January 29 - 1927 NZ Maori win in Vancouver

The N Z Maori team won the first of their four matches in British Columbia comfortably enough 33 – 9, with Tom Robinson scoring three tries. Unfortunately portion of the press report, covering the latter stages of the game, was not among the material on which D J C Pringle’s book is based.

From: “THE NEW ZEALAND MAORI RUGBY TOUR 1926-1927” by D J C Pringle. Published 1971 by Akaroa Mail Company Ltd. P. 58-9.

“Thousands Marvel as Maoris Win”

So ran the heading in the Canadian newspaper when, at Brockton Point in their first appearance in Canda, the Maoris “gave a most finished display of the English handling code” to defeat Vancouver 33-9. The Maoris were slow to start “being held down to a 14-3 count up to half-time, but in the second half ran riot, scoring three tries in the space of five minutes. The pace was fast, abounding in kicking and three-quarter runs. Robinson, the star of the New Zealanders, was almost unbeatable whenever he got any kind of a chance, scoring three tries.”

Prior to the start, following the taking of photographs and a parade of the Seaforth Pipe Band the Maoris rendered their blood-curdling war-cry, led by Haupapa, to which the Reps responded in “Australian style.” (Oh, for some details). The game began after the Mayor of Vancouver, accompanied on to the field by the aforementioned Reggie Woodward, kicked off. Some of the reporter’s expressions are interesting, e.g. “The Maori threes worked a near criss-cross (scissors) carrying the ball up to Vancouver’s two-bit line.”

Vancouver Reps were the first to score, Crone kicking a penalty goal. Then “Robinson punted a short distance and crashed his big bulk through the pack, the Maoris being granted a free kick for an obstruction and Matene kicked a goal.” Passing by Wi Neera, Mete and Pelham led to the latter scoring. Half back Shortland made a beautiful swerving run through the Vancouver squad until he fell foul of Dobbinson. From the scrum Robinson obtained possession and dodged the Rep forwards and backs to score from half way down the field.” Potaka converted—11-3.

However, the Maoris did not have it all their own way. “Leroy secured and thrilled the crowd with a run of forty-five yards, Potaka stopping the speedy Rowing Club star. Vancouver continued to press and when Falwasser elected to run behind his own goal line rather than touch down three Vancouver men grabbed him, he lost the ball, and Sammy Boyd immediately fell on it for a try. Maoris 14, Vancouver Reps 6.” Next Wi Neera went over but the Reps kept him on his back and cleared their line. Shortland “climbed through the pack to put the Maoris up 17-6.” The Maoris kept up the pressure and “Robinson put the visitors three more points to the good on a play which Rika opened up,” and the rest of the press report is unfortunately missing.”

After the match the team were guests at a Varsity dance.

Tom Robinson - scored three tries