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23 September 2014
Adam Julian is a young Kiwi rugby writer on the way up. He is already an expert on New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby - but has a keen and courageous eye on other aspects of the game in our country, including today's provinicial results and their comparison with what has gone before.
An old boy of St Pat's Silverstream College this 28 year-old is based in Wellington still but is trying to crack the Auckland scene.
Adam sends me short missives from time to time.
The stats below don't occupy a lot of space. But ouch! They are are hurtful if you live in Wellington and have loved the capital's rugby down the years.
Here's his summary; Read it and if you live south of Upper Hutt and West of Wainui hold your head in your hands!
"The Wellington Lions have now had seven losses in a row this season; and they are averaging 36 points against them per game.
There have only been 15 seasons since 1880 where Wellington have lost more games than they have won. In 1884 they didn't score a single point, but that year they only played one game! - which was a 0-9 loss to New Zealand before they departed to Australia.
The worst until now was in 1926 when Wellington did beat New Zealand and the New Zealand Maori, but all up they lost 11 other games out of 16 that year, their most defeats in a season.
In 1997 they went 3-7 and conceded 483 points!"
Thanks Adam! (for nothin')
And the Richie McCaw led, and Graham Henry coached, 2011 All Blacks begin their campaign by beating Tonga 41-10 on Eden Park
Auckland and New Zealand
41 internationals for N. Zealand 1977–85
A 2 metres (6ft 6ins) tall lock forward, at one time the tallest man to play internationals for his country, Andy Haden became a giant in the sport in other ways. He rose above early arguments that he was not aggressive enough to make a career as a top-class international forward, and by the end of his time in top rugby he was one of New Zealand’s great locks.
Haden had excellent lineout skills, was a solid scrummager, and around the field he often surprised with his mobility. As a captain and touring All Black he became one of the craftiest competitors in the game. Every Welshman will tell you how Haden ‘cheated’ to make referee Roger Quittenton award a last-minute penalty to New Zealand against Wales at Cardiff in 1978. The big New Zealander tilted and dived out of a lineout, giving the impression that he had been pushed. When the penalty – awarded for an offence by Geoff Wheel, not for Haden’s dive – was converted into points by Brian McKechnie, the All Blacks won the game by 13 points to 12. Years later Haden still has to live with Welsh criticism of his dive that day.
He first made the New Zealand team for the 1972–73 tour of Britain and France, but did not make the international games on that tour, and after being dropped the following year, he disappeared off the New Zealand domestic scene for a time. He continued to play rugby, but combined it with seeing the world, becoming one of the first truly global footballers, playing for clubs in France, England and Italy.
Back in New Zealand in 1976, Haden was chosen for the All Black team for the tour to Argentina where, under captain Graham Mourie and coach Jack Gleeson, he blossomed, playing in both the unofficial tests. By 1977 he was drafted into the All Black test team for his first official caps. Thereafter Haden was a regular choice for his country and he went on every tour on offer, except when business interests interrupted his rugby in 1983 and 1984.
Haden became one of the champions of players’ rights and he took on the rugby establishment in New Zealand. His attempts to better the lot of New Zealand’s international players led to misunderstanding and suspicion of him, resulting in charges of professionalism being laid on him by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union in 1984. He defended these successfully, though there were many who were not as convinced of his innocence in 1986 when he was part of the organising of the unauthorised Cavaliers’ tour to South Africa. Charges were leveled that the team took payment to play its tour and Haden, as one of the principal organisers, faced many questions on his return.
Haden played his final game for New Zealand in 1985 in Buenos Aires on the All Black tour that replaced the cancelled official tour to South Africa. He had accumulated 41 test caps and 117 tour matches for his country.
Which international rugby player who went to two Rugby World Cups also won two Olympic Games Gold Medals and 2 World Championship bronze medals in a chosen 'other' sport?