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14 November 2014
As the 2014 All Black rugby team get ready for their clash with Scotland my mind goes back to 1978 when the 'Scottish Daily' record 'got the drop' on the rest of the newsmedia with this great wee yarn.
Somebody on the paper's staff must have looked at the names of the All Black team and with players in it with names like Ash McGregor, Brian McKechnie, Stuart Wilsoin, Richard Wilson and 'Duggie' Bruce and then and there it was suggested that it'd be worthwhile to further study if there were any others with strong Scottish lineage.
Indeed there was and soon no fewer than 15 players were proudly announcing they were 'part Scottish' and that their family heritage was there for all the world to see. See if you can identify the above team; and i will publish it down the bottom of the page here; The 'Scottish Daily Record' produced appropriate kilts and the great photo was taken. My copy only exists as a kept clipping from their newspaper.
Meantime there is another All Black team from Scottish history which has been pulled together on this trip from the supporters who are following the 2014 All Blacks around UK.
We're calling it a 'FULL' 'All Mac' team chosen from All Blacks with Scottish heritage.
Seeing as last week keithquinnrugby.com published the 'All Black-England XV' which was made up of players with English-sounding name backgrounds here nowis the main "All Black-All Mac" team from AB history. And what fun it was us to come up with these names for you
It will be interesting to see how many 2014 All Blacks have surnames which suggest Scottish forebears.. Many less in 2014 I suppose.
The only rule was the players had to be in their correct playing positions and players were listed not necessarily by talent, only in the order they were called out. This selection took about four minutes for my bus to complete!
The Quinn bus team of 2014; Leon MacDonald, Bruce McPhail, Scott McLeod, Duncan McGregor, Luke McAlister, Brian McKechnie, Paul McGahan, Hugh McLaren, Richie McCaw, Hamish Macdonald, Mike McCool, Angus Macdonald, Jamie Macintosh, Bruce McLeod and Steve McDowell.
All good names - and many more for you to toss around yourselves - in those moment before kickoff!!
[And how was your recognition of the team from 1978? here is a list of those players from the first 'All Mac's' team (left to right) ; Billy Bush, Andy Dalton, Doug Bruce, Eddie Dunn, John Black, John Fleming, Dave Loveridge, Graham Mourie, Brad Johnstone, Robert Kururangi, Richard Wilson, Stuart Wilson, Brian McKechnie, Barry Ashworth and Ash McGregor.]
Anti-tour protests and police surrounding the ground in Christchurch made this a tough watch for the fans. But NZ beat South Africa on this day in the first test by 14-9.
It was with great sadness but with a sense of inevitability that the famous Athletic Park ground in Wellington, New Zealand was pulled down in 2000. For over 100 years it had been known as the ‘Home of Rugby in New Zealand’.
Situated in the base of a high-sided valley running down to Cook Strait, Athletic Park was always in an exposed position, and was battered many times over the years by ferocious Wellington winds. The salty spray contributed to decay in the metallic stability of the double-tiered Millard Stand and after much local angst a decision was made to abandon the site for rugby and move to a new stadium in the city area of Wellington.
While there were many famous days on the superb playing surface, for both Wellington and All Black rugby, it is for its most infamous bad weather days that many remember Athletic Park most fondly.
The worst came in 1961 when the Wellington Rugby Union’s new pride and joy – the Millard Stand – was being ofﬁcially opened on the day of the France v New Zealand match. The southerly storm that weekend brought in winds gusting up to 80 mph (140 km/h) – one of the worst days in Wellington’s history. A large luxury liner, the Canberra, was so buffeted in Cook Strait that the ship could not enter the harbour, just a few miles away. Yet in this tempest a test match was played!
New Zealand won 5–3, with Don Clarke, the All Black fullback, kicking a sideline conversion that travelled across the wind in a crazy curving arc.
Athletic Park has also had its moments in the mud, no more so than in 1977 when the British Lions played the New Zealand Juniors. Not a single player from either side could be recognised at the end of the game.
But Athletic Park could be as effective a playing location as anywhere in the world and on its many top days, presented a ﬂat true ground and seating for the fans that was always close to the action. The record attendance was the 57,000 who crammed in to watch the second test between New Zealand and the British Isles in 1959.
New Zealand played its ﬁrst home test match at Athletic Park, against Great Britain in 1904. In the 1980s the All Blacks scored some handsome wins on the ground, including 42–15 v England in 1985, 46–15 v Argentina in the World Cup in 1987, and 49–12 v Argentina in 1989. In 1992 New Zealand beat a strong World XV 54–26 and in 1997 they posted the highest test score on the ground, beating Argentina by 93-8.
In its last years it became obvious that the facilities which are needed to service a modern rugby match were not all present at Athletic Park. It had very poor players’ changing rooms; there was one shabby function room and no permanent corporate boxes. And though there were some fierce debates about the ground’s future, the advantages of a new stadium in the city were overwhelming. The last test match was played on June 1999. Fittingly the All Blacks gave the old ground a great send off, beating France 54-7.
Why was the France v Ireland match of 1913 played in the morning in Cork?