Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
28 November 2014
It is always very sad when a man who once thrilled New Zealand with his youthful rugby zeal and became an All Black, then reaches his senior years - and then passes away. This week we say RIP to Peter 'Sammy' Henderson. Read more »
22 July 2014
I felt really sad when I heard of the death of Kevin Skinner. He was such a genial man in his later years until his health started to fade. At the Barbarians Club at Eden Park in Auckland he was always a friendly face, chatting away. And invariably gently chiding anyone who tried to push onto him the reputation many New Zealand rugby followers had that he was forever and only a rugby thug. He was not that at all. I prefer to call him a vital man who was very much needed by his country in some most critical rugby years. Read more »
On this day he captained the AB test team for the 52nd time, thus passing Sean Fitzpatrick's old record of 51. NZ beat Australia by 23-22 in Sydney
Auckland and New Zealand
17 internationals for N. Zealand 1946–54
After first making his mark on international rugby during the ‘Kiwis’ tour of Britain and Europe 1945–46, Scott soon became the regular All Black fullback, playing 12 consecutive internationals 1946–50.
Not available to tour Australia in 1951, he then retired, but was persuaded to demonstrate his class to British crowds on the tour of 1953–54. Turning 33 during that tour, Scott showed he had lost none of his exceptional ability: a fullback who could defend admirably, with his positional sense a great asset, and with a fine eye for the right moment to join an attack.
Broadcaster Winston McCarthy, who witnessed all Scott’s major games, referred to him as a genius, one of the greatest rugby footballers he had seen. ‘He had the greatest balance, the greatest poise that I’ve seen in any man.’
Scott regularly entertained crowds by practising his goal-kicking in bare feet. He sometimes removed his boots and kicked goals from half-way in charity matches. But even with his boots on, Scott had a terrible time goal-kicking in South Africa in 1949. His general form was sublime, and Hennie Muller reckoned he was ‘altogether the greatest player I’ve ever played against in any position’. But the goals wouldn’t go over, and the All Blacks plummeted to a 0–4 series loss, thanks primarily to the Springboks’ greater goal-kicking skills.
After his second retirement, Scott continued to play club and charity rugby in Wellington. He was asked – but declined – to be available to play against the 1956 Springboks. He was then 35.
Scott scored 242 points in his 52 matches for New Zealand. From New Zealand point of view if only more of them could have been scored in South Africa!
Who was the first Welshman to captain the British and Irish Lions on tour?