April 1 - 1944 NZ Services end season with a win

New Zealand Services ended their 1943-44 season with a 9 – 5 win over regular opponent Rosslyn Park at Richmond. It was a good end to what had been their best season, played 12, won 8, drew 2, lost 2, points for 113, against 63.

Like all NZ Services teams, the side had some changes from the XV fielded in the previous match, including five eight R E Hay, playing his only game of the season. It seems to have been a problem position at this time, Hay’s five eight partner was H Sturrock whose other five appearances had been in the forwards.

Still, there was a good sprinkling of regulars playing, including fullback Jack Macdonald, wing Eric Grant and forwards Frank Crist and Ray Dalton.

Macdonald was a member of the Marlborough family that produced a number of New Zealand Maori representatives. Now very much a veteran Jack Macdonald played for NZ Maori 1923,26,31,34,35, had a stint in rugby league in Britain, and had represented New Zealand as an oarsman at the 1930 Empire Games and the 1932 Olympics. He played a wartime rugby international for England v Wales in 1942.

Flying Officer Frank Crist, a Spitfire pilot (and a Squadron Leader by the end of the war) was another of the regulars. A lock forward, he played for Air Force selections and a Dominions XV during the war. Back in New Zealand he represented Wellington 1948-51, had an All Black trial in 1948 and continued to turn out at first class level for the invitation clubs (Centurions, Barbarians, Bohemians, Olympians) until 1956. A secondary school teacher he coached the Wellington College 1st XV 1953-62, and finished his career as principal of Hastings BHS 1965-84.

April 1 1944:

v Rosslyn Park at Richmond. Won 9 – 5. E Grant, V G Cave and W F Crist tries.

Frank Crist