Rhinos Start WQ Campaign in Style

By Daniel Andruczyk

Canada Wolverines 22 – 36 South Africa Rhinos

The Rhino Moniker is one that is meant to bring awe, respect and fear from opposition. The rhino is a large and powerful animal that stands its ground and defends itself when under threat. These are all qualities that were shown by the South African Rugby League team today in Markham, Toronto.

The South Africans flew 18,000 km to partake in the World Cup Qualifiers and had a warm up match with the Canadian Wolverines. News of Rugby league in South Africa can be very rare indeed and in reality no one knew what to expect from them. Would they be fast? Would the be big? I saw the Rhinos play in 2008 in England when they had a 3 match tour. It was a team that seemed underdone and not really prepares. Not so in 2011. With new management in the South African Rugby League, the players have been together and playing for over 8 months now. All the qualities that their moniker possesses, it also instilled into the team.


The game started out in physical fashion. The Rhinos showed they had the strength and power up front to really trouble the Canadians. As Wolverines Captain Jamie Lester said after the game ‘We came in with a game plan, and it completely changed within the first few minutes!’ It took only 4 minutes for the Rhinos to run in their first try through their full back Christof Swanepoel. With the conversion they were ahead 6-0. Canada were able to strike back very soon through a try to Geoff Bylund. It took another 10 minutes for the Canadians to be able to find a break in the South African lines through their full back, Robin Legault who made a daring run to score in the corner. The conversion put them ahead 10-6.


At the half hour mark it was the south africans going in again through their Man of the Match Stevie Meyer, who actually scores the next two tries with only one of them being converted by Francios Greyvensteyn. When the whistle blew at for half time it was a surprising 16-10 lead to the Rhinos.


Canada needed to score first in the second half to get back some initiative, but inspired South African defence held them out even when they had like 3 penalties and sets of six only 5 meters out from the their try line. With a simple mistake where the ball was spilled the Rhinos were back on the initiative and were able to gain some easy meters down the field. The Rhinos have some great speed down the sides and Hans du Pleissie was able to get to the try line and get the first points of the half and take them to a 20-10 lead. Canada immediately struck back through Enoch Wamalwa to bring it back 16-20.

Passions and tempers flares and a good biff in the 64th minute erupted. It was an amazing site, after the Ref had a chat to the players and teams, the players involved shook hands let things go and got on with the game. The two teams then traded two tries blow for blow after that, with Rupert Wells going in for the Rhinos and then Legault in once again for the Wolverines. The last 10 minutes though saw the Rhinos start to over power their hosts. They had more to prove and lose and so were not going to let things stay where they were. Two more tries to Johan Fritz and then Christo Louw on full time saw them run out emphatic first time winners over the Wolverines 36-22.


The Rhinos Coach, Steven van Zyl though said “We still have a lot of improvement” and when talking to the Tour manager for the Rhinos Chris Botes he was impressed with what the Canadians have managed to achieve in only a couple years and it was a shame they weren’t in the qualifiers as well.

It was a hot day in Toronto and everyone was feeling with yours truly getting another set of ‘Racoon Eyes’. In the end there were no injuries suffered by any of the teams and it will be a full strength Rhinos that will be in Philadelphia for the World Cup Qualifiers.

South African Rhinos

  1. Christof Swanepoel (Bloemfontein Roosters, Orange Free State)
  2. Rupert Wells (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  3. Henry du Toit (Bloemfontein Roosters, Orange Free State)
  4. Hans du Plessis (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  5. Johan Fritz Backline (Middleburg Tigers, Mpumalanga Province)
  6. Francois Greyvensteyn (Brakpan Bears, Eastern Gauteng)
  7. Andre Loader (C) (Brakpan Bears, Eastern Gauteng)
  8. Christo Louw (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  9. Gerrie Slabber  (Bloemfontein Roosters, Orange Free State)
  10. Christo Joubert (Brakpan Bears, Eastern Gauteng)
  11. Rudolf Prinsloo (Brakpan Bears, Eastern Gauteng)
  12. Jonathan Soares (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  13. Stevie Meyer  (Bloemfontein Roosters, Orange Free State)
  14. 18 Pieter van der Nest (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  15. 19 Riaan Engelbrecht  (Tuks Gulls, Northern Gauteng)
  16. 20 Jean-Pierre Nel  (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)
  17. 21 Gerhard de Wet (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)

