It’s been 40 years considering that the Lions trip to SA divided the world
“In the build-up we were really much reminded of the 1974 series'” recalled Botha.
” It was the very first series versus major opposition for a great deal of guys'” said Botha of the Bok team that had captain Morne du Plessis and Moaner van Heerden as the only gamers with more than 10 caps.
Isolation had frozen numerous talents.
That’ nevertheless’ rapidly defrosted at Newlands as the hosts scored five attempts compared to the Lions’ solitary effort through tighthead Graham Cost.
The Bok backline had fun with more liberty and made use of the travelers’ chinks.
They regularly captured Lions’ fullback Rodney O’Donnell out of position.
” They shot into a huge lead’ the Lions ground them down and it appeared like it could be a draw however then Divan Serfontein on launching scored the winning try'” recalled Robbie.
Botha with mischievous fondness’ keeps in mind a ruck close to the Lions’ tryline with the Boks in search of that match winning score.
Their two most significant players engaged the whip with practically homicidal intent.
” Louis (Moolman) and Moaner cleared that ruck which the ball essentially just popped out which allowed Divan (Serfontein) to score.”
The 1974 series infamously produced several violent flashpoints and the 1980 series looked destined to go the same route after Lions’ No8 Derek Quinnell smashed Du Plessis in the face shortly after kick-off.
Robbie was impressed with the Bok temperament for letting that one slide however years later Du Plessis discussed to him he just didn’t understand who the offender was.
” You sure it wasn’t a Northern Transvaaler that hit him'” asked Botha who can’t recall the occurrence’ jokingly.
Robbie said Rob Louw’s speed helped make the distinction up front’ while the attacking measurement brought by Gysie Pienaar from fullback further separated the groups in the Boks’ 3-1 series win.
” That group gelled'” Botha stated of the team that contained gamers from five different areas’ consisting of Ray Mordt and David Smith from the newly independent Zimbabwe.
In fact’ that’s where Robbie discovered himself when he got the call to change the hurt Terry Holmes.
” I had in fact played an invite video game in Bulawayo and got the call to join the group. I sat on the bench in the first Test and I remember it like the other day.
” I was terrified and partly exhilarated. In 1977 I had an excellent opportunity of going on the Lions tour to New Zealand but then I broke my leg against France.”
Robbie got another fracture and he and Botha’ although at opposite ends’ delight in a rugby memory that for so long divided the world.