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MY TAKE ON SOME OF THE RUGBY NEWS STORIES WHICH COME INTO MY WORLD.
10 May 2017
One of the first things people say to any rugby commentator is - 'Just how DO you pronounce all those names from all the different countries?' Read more »
17 November 2016
KeithQuinnRugby.com wrote to the eminent New Zealand rugby statistician Paul Neazor in an attempt to clarify the records set by the appearance of Rieko Ioane as an All Blacks test player in the game v Italy. In true style Paul has come up with a definitive list and also a comparison for the Ponsonby Club with the club with the ‘second-most’ All Blacks. Read more »
14 September 2016
This message below is from John Lea of the Association of New Zealand Rugby Historians and Statisticians; A message to all followers of New Zealand rugby; Read more »
29 July 2016
The words ‘Living the Dream’ made up the official slogan of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The catchphrase certainly applied for me – AGAIN! – as here I was packing up and setting off for my ninth summer Olympic Games. Read more »
16 July 2016
By Keith Quinn; The omission of Kurt Baker from the 2016 New Zealand men’s Olympic 7s team was a very big surprise to me. Quite amazing in fact... Read more »
16 July 2016
More and more in the last weeks before I flew to Beijing for my eighth Summer Olympic Games, in 2008, I was asked two questions. The first one was, ‘are you looking forward to going to that place, Keith?’ The second one was, ‘how many ‘golds’ will we Kiwis win?” Read more »
Even though the All Blacks scored more tries in the four games; the Lions won 2 tests, NZ one test - with a 14-14 draw on this day in Auckland.
Rosslyn Park and England
4 internationals for England 1936
One of rugby history’s most colourful characters, Prince Alexander Obolensky was the son of Prince Alexis of Russia. The young prince was born in Leningrad in 1916 but was taken to England the following year, presumably to avoid the Russian revolution.
He was educated at Trent College and Brasenose College, Oxford. ‘Obo’, as he was known, was an elegant and speedy wing and his rugby prowess was quickly recognised. Late in 1935 he played for Oxford in the annual Universities match, the first of three appearances in that famous game.
As a 19-year-old, early in 1936, he played for England against New Zealand at Twickenham. England caused an upset by thrashing the All Blacks by 13–0. Obolensky scored two tries, one of which has become a classic. His diagonal run through the New Zealand defence, as he scored for the second time, can still be admired on newsreel film footage and on YouTube. That game thereafter became known by rugby writers as ‘Obolensky’s match’.
After he left Oxford University his form fluctuated and fell away. He won only four caps, all in the 1935–36 season, but his memory is ensured both because of his colourful family background and his extraordinary, if briefly flowering, rugby talent.
A world record in first-class rugby is still entered in some books under Obolensky’s name. ‘Obo’ toured South America with a 'Rugby Football Union' team in 1936 (presumably an English selection), and in a game against Brazil he crossed for 17 tries, still a record for one game, though perhaps the first-class quality of the local XV might be called into question.
When World War II broke out, Obolensky joined the Royal Air Force. He died when the Hawker Hurricane he was piloting crashed on landing in East Anglia. He was the first of 111 rugby internationals from all countries to lose their lives in the conflict.
Piri Weepu played 71 tests for the All Blacks; how many times did he play for the full 80 minutes?