Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
17 July 2014
I liked this story which was told to me by a local New Zealand referee who swore that this is how he tried to get his message across before every (lower grade) game he ever had the privilege to control.
He reckoned he would speak beforehand to both captains, either separately or together, and tell them thus; "Look fellas, you and your teams and I - all 31 of us - on this field today should play this game with one ambition in mind - and that is - to work up a bloody good thirst!"
He reckoned it always worked!
In't it a shame that on principle such a belief can't work at ALL levels of the game?
The NZ Governor-General in 1931 was Lord Bledisloe. His donated trophy was decided in favour of NZ by 20-13 at Eden Park in Auckland.
Founded in 1884, Abertillery is another of the traditionally strong scrummaging Welsh club teams which always provide rugged opposition. The club has rarely dominated the Welsh scene, but in combination with neighbouring Ebbw Vale has provided many a touring team with strenuous mid-week opposition.
Abertillery has a pretty home ground, The Park, situated at the foot of the mountains and it is there that Haydn Morgan discovered his love of rugby and a talent that was to make him the club’s most celebrated Welsh cap. Morgan, a ﬂanker, played 27 times for his country and toured twice with British Isles touring teams – to New Zealand and Australia in 1959 and to South Africa in 1962.
Other prominent Welsh internationals from Abertillery have been Alun Pask (26 internationals for Wales between 1961–67 and two tours with the British Isles – to South Africa in 1962 and to New Zealand in 1966); John Webb (20 internationals for Wales 1907–12 and with the British Isles in South Africa in 1910); and Allan Lewis (six caps for Wales 1966–67, and a New Zealand tour with the British Isles in 1966).
Abertillery plays in green and white hooped jerseys. It celebrated its centenary in 1984 with a match against a touring Japanese team. After a close encounter, Japan won 17–13.
In the Rugby World Cups 1987-2011 which final drew the biggest crowd?