January 6 - 1945 NZ Services thrash Sutton

NZ Services went on a scoring spree at Cheam in southern London, beating Sutton RFC 49 – 0. They scored eleven tries, Roy Roper leading the way with four, with Morrie Goddard and Clive Geary chipping in with a dropped goal each.



The New Zealand Services’ Rugby team beat the Sutton Rugby Football Club by 49 points to 0. The New Zealanders gave a brilliant display of open, dashing, combined football. The scoring opened with a dropped goal, after which tries came at regular intervals. Four tries were scored before halftime, with the second half even more one-sided.


Scorers: R A Roper (4), J H Macdonald (2), G M Sellars, E Grant, H O A Stewart, N A Elmes and A W Wordley tries. M P Goddard and T F C Geary dropped goals. N A Elmes (2), J D Ridland and J H Macdonald conversions.

That this Services XV was able to run up a big score is not altogether surprising for they had two very talented backs in midfield in Roy Roper, speedy, clever and elusive, and Morrie Goddard, strong, pacy and with a devastating swerve. The latter was a regular for NZ Services but Roper appeared just six times, managing eight tries in those six matches. Both went on to play for New Zealand, Roper 1949, 50 and Goddard 1947,47,49. But for their war service they might well have had even more notable careers.

Goddard was part of the South Canterbury team that lifted the Ranfurly Shield off Wairarapa in 1950. Twenty three years later, his son Tony was a member of the Marlborough “Red Devils” who provided one of the biggest upsets in Shield history when they beat holders Canterbury 13 – 6. Both father and son got on the score sheet in their challenges, Morrie with a try, Tony a dropped goal.

Roy Roper - four tries