January 31 - 1946 Cook stars in 'Kiwis' win

Herb Cook with some fine attacking play was the star as the “Kiwis”, their selection affected by players suffering from the ‘flu, defeated Leicester and East Midlands in wet and muddy conditions in a less than memorable encounter.

The home team played in lettered rather than numbered jerseys.

From “Broadcasting with the Kiwis” by Winston McCarthy. Pub. By Sporting Publications 1947. P. 67.

“19th Match.

v. Leicestershire and East Midlands,

at Leicester

Most of the ‘flu victims joined us at the Fernleaf Club in London. Argus went to hospital, Scott to bed, again, and Finlay at last decided it had got him too. Rhind abandoned his bed to play and lead the “Kiwis,” but it was not a nice day at all. It was raining before and during the match, and the ground, of course, was muddy. Kearney played at first five, but was obviously not the Kearney we know him to be.

It was Cook’s game. In his report on the match for the “Daily Mail,” Ronald Symond wrote: “Cook, the ‘Kiwi’ fullback, gave a ‘naughty’ but impressive individual performance.

He frequently abandoned his post at full-back to take part in attacking movements, handling and running as well as any three-quarter on the field. Cook opened the score with a great penalty goal from almost half-way on the extreme right wing. Then he took a prominent part in a classic passing bout which sent Sheratt over in the corner for a glorious try.”

Later Symond wrote: “The Midland players rallied finely in the second half, pressing so hard and continuously that Cook was constrained to stay in his proper place.’’

Strictly speaking, the match was “just another game” with nothing much to enthuse over. The ball was like an eel, and practically the whole team played as if they were the next ‘flu victims. The first half score was 9-0, a penalty by Cook, followed by unconverted tries by Sherratt and Rhind. The only score in the second-half was about 10 minutes from the end when Eric Boggs scored a typical try, kicking ahead a couple of times and racing everyone else to touch down, for Cook to make the

final score 14-0.”

Kiwis fullback, Herb Cook