Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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From my travels I have collected many photos; had them sent to me or saved them, because, well, behind most of them there is a good story!
15 May 2015
If you are in England and near the town of Rugby in Warwickshire it really behoves you to pay a visit, right? So this year I did and after a night in the nearby village of Dunchurch a visit to Rugby on its Market Day was a must - and fun. Read more »
8 May 2015
It is known that 13 All Blacks died in World War I. Three All Blacks died in Flanders Fields, Belgium. This year on a tour with my wife and friends I visited the three headstones of those who fell in Flanders. This one was at the Underhill Cemetery, near Messines in one direction and Ploegsteert on the other. (The Kiwi soldiers and others called it Plug Street in the same way the town of Ypres became 'Wipers' in mis-pronunciation.) The Underhill Cemetery was so named because it near to a spot that Kiwi tunnelers began to dig to undermine the German held town (of Messines). Read more »
8 May 2015
It was with a particular sadness that I visited the last resting place of the Ponsonby Club's All Black hooker from 1913 and 1914, George Sellars. Read more »
6 May 2015
I consider it a very good fortune from my life to have visited the gravesite of the first All Black captain Dave Gallaher a number of times. I first went in 1991 with some All Blacks of the second Rugby World Cup team. But that day one of the team behaved very badly by goose-stepping between the rows and rows of quietly standing headstones. When the player even stuck two fingers under his nose and raised one arm in a disgusting 'Hitler Salute' as he marched I could have killed the young bastard! Read more »
22 April 2015
I've been lucky enough to go to the Japan Sevens for the last few years. Its always a fun event to be at, and not always held in the finest of weather conditions. Now we hear that this year's event will be the last in Tokyo. From next year Singapore will follow after the Hong Kong tournament. So in future we'll miss seeing sights like the one here - which shows all the local staff''s shoes outside the Japanese TV production and commentary boxes at Chichibu Stadium. Read more »
8 March 2015
Memories of dear Athletic Park. The ground in the suburb of Berhampore in Wellington, New Zealand was called 'The Home of Rugby' on a sign inside the ground. But its time as 'HQ' for rugby in Wellington had to end. By 1999 the facilities at the very famous field were old, rusty and literally in danger of collapsing in some places. After rugby had been played there for over 100 years a brand new stadium had been built downtown (in what we know now as Westpac Stadium). So we locals came to that very sad but inevitable day in 1999 - when the last test ever was played on 'our' home ground. Read more »
No problems to Farah Palmer's team in Barcelona. In the final they beat England 19-9.
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!
In which New Zealand Rugby Province was the Ranfurly Shield resident for the longest duration of time?