Canada Wolverines

  1. Robin Legault (Toronto City Saints)
  2. Tony Felix (York Region Reds)
  3. Geoff Bylund (Toronto City Saints)
  4. Tyler Allen (Scarborough Centurions)
  5. Kale Hutchings (Niagara Bobcats)
  6. Matt Wyles (Scarborough Centurions)
  7. Jamie Lester (Toronto City Saints)
  8. Cam Grace (Noosa Pirates, Aus)
  9. Chris Diamond (Niagara Bobcats)
  10. Ruairi McGoff (Workington Town, Eng)
  11. Enoch Wamalwa (Toronto City Saints)
  12. Henry Miers (York Region Reds)
  13. Trent Hansen (Toronto City Saints)
  14. Graham Dobbs (Scarborough Centurions)
  15. Christian Miller (Scarborough Centurions)
  16. Steve Lamb (Niagara Bobcats)
  17. Rob Autagavaia (York Region Reds)

Canada 22 – Tries: Geoff Bylund, Robin Legault (2), Enoch Wamalwa Conv.: Kale Hutchings (3)

South Africa 36 – Tries: Christof Swanepoel, Stevie Meyer (2), Hans du Plessis, Rupers Wells, Johan Fritz, Christo Louw, Conv.: Francois Greyvensteyn (3) Peter van der Nest (1)

Penalties: Canada 10 – 3 South Africa

Scrums: Canada 6 – 8 South Africa

Man of Match: Stevie Meyer

Crowd: 790

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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59 Responses to “Rhinos Start WQ Campaign in Style”

  1. Crimpo says:

    Great work Druzik

  2. Steve says:

    Not so sure South Africa doesn’t have any NRL or ESL players. It was mentioned that there are up to 11 eligible players??

  3. Joel says:

    South Africa could be the dark horse for the Atlantic Qualifers it seems. Mentions of them training consistently and hard – despite their Cape problems. Good on them for rewarding domestic players.

  4. Homer Ah-Tibor says:

    So I take it that South Africa this time around hasn’t bothered to take the game to the black community like they did in the 80’s? A shame if that’s the case. I can’t bring myself to watch a team which is built upon privilege. Please note that I don’t accuse the players or administration of racism. I do however see their failure to have done much better in setting things right.

    • druzik says:

      There were Black players there. I met some of them… They may be used in the World Cup qualifiers, but certainly were in the touring party.

      Remember you want to take the best team possible, it should not be on quota but on ability.

    • GrootWitBaas says:

      Please see that not everthing can be handed to some on a platter. I dont know how you were raised, but you should accualy work for what you want and not play the previously disadvantaced card. The black players in the team deserve to be there and its people like you that knows nothing thats making it cheap for them. If england had a all white team you would not bitch and moan, so let it be

      • Homer says:

        Handed on a platter? Please! If for decades millions of people aren’t able to access the many opportunities available to others based on race, and then are finally given the opportunity then its going to take hard work by not just those who missed out, but by those who enjoyed the opportunities whilst neglecting their fellow man.

        My suggestion is that from the photo evidence little is bei g done to foster rugby league in black communities. I’m not suggesting that the best team isn’t sent. Because if there were a fair balance of development, there is no way in the world that team would be as heavily biased to Afrikaan speaking players.

        Druzik, I’m pleased to hear there were black players, but more needs to be done.

  5. dragons4eva says:

    Very interesting result…be interesting to see what happens come RLWC qualifier time!

  6. Number 16 says:

    Great report Druzik.

    Given the lack of info coming out of SA re its domestic game I have couple of questions;

    Did you get any info on the number of clubs/players playing League in SA?

    And did the SA team look like RL players playing League, or union players playing League?

    • Colin W says:

      They got penalized early on for executing some union-style plays. The one I recall was the ball-carrier off-loading to the support player after he had been tackled and was on the ground. Classic rugby union move, illegal in RL.

    • druzik says:

      I did ask;
      I was told there are over 30 clubs in SA and now that the issue with the Cape has been resolved another 18 or so clubs will be coming in there.

      The SA team definitely looked like League players. I am sure they have come from union backgrounds but its obvious that they have worked on and play league.

      • Number 16 says:

        Cheers. Given their origins, without question, they’d have come from a union background, but from what you say they’ve clearly got more than a few games under their belts.

        Forty-eight clubs is a very impressive achievement. In a way I can understand why they are going with domestic players, but with half a dozen heritage guys, they could have been in with a real shout of qualifying, and that could have given the code in SA a real boost.

      • druzik says:

        Well the GB sides and Defence forces and Australian Uni sides have toured there in the last two years so they have had some quality games.

