January 30 - 1936 NZ Universities win in Japan

NZ Universities broke new ground in January 1936 with a nine match tour to Hong Kong and Japan. After wins in Hong Kong and Osaka the team moved to Tokyo for four matches, the first against Keio University on January 30.

“The Yokohama Meiji Shrine rugby ground was very greasy on the surface with a rock like base due to frosts – covered by straw during nights previous to games on it during next fortnight.


“Afternoon match – very cold— presented to Minister of Education [ Matsuda, who died the following day of heart failure] 2 national anthems and haka.

Much stiffer opponents than on 26/1. Forwards and backs never idle. Our backs very uncertain of their men, especially 2nd 5/8ths and centre.

Score at half time after playing against the wind was 9 – 3.

Second spell opened with brilliant try by their winger— ran about 70 yards. After that we piled on points quite rapidly- especially during last 10 minutes when our forwards rose to great heights. Match ended with brilliant try by Gillies who cut their defence in half to score under posts. Final 23 – 6.

Scorers; Bush [ 2 tries], Jones [2), Grant, Gillies, Burke 1 each. Bush converted 1 only – very annoying wind. Gillies and McAuliffe did great work on defence.

After match had tea with Keio players.”

From: Diary of NZU forward W H K Simmers.

Ron Bush - two tries and a conversion