Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
10 August 2014
Another Peter Fatialofa story; this one from well-known New Zealand author, columnist and broadcaster Phil Gifford.
As Phil tells it; 'One time Peter and I were both speaking at the same sports dinner. In Peter's speech he also decided to hark back to the great win by Samoa over Wales in 1991 at the Rugby World Cup. He told the dinner; 'When I gave my final team talk to the boys before the game that day I told them I myself was prepared to do anything for victory in the game, 'to break an arm, break a leg or even break my neck in order to win.'
Phil Gifford said the sincerity of Peter's speech went down really well with the dinner crowd.
But when the two men were driving to the airport afterwards Fats leaned over to Phil and whispered, 'You know I wasn't completely honest with that speech back there. When I said that I had told the team I was prepared to break an arm or a leg or my neck to win, well, I was bullshitting about the neck!'
With Cavaliers players banned a very young NZ team, under their captain David Kirk, and with 11 new test players, beat France 18-9 in Christchurch.
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.
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.