November 15 - 1945 NZ Services win in France

In the 1945-46 season, with the war over, the London based New Zealand Services team was able to play a fuller programme and to travel more. Hence in November they journeyed to France for three matches. The first, on November 15, was against A S Montferrandaise in Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne province in south-central France.

Notables in the Services team for this game were three future All Blacks, prop Ray Dalton, playing at No. 8 on this occasion, Ian Botting on the wing and Morrie Goddard at second five eight. Hooker was Morrie Ingpen1, soon to be called up by the NZEF “Kiwis” team. Eight of the side were serving with the RNZAF, the other seven were Army personnel.

New Zealand Services won 19 – 16, their scorers being I J Botting, M P Goddard, C L Hardie and W C Porter tries, H E Johns penalty goal and two conversions.

The teams remaining matches in France were also won, 17-8 v Lyons Olympic University SC in Lyons and 11-6 v Romans-Dauphin in Romans. The wins were part of the 19 (from 22 games) achieved by NZ Services in 1945-46.

1Ingpen, the writer has been told, was a strong contender for selection as one of the hookers in the NZEF “Kiwis”. He and good mate Neville Haigh had worked out that they were the front runners in the position. Before the final trial, rather than take too much out of themselves, they arranged that Haigh would win the scrums in the first half and Ingpen in the second. Only for the selectors to take Ingpen off at half time in the trial and choose Haigh as the only hooker. Fortunately for Morrie Ingpen it soon became clear that a second hooker was needed and he was called up by the “Kiwis”.