October 25 - 1945 NZ Services take on Commandos

Travelling to Leicester to play the Commandos XV the NZ Services team found themselves heavily outweighed and outranked in the Officer’s Mess. The home team included 11 commissioned officers as against the seven the New Zealanders could muster. And the highest ranked of the New Zealand team, Capt D G Barton (NZ Army) and Flight Lieutenant R A Dalton (RNZAF) were eclipsed by the Lieutenant-Colonel, Major and seven Captains fielded by the Commandos.

On the field it was a different matter, with NZ Services romping away to a 39 (nine tries) to nil victory.

Scorers; NZ Services 39. M P Goddard (2), J R O’Hearn (2), I J Botting (2), D W Blick (2), G F Henderson tries. Henderson and O’Hearn penalty goals. J D Ridland 3 conversions.

Commandos XV 0.

This was the first of four matches played for the Services team by Sergeant Lachie Grant. From Temuka, Grant had been a triallist for the NZEF “Kiwis” team but had missed selection, hence his appearance for NZ Services. But when the “Kiwis” found that forward Jack Maclean, injured in their first match, would take no further part in the tour Grant was called up, joining the team for their fifth match, against Ulster in Belfast on November 14. Subsequently he was an All Black in 1947,49,51.

Lachie Grant