Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
17 December 2014
What a day this was. Look at the water! It had rained so hard overnight at Eden Park the Auckland Rugby Union phoned the local radio station 1ZB and said to the public - 'even if you've got tickets - don't come.' They added, ' - the streets are flooded, the car parks are under water and the 48-hour rainstorm is not scheduled to stop!' But 45,000 fans said - No way!' They wanted to see the All Blacks play (maybe because New Zealand was wearing white jerseys?). The game went ahead and the All Blacks scored 4 converted tries for a 24-0 win. Scotland were lucky to get zero! Afterwards the All Black prop Billy Bush said with relief, 'thank goodness the referee (Peter McDavitt of Wellington) blew up any collapsed scrums quickly - someone could have drowned!' Never a truer word spoken! (Scroll down here - and on other pages here - for more of my favourite rugby photographs)
In Moscow the NZ Women beat Canada 29-12 to win their first world 7s final. An hour later NZ's Men's team beat England 33-0 for a great 'daily double.'
Birkenhead Park, and England
3 internationals for England 1900
Respected as a diligent and determined administrator in England, but reviled in New Zealand as the man who stole the All Blacks’ birthright, ‘Bim’ Baxter holds a key place in rugby history.
Already a member of the IRB, and England team manager to Argentina in 1927, Baxter was appointed manager of the 1930 British touring team to New Zealand and Australia.
There he was outspoken, to say the least, in his denunciation of the New Zealand wing forward position. Baxter stated the wing forward was ‘nothing more than a cheat’, and his influence on the world scene led to the framing of laws which effectively stamped out the two-man front row, and with it the wing forward position.
Baxter was also highly critical of the game of rugby league. When being shown the sights of Auckland, Carlaw Park, the local rugby league ground, was pointed out to him. Baxter offered a quip that has always been quoted by Kiwi league followers when their rivalry with rugby union is discussed. Baxter said of the park, ‘Every town must have its sewers.’
Baxter was an international referee on nine occasions and was on the IRB from 1926–39. A silver medal-winning yachtsman at the 1908 Olympics, Baxter was also involved in golf and rowing.
Who was the player in the All Blacks 1991 World Cup team who played in one test (against Italy) and never played for the All Blacks at any level before or after that game?