursary.
He’d been playing good rugby for the University of Cape Town, but mostly in the under-20’s. Back in Kimberley, he was thrust into the Currie Cup team.
Swartz’s tries came in the first half, but Northern Transvaal fought back. The game was in the balance until near the end, when Griquas flanker Peet kicked a penalty from inside his own half to win the game 11-9.
Dan Retief recalls the following regarding Swartz and his two tries:
Buddy Swartz, a UCT student whom the Griqua selectors had overlooked until a practice outing against Free State immediately before the Final, scored two spectacular tries, the second by diving straight over the top of a crouching Tonie Roux, almost on the same spot in the right-hand corner; Jannie van Aswegen landed a punch on Johan Spies that rang around the old De Beers Stadium and Peet Smith took over from Piet Visagie and kicked the long-range penalty that made it 11-9 to Griquas.
At the end I sat down on the field, near Buddy’s Corner, and waited for the crowd to disperse. Mannetjies Roux had been carried off the field laughing and crying at the same time and an old man with a long beard knelt down in the in-goal area and patted the grass where Swartz had scored: “God die rooinek,” he said, “God die rooinek… nie net een nie, twee… net hier.” Tears streamed out of his eyes and left streaks on his beard; when I left he was still there patting the ground.
I got tears in my eyes reading that, isn’t it just magical?
Dan Retief continues:
What a day it was for Kimberley, what a week, what a year, what a time. The Currie Cup won by Mannetjies Roux and his bunch of heroes was displayed in one of the windows of the SA Perm and for weeks afterwards there would be a knot of people on the pavement just admiring it; like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

Pictured are the brothers Peet (left) and Tos Smith, both of whom played for Griquas that memorable day. It was Peet who kicked the winning points. Other picture shows Piet Uys (left) and Mannetjies Roux with the Currie Cup after the game.

UPDATE: 26/09/2018

26 September 1871, First Catholic marriage in Kimberley (Bultfontein) between James McGonigle and Bridget Maher.
26 September 1892, The inaugural SA Amateur and Open Golf Championship commences.
26 September 1960, WVS Ling, South African cricketer, dies.
26 September 1970, Griqualand West beat Northern Transvaal 11-9 to win the Currie Cup rugby.
26 September 2018, Dutoitspan cemetery re-dedication service.

DID YOU KNOW

A time of heroes

Retief on Rugby by Dan Retief (on 26 Oct 2010)

A question after a speech I made recently – “What was the best Currie Cup Final you’ve seen?” – sent me trawling through the memory bank.

Was there a best? Did I have a favourite? The fact is that no matter in which year it is played, between whichever two participants, there is always something that stands out in a Currie Cup Final; something that will be memorable and extremely special to someone.

Funnily enough for me there is an easy answer as two Finals stand out above all the rest – my first when I was a cub reporter in Kimberley and the 1982 Final when I was sports editor of the Cape Times.

The 1970 one was simply magical – little Griqualand West qualifying against all odds and triumphing over the mighty Springbok-laden Northern Transvaal.

What a day it was for Kimberley, what a week, what a year, what a time. The Currie Cup won by Mannetjies Roux and his bunch of heroes was displayed in one of the windows of the SA Perm and for weeks afterwards there would be a knot of people on the pavement just admiring it; like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

In Kimberley the then sports editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser, Tony Ball, did not have a press box pass for me so he gave me a photographer’s ticket… and that’s how I got to experience my first Currie Cup Final, on the sidelines with a Pentax and a zoom lens. I took the pictures and I still have the negatives and the picture spread I was given in the DFA. Small wonder I became hooked on newspapers.

Buddy Swartz, a UCT student whom the Griqua selectors had overlooked until a practice outing against Free State immediately before the Final, scored two spectacular tries, the second by diving straight over the top of a crouching Tonie Roux, almost on the same spot in the right-hand corner; Jannie van Aswegen landed a punch on Johan Spies that rang around the old De Beers Stadium and Peet Smith took over from Piet Visagie and kicked the long-range penalty that made it 11-9 to Griquas.

At the end I sat down on the field, near Buddy’s corner, and waited for the crowd to disperse. Mannetjies Roux had been carried off the field laughing and crying at the same time and an old man with a long beard knelt down in the in-goal area and patted the grass where Swartz had scored: “God die rooinek,” he said, “God die rooinek… nie net een nie, twee… net hier.” Tears streamed out of his eyes and left streaks on his beard; when I left he was still there patting the ground.

Pictured are the brothers Peet (left) and Tos Smith, both of whom played for Griquas that memorable day. It was Peet who kicked the winning points. Other picture shows Piet Uys (left) and Mannetjies Roux with the Currie Cup after the game.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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