A Political Game charts not only intense rugby rivalry between South Africa and New Zealand, but also the politics of racism that came increasingly to the fore. The signs were there during the Springboks first tour of New Zealand in 1921: a South African reporter was outraged white New Zealanders had supported a Māori side. In 1976 an All Black tour of South Africa sparked an African boycott of the Montreal Olympics; the 1981 tour saw violent protests. Starting with the historic All Blacks win in 1996, this excerpt jumps back in time to chart conflicts on and off the field, up until 1949.
Bad enough having to play team officially designated New Zealand Natives but spectacle thousands Europeans frantically cheering on band of coloured men to defeat members of own race was too much for Springboks who frankly disgusted.– South African reporter Charles Blackett, in a 1921 telegram
Thanks to the following collections and organisations for allowing NZ On Screen to reproduce stills featured in the title on this website: NZ Rugby Museum, Ron Palenski, the Eric Boggs Collection