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!'
The All Blacks beat Wales 19-0 in Swansea; with, they said, one point scored for every year they had waited to avenge Wales's controversial 3-0 win in 1905.
Canterbury, Marlborough, Waikato, Auckland and New Zealand
6 internationals for New Zealand 1946–49
Fred Allen was one of the truly giant personalities of New Zealand rugby in the 30 years after the end of World War II. After being ﬁrst recognised as a star of the famous New Zealand Army team (the Kiwis) which toured Britain in 1945–46, he gained selection and the captaincy of his country in 1946. He was also made captain for two All Black tours, to Australia in 1947 and to South Africa in 1949, though he was dropped – at his own behest – for the ﬁnal two tests in 1949.
After his playing days were over, Allen continued to make a remarkable contribution to New Zealand rugby.
He became coach of the Auckland team and took it through one of the province’s greatest eras. Under Allen’s guidance, Auckland defended the Ranfurly Shield 25 times, then a record, between 1960–63.
From 1964 Allen progressed to selecting and coaching All Black teams. He and Charlie Saxton, his captain from the Kiwis 20 years before, formed a formidable managerial team behind the 1967 All Blacks in Great Britain. That side was unbeaten and is remembered as one of the best international teams to have visited Britain.
He retired as All Black coach in 1968 having had team which played in 37 games for 36 wins.
In his later years Allen continued to be a highly respected and recognisable personality in the game in New Zealand. He was knighted in 2010 and died in 2012, aged 92.
Why did the Wallaby rugby team only practice in the afternoons at the 1987 Rugby World Cup?