November 20 - 1888 NZ 'Natives' win in terrible weather

The Natives team struck foul weather at Carlisle, weather so bad that many of the players wanted the game delayed a day. But it went ahead in howling wind, sleet and snow. Three of the Carlisle team and Pat Keogh of the Natives did not return to the field after halftime. Some the Native backs played with overcoats thrown over their shoulders. But the Natives, despite the farcical condition, came away with an easy 13 – 0 win.

From “Forerunners of the All Blacks” by Greg Ryan. Published 1993 by Canterbury University Press. P. 58-9.

“The New Zealand Footballers at Home.


Another Victory

(United Press Association)

London, 20th November.

“The Native football team beat Carlisle Club by two goals and eight tries to nothing.”——-10–1—-0–

“The weather at Carlisle on 20 November was so bad, with wind, snow and lightning, that the team tried to persuade Scott to postpone the match. In the end it became a farce as three of the Carlisle team and Keogh were too cold to take the field during the second half. With the wind behind them and overcoats draped around their shoulders, the Native team had little difficulty scoring tries.

An unknown member of the team provided this account of the match for Eyton.

NATIVE TEAM V. CARLISLE From a correspondent within the Native team. Yesterday was an awful day. During the forenoon the wind blew bitterly hard and cold, and in the afternoon it grew even worse. At 2 o’clock lightning lit up the gloomy sky, and thunder mingled with the howling wind. Presently, too, sleet began to fall and pile up in gutters and corners. Those of us elected to play were quite dismayed by this weather and begged Scott to postpone the game for another day; but he was inexorable and declined to hear of any delay. So, our boys feeling utterly miserable and out of spirits, were driven to the ground in a storm of sleet. No time was lost in getting ready for the toss, and our opponents elected to play with the wind at their backs. The snow had stopped for a few minutes when we entered the field, but no sooner did we kick off than a great mass of clouds discharged their hail-like contents slap in our faces. It was cold. We tried to smile at one another, but could only manage to horribly contort our faces.

Our opponents, with the storm in their favour, pressed us at first, but we gradually drove them back. From midfield Ellison carried the ball into their 25, but was collared, and by some accident had one of his teeth broken off near the gum. Shortly afterwards, Williams, Ellison and another dribbled the ball over the goal line and, Williams falling on it, scored a try. McCausland took the kick at goal, and managed to pilot the sphere over the bar. A little later Ellison again put in a good dodgy run, and got in again behind the posts. Mac, however, failed to convert. We continued to have all the best of the play, but no further score was added up to half-time.

When the second half commenced, three of the Carlisle team were too stiff with cold to resume. This rather surprised us, as they were playing in what we supposed to be their usual wintry weather; and further, that they had their backs to the wind, whilst we, from a warmer country, and totally unused to such weather, had been playing with the wind and sleet driving bang in our faces. One of our fellows (Keogh) also had to remain under shelter. The game now degenerated into a mere farce. We stood whenever we liked, and our backs stood on the field with their overcoats thrown over their shoulders. When play ceased we had scored a very easy victory by 2 goals, 7 tries and 9 minors to 2 minors. The scorers on our side were Williams, 3 tries; Ellison, 2 tries; Karauria, 2; Wynyard, 1; and Webster, 1. From all these only 2 goals were obtained, as the great hail-fall and fearful wind rendered place-kicking extremely djfficult. The opposing team scored two minors in the first half but hadn’t a show subsequently.

Tom Ellison suffered a broken tooth