November 22 - 1888 'Natives' play one match in Scotland

The New Zealand “Natives” won their only game in Scotland, against Hawick, 3 – 1, though the home team dominated much of the match. And Dick Taiaroa won his own little spot in rugby history.

“Two days later, in weather that had hardly improved, the team played at Hawick, their only match in Scotland. Here they were greeted by a very large crowd.

Football enthusiasts were down in great numbers, and it seemed as if the entire juvenile population of Hawick were playing truant, for the swarm of youthful football players that crowded round the entrance to the station was enormous1.

The match itself was relatively uneventful in spite of the weather. Hawick, including Laing and Burnett who had been with the British team in New Zealand, dominated most of the match and led by a try to nil at the interval. Only exceptional full-back play from Billy Warbrick saved the Native team before McCausland secured a lucky break and provided a try for Keogh. McCausland’s conversion sealed the game 3-1, but not before Dick Taiaroa created a legend for himself in attempting to evade the Hawick full-back. “He threw a kiss to the Hawick back — suggestive of self—confidence in his ability to outpace him — but Riddell responded gaily, and ‘grassed’ the New Zealander amid tremendous rounds of applause.”2 Proceedings ended with a large and amicable dinner.

Such were the demands of the itinerary being arranged by Scott that the team returned to England on the night of the Hawick match and played games on the next two days, against East Cumberland and against Westmorland County.”

From “Forerunners of the All Blacks” by Greg Ryan. Published 1993 by Canterbury University Press.P.59-60.

“One hundred and ten years on the 1998 New Zealand Maori team are startled and deeply moved to see in the Hawick clubrooms a tokotoko (carved walking stick) from the Native team’s tour.”3

1Hawick Press 27 November 1888.

2 From “RUGBY FOOTBALL AND THE TOUR OF THE NATIVE TEAM”, compiled by T Eyton. Published 1896.P. 29.

3New Zealand Herald, 25 November 2008.