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Colin Meads RIP
old prop steve (IP Logged)
20 August, 2017 11:32
Apart from us 'oldies' most rugby fans will only have seen the great Pine Tree in old bits of black and white TV footage. The word 'great' is tossed around by pundits like confetti but this guy was something else!

I was lucky enough to see him in the flesh twice when the All Blacks came to the UK in 1963. He and his brother Stan (who was even bigger than he was) packed down against a combined Cornwall and Devon team which included two Pirates.

There were nearly 20,000 jammed into the old County Ground and we as Mounts Bay Colts had all gone up in a bus to see them. After about 5 minutes Cornwall's Ron Glazsher who was a pretty big guy himself and nobody's pushover came way offside at a maul just in front of us. Meads just glared at him, picked him off his feet by his shirt and tossed him like a wet towel onto the turf back on his side of the breakdown. The ref wagged his finger at Meads and the crowd booed him half heartedly. If ever a cause was lost in a split second that effectively decided the match there and then and the All Blacks cantered to an easy victory.

About a month later I was lucky enough to be in the old North Stand at Twickenham when they played England in a swirling fog. England were led by a brave full-back called John Willcox who as an early adopter of contact lenses was known as 'Blind Jack'. His was a controversial selection over Penryn's Roger Hosen who had starred out in New Zealand the previous summer. Midway through the second half Meads snaffled up the ball in one enormous mitt, and came hurtling out of the mist like an angry bull elephant leaving a couple of would-be tacklerschewing the grass. Willcox - bless his heart - tried to crash tackle him in front of his own posts and you could see and feel the thump sitting up in the stand as he was thrown yards backwards as he crashed over under the sticks.

Everone around seemed to wince together, let out a collective 'aaah' sound and then burst into applause.

Think Martin Johnson, but a Johnson who could also run like a back and scatter the opposition like Jonah Lomu and could frighten opponents like Bakkies Botha and perhaps you begin to get the picture.

 
Re: Colin Meads RIP
SimonG19 (IP Logged)
25 August, 2017 16:12
A man it seems who was even more impressive off the field than he was on it.

RIP.


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