March 13 - 1946 'Kiwis' play in Germany

From Paris the “Kiwis” travelled to Germany for two matches against British Services forces serving in that country. Along the way they saw the devastating results of Allied bombing in Essen and Dusseldorf.

The British Army of Occupation team was beaten 12 – 0 but it was not a vintage performance.

Bill Meates scored one try and 'gifted' another

“13th Match

v Rhine Army Team, at Wuppertal Stadium, Germany

One of the main reasons for our trip to the Continent, was to give a game to the British Army of Occupation of the Rhine in Germany.

We left Paris about 10 p.m. on the night of the match against France, and got to Brussels about 8 a.m. the next morning (Monday, 11th March) very tired. We were not expected until 9 a.m., so strolled across the road from the station to a cafe. ‘‘Could we have something to eat’’’ Came the astounding reply: ‘‘Yes; you’d like eggs?’ Eggs!! Would we’ what-o! So some of us had two fried eggs, a bread roll (and butter!!) and a cup of coffee. That cost us each 300 French francs—about 12/6!! We decided the cost of living in Brussels was high.

After a look around’ the city, we left about 9.30 p.m. for Wuppertal. What a journey! The seats were hard, and we were very cold; in fact it was a most uncomfortable night. We passed through Essen, and did they get a doing over by the Air Force!. But we were to see worse. We reached Wuppertal as cold as frogs, tired and hungry about 8.30 a.m. Tuesday. A bus then .took us out into the country, about 30 miles to a country schloss—a beautiful country residence of a one-time ‘‘big’’ manufacturer. At this time it was being used as an Officers’ Rest Home. In the afternoon we were driven into Dusseldorf, where the boys had a practice, but Vic. Butler and I went for a look around the city. It is impossible to describe it—street after street after street just a mass of rubble. They ‘‘got’ it” alright.

We played the match the next day at the Wuppertal Stadium. It is a fine ground, and is bounded by a “saucer” cycling track. I saw no civilians there, only troops.

It was not a good game at all. “Dick” Guest, English International, Captained the Army team. ‘The ‘‘Kiwis’’ looked, and were, dog-tired, while their opponents were off-side a lot all day. The ‘‘Kiwis” scored four tries—and Herb. Cook missed all of the kicks!! Most unusual for him.

The first try came from a ruck on the “Kiwi’’ 10-yard line.. Edwards gave the ball to Young on the blind-side near the touch- line. Young ran to five yards outside the twenty-five and kicked over the full-back’s head. Meates followed up and scored in the corner. 3-0. That was after 25 minutes. A few minutes later outside the “Kiwi” twenty-five, Simpson broke through a ruck, ran to- half-way and passed to Finlay, who dummied. a couple of times and dived for the line as he was tackled, but lost the ball. It was a great run and deserved a try. Two minutes after that (38 minutes) from a scrum 12 yards from the goal-line, Edwards passed to Allen on the blind-side. Allen did his usual dummy and side-step, and scored in the corner. 6-0.

In the first six minutes of the second half, B.A.O.R. had three penalty kicks for goal, but missed them all. The next Kiwi’’ score was a gem. After 13 minutes there was a scrum on the ‘‘Kiwi’’ 10-yard line, 15 yards from the left-hand touch. Edwards passed to Allen on the ‘‘:blind,’ on to Argus, who passed straight back to Allen on the half-way line. Allen dummied at least a dozen times before passing inside to Nelson, to Proctor; Proctor dummied and out-passed to Meates, who ran over the line. But instead of grounding the ball, he threw it back to Smith to score, his reason being that ‘‘Johnnies’ “ points were still in the single figures, whereas he had ‘‘made’’ most of the tries of the tour. A fine gesture—but not good football with the score only 6-niL at the time. 9-nil.

Cook had three penalties inside six minutes. One hit the post, one went outside the post from half-way, and one from his own 10-yard line was only just short It wasn’t “Cookies’ “ day. The final try started in the “Kiwi”- twenty-five; Allen passed to Smith, and he went through in his inimitable style to the B.A.O.R. 10-yard line and kicked ahead. From a ruck by the twenty-five, Simpson passed to Meates, to Young, who scored a well-deserved try. And so it ended, 12-nil, and nobody was very satisfied, really.”

From “Broadcasting with the Kiwis” by Winston McCarthy. Pub. By Sporting Publications 1947. Pp. 90-91.