  7. wisezola says:

    Not sure what to read into the result, South Africa at full strength and a week away from a world cup qualifiers, Canada certainly five players missing the from the squad injured including Matt Gleed, injured Stephen Conlan, Danny Topou, Louis Robinson, and Dale Fitzgerald, big misses to the team

  8. Jeff Bird says:

    Get in Rhino’s. Well done for a deserved win. Seems like a completley new mentality, whipping boys no more!!

  9. Chris Sanders says:

    What’s the problem on the Cape daniel??

    • Jonathan Hancock says:

      Howzit Gents
      Played domestic league in SA last year. Have to say you know more them some of us druzik,haven’t heard anything of the cape sides. Although we have over 30 clubs there are only about 6 or 8 clubs that are truly competitive and the Rhino’s dont have any big names,all local players. Problem with sides from the cape is that the sport is amateur in SA and all on our own expences so to drive from pretoria to cape town (1200km’s) for a match isn’t possible for all players.

      • druzik says:

        That is what I have been told talking to the SA management on the weekend. They didnt say at what levels all the clusb were, just that there is that number playing.

    • druzik says:

      There was a group not happy with the way things were run on the board and were threatening to break away. Thankfully it all got resolved.

  10. Big V says:

    @Homer Ah-Tibor: We have taken the game to the community. We even played a friendly against the Australian university in Potchefstroom where we had over 1000 people from our Black community. We held a development in the morning to all the young kids and the afternoon we played the match against Australia. We also have a Club in Tembisa(Gauteng East) called Tembisa Bulldogs that participates in the Club games. I hope that this will put your mind at ease that we are doing what we can to develop the sport.

  11. kellerman says:

    seeing the guys over there playing for our country and thinking back when i was on the rhino team who went to england in 2008.from my experience the 2011 team is way stronger and better than 2008 team, im just a bit jealous to know its my own fault i fell out of the team for not trying harder.but im proud of the guys,even if we are rivals in the super league season. Do me a favour and send the guys my regards and tell them even if there are some jealous guys over here we’ll still stand firmly behind them…i would like to know if the games are being recorded so we can watch the games on youtube or where ever?

    Sencerely yours
    Frans Kellerman

    • druzik says:

      Frans I know some of the players look at this website and so I am sure they will see your comments. I will pass it on next week when I go to the qualifiers.

    • Jeff Bird says:

      Did you come over to the UK for 2008 tour? I went to the Rhinos Vs Lancs BARLA. Wore my Rhino top that day. I’m glad SA have improved, we need a competitive South Africa in RL.


  12. Kingsland7 says:

    30 Clubs seems like a very rounded off figure, particulary when the SA team is drawn only from 4 clubs (according to the listing above).

    Still, the RL world needs a strong South Africa and I’am very excited to hear they have begun their tour well!

  13. kellerman says:

    @ Jeff…yes was in the 2008 squad,played the 3 games against Lancashire,Cumbria & Yorkshire but didnt play the BARLA game,to my suprise we had a lot of supporters over there,the Cumbria game which we lost 44-34,had the most supporters,almost a 1000 people watched the game if memory serves me right,which is a big nr for our guys since we only get 100 supporters at some of our games. But would like to see how the Rhinos go up against those English teams now,RL grows more & more each year in SA & alot of talent come over from union to league,which is great!

  14. Chris Sanders says:

    And if wasn’t for former Kiwi Paul Matete,this would not of been possible, because in 1992, Paul was invited to go to South Africa to try and reserect Rugby League back from the dead, where he did an outstanding job, without too much help from abroad!From 1913 to 1991, RL was only played in a few black townships in SA, mainly around the Johannesburg area and under apartheid,this bastardised version of the 15 aside game, was known as blackman’s rugby or statehouse rugby!People didn’t know much about it and it was very much a situation of out of sight,out of mine!
    It is well known that the GB Lions played 5 or 6 exhibition games on their way back home after touring Australia and NZ in 1962 minus Billy Boston!These games were played in the Port Elizabeth area to try and help promote the game in the Republic and the following year a South African Springbok Rugby League side toured Australia and NZ where they beat the Kiwis 4/3 in the mud at Carlaw Park.In one game on tour,Martin Pielser scored 4 tries against Northern Division in Tamworth and many Australian scribes rated Pielser as the best forward in the Game,not bad for a person with only one eye.
    In the past,many South Africans have played professional RL,people like Alan Skene,Tom Van Vollehoven,Len Killeen just to name a few and in 1994, South Africa and Russia played the most unlikely Rugby League International game ever(when Russian Rugby League were on the bones of their arse)when the Playmaker Company based in SA, which was run by Paul Matete’s cousin the late Greg Johnson, paid for the Russians to tour South Africa,where the Bears won the 2 Test Matches, but somehow lost the mid-week game to Western Province in Capetown.
    And of course Barla have toured South Africa many times,North Sydney have gone there twice,Queensland Residents have been there too,Tas Baiteri sent a NSWRL Academmy Team there some time ago and Australian Universities have also gone there as well.
    Finally,it’s worth noting that South Africa have also been to the Rugby League World 7’s,when they were held in Sydney in the early 90’s and one of their players on tour was Alan Muir from the Natal province, who’s now the assistant coach of the South African Springbok Rugby Union side!

