Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
17 October 2016
In the 1950s and 60s when a South African rugby team left home for a major overseas tour they always carried with them a splendidly mounted Springbok trophy head. The trophy would be presented to the first team that beat the South Africans on any trip.
In 1965 a confident Springbok team arrived in Wellington for just the second tour game, of a 24-match itinerary. Buoyed by a 32-3 win in their first game at Gisborne against Poverty Bay-East Coast they then ran into a powerhouse Wellington team. Though it was only 1-try each the final score favoured the home team by 23-6. So the Springbok head was duly handed over to the Wellington captain Ken Gray.
Such moments are not forgotten, nor are the trophies hidden away to gather dust. In 2016 at the Wellington Rugby Union's 'Old Timer's Day' 51 years after the epic victory, two of the senior players wanted to record their presence with the trophy one more time. Here are Gary Hermansson and Neven MacEwan, the number eight forward and lock forward respectively from the Wellington team
To this writer's eye not one of the three 'people' in this photo have aged a jot!
Coach Gordon Tietjens and injured captain Eric Rush led the team in Mar del Plata, Argentina. NZ beat Australia 31-12 in the final.
The most accomplished referee of the 1930s who later became a powerful administrator of the game at an international level.
Gadney took charge of 15 internationals and six Oxford-Cambridge matches between 1936 and 1948. Among the major games he refereed were the New Zealand touring team of 1935–36 against Scotland and against Wales; France v Australia in 1948, and no fewer than 10 Five Nations games.
He later became a president of the Rugby Football Union and one of England’s representatives on the International Rugby Board (1965–71).
Gadney was a specialist in rugby law and played a major part in the rewriting of the rugby law book to change the wording from out-moded English to a concise, more modern version. He also wrote the updated version of The History of the Laws of Rugby sion of The History of the Laws of Rugby Football in 1972.
Cyril’s brother Bernard was also an accomplished player, who appeared 14 times (nine as captain) for England as a scrumhalf between 1932 and 1938.
On the Teen Rugby Show on TV in New Zealand (on 18 July 2006) which All Black used the words; 'bugger, shit, shits and shithouse' in a five minute item.