Thursday throwback: 1981 Springbok tour

23:09, Jan 31 2013
Thursday throwback 1981
DIFFERING VIEWS: NZ Police officers in 1981 at the Bay of Plenty versus Springboks game at Rotorua borrow a photographer's camera to watch the action up close.

In 1981, as we all know, everyone knew which side you were on.

With the Springboks touring New Zealand under the ugly spectre of apartheid they were not given too warmer welcome by most folks.

But there was still rugby to play, and games to cover, although they often had a much heavier police presence than we are used to these days.

These boys in blue were on duty at the Bay of Plenty versus Springboks clash on September 2 but they seem more interested in watching the paddock than for signs of tour protestors.

They are shown here having a squiz through the lens of a sports photographer's camera.

It had been a turbulent week in Vegas.


Protestors occupied Rotorua airport in an attempt to disrupt the Springboks' flight from Wellington.

They were cleared from the runway before the plane landed, but managed to paint BOKS GO HOME in three-metre high letters on the tarmac.

None of the 35 marae in the region extended an invitation to the tourists and the Whakarewarewa thermal area was closed to the Springboks.

On the field Bay of Plenty went down narrowly 29-24.

A lot has changed since 1981, but we kind of wish men still had sideburns like that. Shot, bro.

(Live Matches)