Sid Going

For you young types he was a bit like Aaron Smith (with zero yap!). Never seen a better ball runner. Quick, low centre of gravity, and very strong. I sometimes wonder how olden time players would go in the modern game. Have absolutely no doubt Going would be a sensation.

Halfbacks are nearly always the best natural players on any team. They have to be, they are the smallest. Going was a natural, could have given a good account in any position. Played fullback for NZ once, and was an occasional goal kicker. And he could hit in the tackle.

As for Going verse Edwards.

I remember the ’71 tour. I think it was the first ever live TV test series in NZ.

Going played six times against the Lions, and five times against Edwards. At one point they faced each other twice in one week.

Thought the ABs edged the series even tho they lost. Drawn series probably a fair result.

Lost the first test cos Fergie couldn’t kick straight.

Dominated the second—awesome all time great Kirkpatrick try, run in from half way. Kirkpatrick and Going had great combo. A Going snipe and offload to Kirkpatrick—classic.

Definitely lost 3rd test. Sir Brian came out of retirement—nah. And the Lions scrambled a draw in the fourth.

But maybe the best game of the whole tour tho, was the week before the fourth test. Versus NA in Whangarei.

The 70’s were the great days for the Taniwha. Awesome team. They ran on to field back then super confident they could beat anyone.

The Lions fielded pretty much the same team that ran on in the Fourth a week later.

From what I recall of the game, it was “rugged.” NA dominated for stretches, the Lions held on, steadied, and finished with a try late. Probably the superior touring team fitness telling.

Of the players; I can recall David Duckham scoring at a crucial point, a bit against the run of play; and a great tackle by JPR Williams on Brian Going when he was sure to score. Williams was one of the best front on tacklers I ever saw. Perfect technique.

Of the others; I have zero recollection of Edwards, the “greatest,” or of Barry John, or any of the others.

After the the game John Dawes (Lions capt.) made the comment that this was the only game on tour that he became anxious about stopping the opposition.

I checked the Taniwha line-up for the game:

Six ABs (C&F); Sid and Ken Going, Joe Morgan, Murray Jones, Richie Guy, Bevan Holmes;
Two AB reserves (so would have been ABs now days), Dennis Panther and Frank Colthurst;
An AB Junior Zukov Marinkovic;
Two AB trialists Rod Jones (brother of Murray) and Les Bradley;
Two Maori ABs (Laly Haddon and Brian Going), Haddon was a Jonah type, could play wing and No 8;

and with Jim Kirtlan and Craig Poynter locking.

Great great team! And a great coach, Ted Griffin, 25 years in charge.

It’s for another thread, but that lineup is probably a reason why we are not engaged with top class NZ domestic rugby any more.

In the pro era I would say the majority of the above players are not even in NZ.

That was the amateur days, star players everywhere!

There must be five or 600 top class NZ players plying their trade OS now. In olden times they were all still here.

Never happen now, but imagine the standard of the local competition if they were.