On 10th January 1952 The Times previewed the match as:-
"SPRINGBOKS AT NEWPORT"
"Although they have succeeded in their main ambitions of beating all the home Unions, the South Africans have several stern encounters still in front of them. One of the chief of these is at Newport to-day when they meet Welsh opposition for the last time on the tour, though it is not their last game in Wales – they play the Barbarians at Cardiff on January 26."
"Last winter Newport were the outstanding club team in the British Isles and although they have not quite lived up to this reputation during the present season, they have lost only three matches. Two of these were against Cardiff and the other at the hands of Cambridge University, who gained a surprising victory at Grange Road by 14 – 8. Newport will be without their captain, R. T. Evans, who injured a knee in the final trial, but they will be strongly represented."
"The Springboks, as already announced, have made six changes from the team which beat England."
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From the match programme:-
"NEWPORT'S WELCOME TO THE FOURTH SPRINGBOKS"
"By JACK DAVIS ("South Wales Argus")"
"There are something like 32,000 of us here to-day to welcome the Fourth Springboks - the biggest crowd that this historic ground at Rodney Parade has ever accommodated. The welcome is cordial and genuine, for this lusty team of South African footballers have not only performed prodigies on the playing fields of Britain, but in the process have won unstinted praise for their splendid sportsmanship."
"Of course, the match is of much more than ordinary importance, since it is left to Newport to vindicate the name of Welsh football. The Springboks have already won the scalps of ail the other Welsh teams they have met, including the national side, and Newport are the last Welsh team in their path."
"The Springboks come to us with a very wholesome regard for Newport's Rugby prowess, not least, of course, because on the walls of the Club's Headquarters hangs the Springboks Head which Newport captured in 1912 - before any of the present players were born. But our visitors have learnt also of the brilliant feats of Newport last season, and their strength this season too, and they realize that to-day they face one of the hardest tasks of their tour."
"It is reasonable to hope that this match will prove one to treasure in the memory, especially as it puts in opposition two teams with cardinally different ideas of how to play winning Rugby. Newport's traditional faith in fast and open attack, so brilliantly successful since the war, is to be pitted against the Springboks powerful forward drive, backed up by the cleverest kickers in the game."
"We shall know the verdict within an hour or two, and in the meantime we express the hope that the play will do credit to two great teams, worthy of playing in any company in any age."
"The Springboks come to us with a wonderful record behind them, a record of victories, most of them very decisive, broken only by their defeat by London Counties. Incidentally, London also defeated the Second South Africans, from whom Newport won the 'Springbok's head,' in 1912. Last Saturday, the tourists, by winning at Twickenham, completed a great quadruple performance, though it may be said that, after their sensational 44-0 win at Murrayfield, the other home countries put up a much better fight, and Wales and England went very near to winning."
"The present Springboks are a more attractive team than Benny Osier's defensive machine of 1931. They have much the same purposeful methods, rarely taking attacking risks until the odds are on them, but, when in the mood, they have provided some delightful open football. At the end of the tour, the verdict will probably be that, taking everything into consideration, these Springboks showed us the finest pack of forwards who ever played, a pack combining unusual physical assets with mobility and brilliant tactical sense. Good judges have expressed the opinion that Chris Koch is the finest all-round forward in the game to-day, but the bald van Wyk must run him close, and there are other exceptionally fine forwards in a grand pack."
"Perhaps, the outstanding personality among their backs has been their skilled outside half, Brewis, whose tactical kicking has been a model for any player. He dropped goals against Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and was the key man of his side's victory over England."
"Some would give the palm, however, to 21-year-old Buchler, a magnificent full-back, if only for his wonderful display against Wales recently."
"These have been outstanding, but, perhaps, the special characteristic of the Springboks' play throughout the tour has been their close team combination. Their best side is as near to a Rugby machine as we have ever seen."
"So, this is the team Newport face to-day, hoping to repeat their memorable triumph of 1912. We hope the game will be worthy of the occasion."
The match itself:-
Following on from Newport's fantastic season of 1950-51, a lot was expected from R.T.(Bob)Evans and his team against the graceful Springboks. Unfortunately Newport were not able to match their visitors and although they battled hard up front, they could not contain the free running and sweeping back play of the Southern hemisphere opponents. An early try by right wing Marias eight minutes from the start settled the Springboks and encouraged them to open up. Newport found it difficult to cope with the South African's backing up.
