Today in sports history: July 7 - New Zealand says no to South African sports teams

The Springbok
The Springbok Photo credit: Getty

On this day in 1974... 

At the height of apartheid in South Africa, the New Zealand Labour Government imposed a blanket ban on virtually all visits by sports teams from South Africa.

The move was triggered by many issues, including the country’s apartheid policies. The story of international sanctions against South Africa dates back to the late 1950s. 

From 1964 onwards, South Africa was excluded from the Olympics. From 1970, the country was excluded from international rugby and cricket. 

This was brought about by a combination of pressure from some African states, demonstrations and disruption of rugby and cricket matches.

NZ Rugby went against government requests, sanctioning an All Blacks tour of South Africa in 1976 under chairman Jack Sullivan. 

The National Government lifted the sanctions for the 1981 Springboks tour, although prime minister Robert Muldoon did leave the final decision up to NZR.

That tour now lives on as part of New Zealand sporting folklore.

In 1976, African nations demanded the International Olympic Committee suspend New Zealand for continued rugby contacts with South Africa. When the IOC refused, the Africans boycotted the Montreal Games.

The global sporting ban on South Africa was lifted in 1991 and three years later, the All Blacks and New Zealand cricket team had played test matches against South Africa, both home and abroad. 


The All Blacks beat the touring French 23-9 in the first test at Lancaster Park in Christchurch - the first time a neutral referee had been appointed in international rugby.

That NZ side was captained by Graham Mourie, and featured rugby greats Stu Wilson, Andy Hayden, Andy Dalton and Bruce Robertson.

The French fought back a week later to secure a series draw with a 24-19 win at Auckland's Eden Park. 


American Chis Weidman defeated the seemingly unbeatable Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight championship.

Brazilian Silva hadn't lost in 16 Octagon fights, defending his title 10 times, since knocking out Rich Franklin in 2006.

Silva only had himself to blame, play-acting and feigning being hurt repeatedly, before a left hook knocked the champion out cold.

Weidman would win the rematch six months later, when Silva broke his leg in the second round.

'The Spider' has never been the same, winning just one fight in seven since 2013. 


Andy Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936, beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the final. 

It was Murray's first Grand Slam title in four attempts and he has won two more since - Wimbledon again in 2016 and the French Open the same year.


Megan Rapinoe lifts the World Cup in celebration
Megan Rapinoe lifts the World Cup in celebration Photo credit: Getty

United States won the FIFA Women's World Cup, topping the Netherlands 2-0 in the final in Lyon. 

Second-half goals to Player of the Match Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle were enough for the US to become just the second team in history to win back-to-back tournaments. 

The US dominated the tournament, scoring 18 goals in three group matches, before coasting through the knockout stages with three 2-1 victories.


1933 - NZ Olympic 5000m champion Murray Halberg
1981 - Indian cricket superstar MS Dhoni


2000 - NASCAR racer Kenny Irwin Jnr, aged 30, after hitting a wall at New Hampshire

Newshub 12 months ago …

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney baffled after controversial win against Knights

Coaches, fans, and commentators have vented their frustrations at NRL match officials, after the Warriors' controversial come-from-behind 24-20 win over the Knights in Newcastle.

Several questionable calls went against the Warriors in a game littered with controversy, but a 76th-minute try to prop Sam Lisone at McDonald Jones Stadium saved the referees from what would've been a controversial Knights win.

The Warriors conceded the opening try of the game, despite replays showing Newcastle's Mason Lino knocked on earlier in the set.

But the most questionable call came when Warriors winger Ken Maumalo had his third try ruled out by the 'Bunker' despite replays showing him grounding the ball.

The decision led Fox Sports commentator Brett Finch to declare: "Blow up the Bunker."

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