“Match No. 19.
Waikato-King Country-Thames Valley Combined Team at Hamilton.
Dying stages of the tour—the Britishers go on piling up points,—too fast and clever for the home side.
Britain 40 Combined Team 16
This Combined Team was, with one exception, composed of Waikato men, L. Weo, the King Country full-back, being that one. The weather was glorious, with a hint of spring, and a bright sun that must have been strangely welcome to the Britishers, accustomed to wet and cold weather in their February at Home. A record crowd of 12,000 attended and at least had the satisfaction of seeing some sparkling Rugby, while their own team was honourably although definitely outclassed. It was the first match in which the touring side had achieved a total of 40 points, and although 16 were scored against their own total set the mark of international quality on their display.
The teams were:—
Britain—G. M. Bonner, A. L. Novis. C. D. Aarvold, H. M .Bowcott, J. S. Reeve, R. S. Spong, P. F. Murray, D. Parker, D. A. Kendrew, H. O’H. O’Neill, J. L. Farrell, B. H. Black, W. B. Welsh, G. R. Beamish, Ivor Jones.
Waikato Combined Team—L. Weosic, W. H. Carlson, J. R. Fitzgerald, W. Allen, J. Tuck, A. St. George, W. Mitchell. A. Storey, C. Cameron, W. Bonham, J. Reynolds, P. Courtney, A. Cameron, J. Hooper, D. Leeson.
The referee was Mr S. J. Weston, of Whangarei.
F. Murray, the genial Irish medico, re-appeared in the British playing side on this day, after being out for four weeks with an injured shoulder. He played a great game too, in spiof being cluttered up with protective bandages. Bassett, the test full-back, was spelled, and Bonner was played, showing much better form, his fielding having improved vastly.
Britain won the toss, and the Combined team kicked off. After some exchanges between both packs of forwards, and British passing rush initiated by Murray, the Combined team was penalised and goal-kicker Black opened the scoring for the visitors.
Britain 3 Combined 0
The British backs began to find their feet, and for the remainder of the spell there was only one team in it. After a snappy bout of passing, Novis was across, Black converting.
Britain 8 Combined 0
Ivor Jones got the next one, taking an in-pass from Novis with no-one to beat. Black missed.
Britain 11 Combined 0
Bonner withstood several sallies by the home forwards who were always quick to come through any openings in the loose. Britain’s total was increased when Ivor Jones landed a penalty from a handy position.
Britain 14 Combined 0
Still another try came to Reeve shortly after, when he received from his insides to go over for a pretty try. Ivor Jones converted.
Britain 19 Combined 0
It was time for the Combined men to do something about it, or there would be disgrace as well as defeat for them at the end of the day. Their forwards smashed down field, with a little more penetrative power than before, and their half-back, Mitchell scored, for Allen to convert.
Britain 19 Combined 5
Before half time another British back line passing rush saw all the celebrites handle, and Spong come in at the last to score Britain’s fourth try, which Black converted, leaving the scores
Britain 24 Combined 5
In the second spell there was another tale to be told. The home side rose to the occasion and gave the visitors a taste of the real thing. There was no reason to expect the Britishers to maintain the pace they had set, for although they are a splendid side, they are not great, in the sense that the 1905 All Blacks were great, and for one thing they do not regard all their matches as being so desperately important that every ounce must be put in and every opportunity capitalised. That explains their apparent slackening up in the second spell. Another thing was that they had only a week before the most important game of the tour, the Fourth Test at Wellington, and there was every reason to keep their list of injured players down to the smallest number.
After resuming, the Combined forwards were at it in good style, and after a good rush, their wing forward, Storey, scored for Allen to convert.
Britain 24 Combined 10
Then Britain squeezed another try when Novis got across after a passing rush started by Murray. Ivor Jones succeeded with the kick.
Britain 29 Combined 10
The next twenty-five minutes of the game belonged to the home side, and two tries were added. Mitchell slipped across from a scrum, but did not convert his own try.
Britain 29 Combined 13
The only successful Combined back movement of the day came when Fitzgerald paved the way for Carlson to score after drawing Aarvold. Mitchell missed again.
Britain 29 Combined 16
With ten minutes to go it seemed that most of the scoring had been done, but a whirlwind finish by the Britishers, who suddenly climbed on top again, destroyed the local team’s chances. Spong made a great run, scoring his second try of the match, and strangely enough only his third for the tour. Black converted.
Britain 34 Combined 16
Another bout of chain passing saw Novis score a pretty try at the corner after a brilliant run. The kick failed.
Britain 37 Combined 16
From the kick-off the ball came to the forward’s and it was handled freely, not once coming to a Waikato player, and Aarvold got across at his wing for an unconverted try, the final score being
Britain 40 Combined 16
There were some purple moments in the second spell when the Combined forwards were piling into things with a will, and some few words by the referee were required to steady matters.
The local backs were best on defence, although there was no lack of speed in the three-quarter line. In attack the five-eighths showed that they were too unwieldy to uncork anything that could possibly be dangerous. Tuck, who played in Australia in 1929, and St. George were both too slow, even after allowing for the hurdle they had to clear in Bowcott and Spong. Mitchell and Allen were the pick of the local rearguard, while Weosic, the Maori full-back was not up to the required standard in positional play, although his kicking was powerful. The forwards were as usual in these games, the strength of the home side, giving as good as they got except in the all important department of possession of the ball. In the scrums that were decisive Britain won 21 to 8, an overwhelming advantage, slightly set off by equality of possession from line-outs. Penalties were seven to five in favour of the Combined team. A. Cameron proved himself a good forward, especially in line-out work, and the lock, Courtney, was always in the thick of the forward rushes, with Bonham. Storey concentrated on Spong and played a good spoiling game, without, however, rising to great heights as a maker of openings.
The British forwards were not particularly lively on the day, Welsh giving as good an account of himself as anyone did, although Beamish, Kendrew and Black played solid games. Welsh was in top gear throughout, playing as he was for a place in the final test. The British backs were by no means a perfect unit on the day; Murray’s injury no doubt influenced’ his passing, although his other work, and especially his line-kicking was splendid. Spong suffered through this faulty passing, and through the constant attention of Storey. Aarvold and Novis exchanged places in the second spell, the former going to right wing from which position the he scored the last try of the day.
Further Light on a Dark Subject.
At the dinner after the game, when Mr Baxter was replying to Mr A. G. Yardley’s speech, the British manager drove home the point raised by the Waikato Chairman in regard to interpretation of rules. “The rules under which we play are laid down by the International Board, and in our opinion are good enough for the average young man to play under. We don’t intend to alter them one jot. Those who don’t want to play under them can stay outside….”
There are those who will hold that the British bull-dog type is deficient in intelligence, but no-one will deny that the breed has courage and honesty!”
From: “”With the BRITISH RUGBY TEAM in NEW ZEALAND 1930” by G T Alley. Published by Simpson & Williams Ltd, Christchurch. Pp 153-158.