Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » Does USA still have THIS far to go in its rugby hopes v New Zealand?
28 October 2014
According to one great cartoon from over 30 years ago....progress has been slow for USA rugby in their hopes of ever beating the All Blacks. Check this version out here.
When working for TVNZ in 1986 I wrote a book called 'New Zealand Sporting Disasters, Disappointments and Curiosities.' It did quite well and was reprinted six years later. The cartoons in it were the brilliant work of George Martin. I tried to write in a humorous way about some of the 'shockers' New Zealand sport had had over the years. Working upstairs then in the art department at the Avalon TV complex was George Martin, himself a man with a brilliant sports playing pedigree. I commissioned the ideas for the cartoons for the book and George brought them to life superbly.
This one here came when I wrote, as a 'Curiosity' about the All Blacks rugby team playing USA at Berkeley, California in 1913 and winning by 51-3 and then 77 years later the 1980 All Blacks went back to USA to San Diego and beat the Eagles by 53-6. I had kept a clipping from the 'Sports Illustrated' magazine who had sent one of their leading columnists out to see the game.
Dan Levin memorably wrote; 'The final score was All Blacks 53 USA Eagles 6, which was one point closer than the last time the two teams had met in 1913. On the scale of improvement shown by the USA in 1980 the United States can expect to draw a game against New Zealand in the year 5129!'
The quote became George Martin's vision of what the game of rugby might look like thousands of years into the future!
[Note; Since 1980 the All Blacks and USA have met one more time. In 1991 in Gloucester at the 2nd Rugby World Cup New Zealand won by 46-6. You would now perhaps have to do some more serious maths to work out what year it could be now re-calculated that USA would get a draw!]
Oh! Aren't we New Zealand rugby reporters arrogant!
NZ tumbled out of the 4th Rugby World Cup at the semi-final stage; ahead 24-10 at one stage,
the AB's then leaked 33 unanswered points to lose 43-31.
Wasps, Bristol, Cornwall and England
14 internationals for England 1960–67
2 internationals for British Isles 1962
The pale-complexioned, blond-haired flyhalf who was seen as England’s and the Lions’ ready-made replacement when Bev Risman ‘went north’.
Sharp actually broke into the England team in 1960, before Lions star Risman had followed his father to rugby league, and took full advantage of the established player’s injury. He struck a swift accord with Dicky Jeeps and was considered the key to England’s Triple Crown success, kicking a critical dropped goal against Ireland, and another against Scotland.
The following season, indecisive England selectors couldn’t choose between the two talented men available, so played both, Risman at inside centre until he turned professional.
That gave Sharp an unchallenged position, for all that 1959 Lion Phil Horrocks-Taylor was still playing, but his international career was effectively to end within little more than a year. A smashing tackle early in the 1962 Lions tour of South Africa put Sharp out of action until midway through the tour, though he recovered to lead England to a championship win in 1963.
That was his international career, save for a brief return – also as captain – when England went down heavily to Australia in 1967. Sharp was not called on again.
He later became a journalist, covering rugby for the Sunday Telegraph, and was awarded the OBE in 1986.
Which former Springbok test rugby captain won a Rugby World Cup winner's medal for Australia in 1999?