Rugby: Tributes flow after death of legendary All Blacks halfback Sid Going

New All Blacks coach Scott Robertson leads the tributes to legendary halfback Sidney Milton Going, who has died, aged 80.

"Sid lit up the field with his ability and energy," said Robertson. "He lit up people's hearts off it - that was his trademark."

Nicknamed 'Super Sid', Going played 29 tests, scoring 10 tries for the All Blacks in the 1960s and 70s.

All Blacks coach Scott Robertson and Sid Going.
All Blacks coach Scott Robertson and Sid Going. Photo credit: Photosport

He helped found the Mid Northern Rugby Club and, after years of practice on the lawn together, he often combined to devastating effect with brothers Ken and Brian.

"You know, it was a real pleasure and a blessing to be able to play with my two brothers, and to work out combinations and do things that confused the opposition a little," said Going.

He was one of five Māori players along with Samoan Bryan 'BeeGee' Williams to be declared honorary whites to represent the All Blacks in South Africa and he had no qualms.

"That was such a blessing... and they just treated us so well," he said.

Going and Williams remained close throughout his life, last catching up a couple of months ago.

"He could change a game and he did change many games, just with his power and his ability to read situaitons," said Williams. 

Revered commentator Keith Quinn says Going was very shy, but revolutionised the game by often going it alone, when other halfbacks would simply pass or kick.

"He was not outspoken in any way off the field and really his personality as a person emerged on the field," reflected Quinn. "That's when he was a jinking, darting, elusive player and showed other personalities of being himself that he didn't show off the field."

Williams also remembers Going for his versatility.

"He had so many abilities - running, passing, tackling," he said. "He could probably have played in any position and done justice to it."

Going was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame at the 2020 Halberg Awards.