  15. Pastor Burd says:

    We are proud of you guys!
    Wish we could join you there in the US…

    We are at home, praying that you all return home, VICTORIOUS!!!

    PS: CHRISTO JOUBERT, ons is trots op jou my seun! xxx

  16. Chris Sanders says:

    It’s Dick Muir and not Alan Muir who’s the Springbok asssistant coach.He once played Rugby League in the Natal province and of course many Rugby Union people have played our Game in the past despite what others think!
    Rugby Union has made a tremendous contribution to our Game!

  17. Corey says:

    Ummm, is Rugby League growing well in SA. I live in Uganda now and although they show RL on FTA TV the only Rugby they play is Union – I am definitely not suited to Union as I have slowly found out. But League does not exist here and there seems to be no one else interested in League – we have a couple of Aussies who love league but that is all. I would love to know how League has been spread in SA.

    • druzik says:

      Corey its about finding a way to show the sport to people. There is no one set recipe on how to do this. Just to give you a few examples I am familiar with.

      The Ukranians basically went to the national Newspaper, bought out a full page add, advertised they wanted to start a new sport and need people with X, Y and Z qualities and attributes. they got a few hundred turn up and it went from there.

      In Poland, what Lukasz has done there is find an area in the community where sport can really help and that is in the underprivelaged youth. He is using it as a way for the youth in Lodz to stay off the streets and be able to channel any emotions into something positive.

      Lebanon, a particularly famous example, started in Australia! They set up Lebanon RL in Sydney and used that base of players to slowly play and then spread the sport into Lebanon itself. After 10 years they have a strong domestic comp and can provide good players for the national team along with any Internationally based ones.

      So its all about finding the path way to expose the population or section of the population to the sport. I would not rely on any other country to help as they probably are struggling themselves and really cant spare the resources. Using your aussie mates is probably the first step, see if you can form a club and then offer coaching clinics to school kids etc… maybe from there something could snowball?

  18. wrightyho says:

    it has emerged recently in south africa that the sport of rugby league is not officially recognised as the all white self appointed board in between falling out with each other have never in 19 years even bothered to register the sport with the SASCOC so the bunch of guys who are parading around north america calling themselves the rhinos are not actually representing this country. please google SASCOC and you will see this to be true and druzik the cape are not involved with this farce and will not become so until the sport is officially recognised by SASCOC and the constitution etc has been approved and a democratically elected board selection panel development programme regional representation amongst many other issues are investigated the rugby league authorities have been warned on many occasions about where all this was leading but seem incapable of resolving the problems these people are creating you will see in the coming months what i am saying is the truth

  19. Chris Sanders says:

    Send the GB Pioneers to Uganda to kick start the Sport!Uganda are tailored made for Rugby league along with Kenya and the Ivory Coast!
    However,the trouble is that the RLIF couldn’t care a toss because they are too busy having a piss up whenever they meet!
    Until they are replaced,nothing will ever happen Corey!

    • wrightyho says:

      yes you may well be accurate as to what you say about the IRLF but the RFL and the IRLEF and BARLA have all been party to this terrible farce in south africa that we have had to witness over almost 20 years.also your point about taking the sport into other african countries well chris, this responsibility with the recent backing and support of the commonwealth games association has also been put into the hands of the boers and they have done nothing and i mean zero, and this very same gang wont even spread the game in their own land hardly surprising when afrikaans is not spoken in uganda, ghana, tanzania, nigeria, kenya just to name a few of the 27 member countries and they dont happen to be whitemen, if you have any doubt about these facts i suggest you contact mr danny kazajidan (the rising star of the irlef)who handed over the job to the boers.so dont worry the net is closing in and the cape will arrive and you will see rugby league start to rise in africa mark my word. PS my prediction for tomorrow USA 44 SA 4

    • druzik says:

      If only I had a dollar for every time I read or heard someone say “Country X are made for Rugby League” … I’d be a gazzilionare by now!

