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6 May 2015
One of the key reasons for my tour to Europe and North America this year was to visit and pay homage to World War I battlefields and to the rugbymen who died there. We did that for sure, but not before meeting our guide and having lunch at a very appropriate place for New Zealand war watchers in Belgium.
The name Passchendaele means so much to New Zealanders in its WWI war history. It is a sleepy little town these days but back 100 years ago the village was the scene of some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles fought by the New Zealand soldiers against the Germans. The little cafe in this photo was doing a steady trade when we visited. On its walls was appropriate memorabilia for sale.
You will also notice I was nicely decked out in a New Zealand 'Flanders Field MMXV' shirt. Designed and produced by 'Mr Robyn of Dollar.'
The four 'Home' Unions were beaten on consecutive Saturdays by the rampant ABs! On this day NZ beat Scotland by 29-10
Coaches come and coaches go, but the ever-popular ‘Tempo’ of Queensland and Australian rugby seemed to hang in and hang around forever. He started coaching Queensland in 1961, after a career as a hard-bitten prop with the Grammar Public School’s club side. On and off he coached them until 1988. He succeeded Des Connor as Australian coach in 1971, becoming a national selector as well.
Included in the years ahead were some rocky days for Templeton and the Wallabies. After failing to win a series as coach, he was replaced for the tour to Britain in 1975–76 by Dave Brockhoff. Templeton returned, albeit briefly, before Bob Dwyer had his first term as Wallabies coach, and when Dwyer took over again from Alan Jones in 1988, he took Templeton on board as his assistant.
The ever-cheerful Templeton had most to do with Queensland emerging from the ‘easy-beat’ category to become a world-class team at provincial (or state) level. Under his guidance it achieved a run of 20 straight victories in the 1970s before being forced (by Canterbury, New Zealand) to choke on the special celebration cake it had had baked to celebrate its 21st win!
In times of adversity, Templeton never lost his composure or his voice: he was quick to praise a victorious opponent and was generous in victory. He is remembered as one of the great characters of the Australian rugby scene. Not for nothing did ‘Tempo’ get the MBE for his services to rugby.
When he died suddenly, aged 67, the whole rugby world was stunned. His funeral was the biggest seen in Brisbane in memory.
What was unusual about Daniel Dubois' play in the second half of the South West France game v Australia in 1967?
What do you think?
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