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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!
Born in Stratford, Taranaki and All Black prop Mark Allen was forever known as 'Bull' (named after an American TV character). He became so popular Rugby Park in Taranaki was re-named the 'Bull Ring' for a time.
New South Wales and Australia
14 internationals for Australia 1946–49
A brilliant centre three-quarter, Trevor Allan was, in two seasons in particular, one of Australia’s most successful test captains. He assumed the leadership of the Wallabies on the 1947–48 tour of Britain after the original skipper, Bill McLean, suffered a broken leg.
At just 21, Allan was the youngest of all international touring captains. That Wallaby team may not have won the Grand Slam over the four home unions, but it maintained a record of not conceding a try in those games.
The injury to McLean meant the young man was put in charge of a team made up mainly of World War II veterans. Yet Allan was enormously success with them and the team displayed tremendous loyalty to him.
In 1949 Allan led Australia to its ﬁrst away win in the Bledisloe Cup series against New Zealand, although New Zealanders will be quick to point out that the leading 30 All Blacks of that year were involved in another series in South Africa at the same time.
Trevor Allan quit rugby for the professional game in 1951, playing rugby league in England for Leigh. He named a daughter after the town of that name.
After retiring from all football in 1954 he became a respected television rugby commentator.
Why was the kickoff for the Japan v Wales in Cardiff in 1983 delayed for 15 minutes?