November 11 - 1944 NZ Services beaten by South African Services

New Zealand Services indifferent start to the 1944-45 season continued when they lost their fourth consecutive match, this time 8 – 11 to South African Services at Richmond.

After losing their first four games the New Zealanders were able to turn their season around to some extent, finishing with nine wins, a draw and ten losses from their twenty games.

Players were frequently unavailable because of their military duties, no player appearing in every game. Spitfire pilot Frank Crist came closest with 17 appearances. Normally a lock forward, and named as such in the match programme, he apparently played on the wing against South African Services, a dramatic role change. He was back in the forwards when the sides met again a fortnight later.

Among the New Zealand forwards in this match was 1934-38 All Black flanker Rod McKenzie who played eleven games for the club in 1944-45. He and fellow New Zealander Eric Grant played two wartime internationals for Scotland against England at Leicester on February 24 1945, when one of their opponents was another NZ Services player Morrie Goddard. Each of the three scored a try in the match, won 18 – 11 by Scotland, and they all played in the return match at Murrayfield.

Nov. 11 1944 v South African Services at Richmond. Lost – 8–11. J H Macdonald and M P Goddard tries. J H Macdonald conversion.