It’s been more than 30 years since THAT tackle at Loftus, but the names Morne du Plessis and Naas Botha still perfectly sum up why Western Province-Blue Bulls clashes are so special. Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal at Newlands will be no different.

Ashfak Mohamed – IOL Sport

In 1977, Du Plessis felled the darling of Loftus with a great tackle, perfectly within the laws, but marginally late. The crowd exploded, and the gangly Du Plessis, hated up north at the best of times, had to be escorted off the field by police after the final whistle.

Botha was stretchered off and Pierre Edwards nailed the winning penalty for Northern Transvaal.

It remains one of the most talked-about incidents in the history of South African rugby.

Fast forward to 2009. Du Plessis and Botha are legends of the South African game, but they are still polarised by provincialism.

Du Plessis this week equated WP-Bulls games with Tests between the Springboks and the All Blacks.

“You know, without any disrespect to the other provinces, I just think that, as far as I can remember, it seems to be that this rivalry is the one that stirs the blood the most. It’s almost akin to the Springboks playing the All Blacks.

“There is just something in it that, through the ages, has grown,” said Du Plessis.

Botha couldn’t hold back when he got an opportunity to get a jibe in at the former WP and Springbok captain – but all in a good spirit of course. “That tackle was part of the play, but it cost Western Province a Currie Cup. It didn’t win it for them, it cost them.

“Pierre (Edwards) kicked over the penalty. When they lost there, they were out of the Currie Cup. It was us and Free State in the final.”

Facebook Comments


  1. marginally late? Only in the cape media. That tackle was almost as late as a train these days.

    I hope puke attempts it though. I would for the wetlook poefters to lose because of him.

  2. Shame…

    “Marginally late” tackles is all memories WP has of CC finals….

    My best memory of a CC Final involving WP and Northern Transvaal was the 1980 final

    This was the first time I watched a C final…

    Come to think it is quite an achievement my old man managed to keep me a Lion, because…

    Northern Transvaal 39 (plus Naas as the youngest captain to ever win a CC FInal)
    WP 9 (inclusive of Morne Du Plessis)

    It was a record that stood for years till the Lions smacked the Cheetahs one year to break it in the 90’s.


  3. Reply to Aldo @ 10:59 am: Exactly and who is the PLAYER everyone remembers….

    Not Morne Du Plessis

    who accomplished nothing more than skipper WP to a loss in CC final and a draw and then skippered a winning Bok side against the Lions… a series Naas Botha won….

    And then what?
    Oh yes he was Felix Du Plessis’ son… which is like saying Andrew Mehrtens was a great South African player seeing as Felix was from here in Boksburg….
    And then managed an amateur WC winning Bok team that didn’t need him…

  4. “…….had to be escorted off the field by police after the final whistle.”

    Was he not sent off right after the tackle?

  5. Reply to fyndraai @ 1:17 pm:

    Die Koeie is maar ‘n opgewerkte
    spul. Daar was ‘n game waarin
    Louis Schmidt (kaptein en die
    oorspronklike Blou Bul) van die
    veld gelei moes word omdat sy
    span verloor het.
    Die volgende week is hy nog

  6. Reply to DavidS @ 12:56 pm:

    Strange, reading some books from players on that 95 World Cup, Morne was the one that kept the squad together, and got the guys to play as a team ignoring the provincial rivalries SA was subjected to from the isolation days…

  7. eerder emotional oor rugby as oor hoe ek in die spieel lyk. Ek dink die term metrosexual male is deur die kaapse media uitgedink om die moffies in hulle span te verduidelik.


  8. Reply to Boertjie @ 1:19 pm:
    Would love to see some photos or a video clip but I think the article above has a few errors.

    I think it was a ball and all smother tackle, therefore could not have been late. Du Plessis was sent off and a supporter jumped over to get at him and had to be restrained.

  9. On MorneDup & FrancoisPienAAr

    Ja DawieEs aka ERT

    while everyone was sluKKing the mediatrick caLLed FranscoisPienAAr- as a Captain- someone hasd to deal with the iSSues of the player inside- and onfield- inside that what had now became famous numbah 6 yersey.

    Face it Boet

    Morne was a great manager

    and SA rugby would be beTTer of if he was Prez

    WP bais and aLL!

  10. Willem

    Nee wat dis fantasie daardie.

    Kyk na wat hy “vermag” het toe hy wel mag gehad het?

    By SA RIugby (Edms) Bpk

    Selfs toe hy carte blanche gehad het voor Van Ruin se dae…


    Voor Van Ruin was hy net Riaan se skoonpa se gesiggie om die kapanese gelukkig te hou in SA Rugby… al wat hy ooit vermag het was om te loop voor hy gefire is….

    En as span bestuurder… ja wel iemand moet die krediet kan kry van Kaapse joernalistiek noudat oom Kitch nie daar is om die waarheid te kan praat nie. Dis ook baie duidelik uit sy huidige besigheids sukses met FIFA en Rugby ens dat francois Pienaar ‘n aansienlik beter leier was as Morne Du Plessis se prysskreeuers hom voor krediet sal gee nie… hulle sluk selfs swaar aan voormalige Pretoria seun John Smit se sukses as leier en berus maar by vroue slaner Percy Montgomery se sukses…

Comments are closed.