  20. clinton thomas says:

    I toured England with the 2008 Rhino”s and let me tell you this team is guy’s that live for the game they dont get paid to play ,they play for the love of the game and the pride of a nation. Give them hell boy’s!!!!! Clinton (Free State Phantoms)

  21. Chris Sanders says:

    Well that’s the truth Daniel and I can’t help the fact that the RLIF are a circus run by clowns!
    That’s why RL won’t reach its’ full potential until these idiots are in their graves.

  22. Chris Sanders says:

    Ok Jeff Bird!Scott Carter has got to go and this week I will be ringing up John McDonald, the Boss of the Queensland Rugby League, that we here in NZ have no confidence in Carter and we need someone there who knows something about the Game and he(McDonald) should take over cas Queensland is Rugby League’s strongest State or Province and we need stability at RLIF level!However,I am happy with Richard Lewis contribution to the RLIF because the Poms are finally doing the job in spreading the Game and NZ do sweet FA in that reguard and hence no need for Carter to head the Organisation anymore!
    Likewise,Gallop has got to go as well and the way he labelled the Melbourne Storm supporters as terriorist recently was nothing short of disgraceful and he should of been sacked on the spot!
    Ross Livermore,the retired CEO of Queensland Rugby League should replaced Gallop as Secretary of the RLIF because Gallop can’t do one job properly let alone 2 and I wouldn’t pay him the dole!
    And the best thing for Scott Carter to do is to follow a horse with a shovel and in horse racing terms,he ain’t worth feeding1
    We only flogging a dead horse in the shape of the RLIF cas the people there aren’t interested!
    Simple Jeff Bird and are you related to Larry Bird??

  23. Chris Sanders says:

    And wrightyho!Are you psychic??The final score was 40/4 to the yanks over SA!What are the lotto nos for next week??Ya not as dumb as you look!

  24. wrightyho says:

    just a lucky guess but i will say jamaica will beat the white rhinos by an even bigger score hows about that then

  25. Chris Sanders says:

    And it was a bloody good guess at that!!Ok, so Jamaica are the bully cas I was told that they will beat the USA and Qualify for the 2013 RLWC!
    And of course Desy Drummond himself, was taught by the master,the one and only Alexander James Murphy at Hilton Park,Leigh.
    So Desy should have something up his sleeve!
    Jamaica to Qualify,England to win the 4 Nations,Bayern Munich to win Champions League,France to beat the AB’s,Orlando Magic to win NBA,NY Yankees to win the Baseball and the Detriot Lions to win the NFL!
    I have looked into that crystal ball.

    • wrightyho says:

      can you imagine what will be going through those white rhinos minds on wednesday night when those electric quick slick handling jamaicans keep throwing the ball wide and showing the big clumsy boers a clean pair of heels, i wouldn’t be surprised if the white rhino doesn’t pitch up (lol)final score 66-10

  26. Chris Sanders says:

    Ok wrightyho!You are wasted talent on these forums cas you are simply the best when it comes to forecasting results!
    But Boers playing our game are better than no Boers playing the game!
    We are slowly educating them that Rugby League is the greatest game of all despite the fact that we have got the greatest idiots of all ruuning our game!
    The more the merrier irrespective of race,religion,colour,creed,gender and sexual preference!!

  27. Jeff Bird says:

    I believe the Rhino’s were beaten 20-6 by Jamaica, so thankfully they were not arse raped by Jamaica.

  28. Chris Sanders says:

    The scorelines mean nothing and I have said before,the growth of any game is measured in the numbers that play it!
    Give these people time Geoff Bird and I have seen more progress here than what’s happening at Auckland Rugby League!
    At least these teams are travelling the world spreading the gospel of league unlike say the Auckland Rugby League teams that remain stationary!
    That’s what I call a waste of time and as we have already said before,NZ does fyck all for the Global Game, cas the officials here are only interested in their paypackets,their small circle of mates and in their free boxes at Mt Smart to see the Worriers wobble around!
    Good things come for those that wait!

    • druzik says:

      Once again hijacking with the NZRL and Auckalnd, Chris I am sick of you pushing your agenda…. this is not what the site id for. As I have said a million times to you, set your own site up to write about this and I will reference you and even then get a debate going, I don’t want threads being flooded and hijacked by you all the time. I am putting the ban back on … I just dont have the time to continually have to try and edit your stuff.

  29. Jeff Bird says:

    Amen brother

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