Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
26 August 2014
At last some outright commonsense is coming into the pre-match presentation at rugby tests in New Zealand. While it is all very well to be wise after the event there was never any place for bloody great bombs going off at the end of the challenge laid down before the recent tests after the All Black's haka.
I noted at an England test a few weeks back that the explosions actually were being timed and choreographed by some pyrotechnics experts to explode as the All Blacks did the 'hee-ha!' bit at the end of their traditional challenge.
Why I ask?
And sitting in one's seats you could, for a few seconds, feel a ferocious heatwave rush across the field and into the faces of the fans. Apart from a show of some kind of Kiwi macho strutting - what was the purpose of this?
None that I could see. Just bloody dangerous.
To my of thinking the explosions were always going to an accident waiting to happen.
I hope the nice lady who bought an All Black jersey after her husband had surprised her with the tickets to the game but who then had her head sliced open in the explosion is not averse to putting her possibly burnt hands out to ask for some serious compensation from the NZRU.
And that compensation should not be just free tickets to the next test!
40,000 fans welcome popular Manu Samoa onto Eden Park but NZ wins 35-13.
Auckland and New Zealand
17 internationals for N. Zealand 1946–54
After first making his mark on international rugby during the ‘Kiwis’ tour of Britain and Europe 1945–46, Scott soon became the regular All Black fullback, playing 12 consecutive internationals 1946–50.
Not available to tour Australia in 1951, he then retired, but was persuaded to demonstrate his class to British crowds on the tour of 1953–54. Turning 33 during that tour, Scott showed he had lost none of his exceptional ability: a fullback who could defend admirably, with his positional sense a great asset, and with a fine eye for the right moment to join an attack.
Broadcaster Winston McCarthy, who witnessed all Scott’s major games, referred to him as a genius, one of the greatest rugby footballers he had seen. ‘He had the greatest balance, the greatest poise that I’ve seen in any man.’
Scott regularly entertained crowds by practising his goal-kicking in bare feet. He sometimes removed his boots and kicked goals from half-way in charity matches. But even with his boots on, Scott had a terrible time goal-kicking in South Africa in 1949. His general form was sublime, and Hennie Muller reckoned he was ‘altogether the greatest player I’ve ever played against in any position’. But the goals wouldn’t go over, and the All Blacks plummeted to a 0–4 series loss, thanks primarily to the Springboks’ greater goal-kicking skills.
After his second retirement, Scott continued to play club and charity rugby in Wellington. He was asked – but declined – to be available to play against the 1956 Springboks. He was then 35.
Scott scored 242 points in his 52 matches for New Zealand. From New Zealand point of view if only more of them could have been scored in South Africa!
How many Wanganui club players were in the combined King Country-Wanganui team which beat the 1966 British Lions team in Wanganui?