Greatest moments in Otago sport - Number 58

The Otago Daily Times counts down the 150 greatest moments in Otago sport.

No 58: The 'Bok Beaters (1994)

Otago captain David Latta (right) accepts the springbok head from South Africa captain Tiaan Strauss at the after-match function under Carisbrook's Rose Stand. Photo from ODT archives.
Otago captain David Latta (right) accepts the springbok head from South Africa captain Tiaan Strauss at the after-match function under Carisbrook's Rose Stand. Photo from ODT archives.
The Springbok head, given to the first provincial team to beat the touring South Africans, had long been a prized possession.

Canterbury won it in 1921, Waikato in 1956 and Wellington in 1965.

Otago had beaten the Lions four times but victory over the Springboks had eluded it - until July 27, 1994.

Two days of continual rain had caused flooding throughout Otago and there were pools of water over Carisbrook as 22,000 fans braved the wet.

Otago made the worst possible start when halfback Joost van der Westhuizen charged down Stephen Bachop's clearance from the kick-off and scored in the Rose Stand corner.

But Otago struck back when Stu Forster darted from a tap penalty, Bachop carried on and John Leslie, running on an angle, wrong-footed the defence to score under the posts.

Goal-kicking proved crucial.

Jeff Wilson kicked five out of six for Otago but Andre Joubert and Hennie le Roux just one out of six for South Africa as the home side won 19-12.

Otago captain David Latta played one of his greatest games as he and his team-mates outplayed the much bigger Springbok pack.

Because of the appalling weather, the traditional handing over of the Springbok head, by captain Tiaan Strauss to Latta, did not take place in front of the main stand but at the after-match function under the Rose Stand.