Newport were hampered by the fact that Ben Edwards played through the second half with a dislocated collar bone although he still managed to kick a penalty. Burnett's tactical kicking was the best feature of Newport play alongside a brave display by the forwards. Du Toit for the tourists was class and forwards Heine Muller and Van Wyck showed why some regarded them as amongst the greates forwards of all time. Du Rand scored the second try for South Africa with Johnstone adding a third try in the second half before Harry Tovey went over for a try to Newport. Sadly Van Schoor scored a fourth for the Springboks with brave Edwards kicking his penalty for Newport to end scoring.
South Africa saluted Newport at a reception dinner that evening at the King's Head hotel and admitted that they had played to the best of their form so far in the tour.
Gate receipts were £3,233.
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The Times report on the match published on 11th January 1952 went as follows:-
"SPRINGBOKS IN WALES"
"FROM OUR RUGBY FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT"
"The South Africans won a hard game at Newport yesterday by four tries (12 points) to a penalty goal and a try (6 points). The conditions for this last trial of strength with Welsh Rugby were heavy underfoot and although the rain held off until the closing stages a strong wind added to the handicaps."
"The fact that it was a mid-week fixture did not prevent the assembly of a crowd of over 30,000 people whose hopes were sombre if not lacking in vigour after the victories of the touring side – admittedly narrow – over Wales, Cardiff, and Swansea. There remains, of course, one more match in Wales on January 26 when the Barbarians meet the Springboks at Cardiff."
"Newport made a bad start, for having enjoyed a narrow escape in the opening couple of minutes when Viviers just went wide with a penalty kick from 45 yards a missed tackle by one of the spoiling forwards let the South Africans away in the open. The passing was held but the punt ahead which followed had Hughes, the full-back, caught. Du Toit, picking up in the loose, then found D. J. Fry and Marais up in support close to the goal-line, Marais just scored at the corner flag. In the ensuing play the Newport pack gave their backs several chances to open up, but, sad to relate, their passing was more of a menace to themselves than to their opponents. A hostile wind too defeated their punts ahead."
"Suddenly Du Toit seized a fleeting chance to send Muller away, with Bekker and du Rand in close support. The pace and power of this move completely beat the defence and Newport's only consolation was that Viviers again failed with a difficult kick at goal. This occurred inside the first quarter of the match and although the Newport pack continued to hold their own in the tight and close rushes the back play behind them promised nothing but disaster. Nor in the face of so strong a wind could the giant Edwards land any penalty goals from over 30 yards. The Springboks continued to have the better of what little open play there was and the Newport defence at least twice was in difficulties in dealing with the punts ahead. Nearly all the play was in the region of the Newport "25" and the club must have felt relieved when half-time came with no more than six points scored against them."
"In spite of the wind which now was at their backs Newport made an even worse start in the second half. Almost at once they were driven into their own "25" where the quickness with which their opponents opened up their attacks soon had the defence too extended to keep out Johnstone on the left flank. Du Toit, who was in as fine form as ever, started the move and Fry handed the scoring pass to Johnstone. Once more Viviers failed with the kick at goal, but an adverse score of 9 – 0 looked bad for Newport's chances of recovering. None the less some sort of recovery did come about and, with Buchler forced to leave the field for a while with an injured leg, the match took a rather different turn."
"Already Lane had nearly scored from a kick ahead when Marais mis-fielded and Burnett had tried a drop at goal. Buchler was off the field when a strong forward rush enabled Tovey to score a try for Newport, but Edwards could not convert it from a difficult angle. Unfortunately for Newport they were soon forced back on the defence and their line several times looked virtually at the mercy of Muller and the supporting backs. Once Myburgh dropped a "sitter" almost on the goal line and Fry was nearly over at the posts before a round of passing sent van Schoor over for his side's fourth try."
"A driving rain was falling in the closing stages when Burnett had one last attempt to drop a goal and Edwards, from the halfway line, kicked a penalty goal which at least made the score look more even than it had promised to be."
"NEWPORT.- R. Hughes; K. Jones, M. C. Thomas, R. D. Owen, J. Lane; R. Burnett (capt.), W. A. Williams; G. Hirst, Lyn Davies, T. Sterry, L. E. T. Jones, B. Edwards, H. J. Tovety, P. Davies, D. G. Ackerman."
"SOUTH AFRICANS.- J. Buchler; F. P. Marais, R. van Schoor, B. S. Viviers, P. Johnstone; D. J. Fry, P. A. du Toit; H. Bekker, W. Delport, F. van der Ryst, B. Myburgh, J. du Rand, W. H. M. Barnard, C. J. van Wyk, H. Muller (capt.)."
"REFEREE.- W. J. Evans (Cardiff)."