“v. Llanelly, at Llanelly
The “Kiwi” Selectors made nine changes for the match at Stradey Park—four backs and five forwards. Neither back nor forward were they as impressive as at Swansea. There was not the faultless handling nor the dash. Llanelly played the same type of game we were to meet against Newport, Monmouthshire and Aberavon, as well as many of the English Counties—tight in the forwards, with the two halves playing the touch-line. Destructive football, certainly, but most effective against a team that wants the ball to throw around.
The first score came in three minutes—the whole of the “Kiwi” back-line handling before Boggs centre-kicked. Allen was there to score and Cook kicked a goal from his first attempt on the tour (5 0). Lewis and Thomas each tried a “pot,” and then Bevan kicked a penalty (5-3). The ‘‘Kiwis’’ were trying to ‘‘open up”, but the Llanelly tackling was deadly. Half-back, Evans, kept play as tight as a drum in. the rucks, and we were not having much success in the set scrums. The winging-forwaids were keeping more than a fatherly eye on “Shorty” Edwards, but one moment when the discipline relaxed, Edwards evaded “Ossie” Williams, and sent a dive-pass to Dobson. It was a “surprise” pass, and Dobson did his part with a brilliant side-stepping run which took- him clean through the bewildered defence before he passed to Nelson, to score. Cook converted. this brilliant try, and the “Kiwis’ ‘.led 10-3 at half-tine, after Bevan had missed another penalty and Lewis. another “pot.”
Thomas and Les. Williams nearly scored after the re-start, Young and. Finlay saving on the line. From a ruck Allen sent to Dobson. He went inside Les. Williams and. connected up with Boggs. The winger raced away. and, as he was hauled down, passed. to Bond, who had moved up the centre, and Bond scored by the posts. Cook couldn’t believe he’d missed the kick (13-3).
Bevan failed with two more penalties, but put Llanelly on. the attack a. little later for the forwards to carry on. J. Young dived for the line and lost the ball, but “Ossie” Williams was on hand. and. touched down, Fred. Rees converting (13-8).
With the scores so close the crowd was wildly excited—and so were the players. First, Allen and Dobson tried for the line; then Woolley had a solo run, but the defence was hard to beat, Getting the weight right for once, Haigh hooked for New Zealand. In a flash the ball was in Meates’ hands from a perfect Kearney pass. Down he went in a tackle. Up on his feet again he played the ball with his foot, and in-passed to Finlay—on hand as usual—and the vice-captain raced through everyone but the full-back. At the right moment he passed to Dobson who scored; and Dobson deserved a score for the game he played. He really worried Llanelly. Cook missed, and the final score was 16-8.
It was not an inspiring game, but there were flashes of brilliance. Kearney was a grand player; but did not show up at centre. Nine changes is a lot to make in a side that is a target for every team it plays against—none of them have anything to lose. Nevertheless, the start of a tour is no picnic. Players have to be tried out to see how they knit together—but do wish we didn’t have to do the experimenting in Wales! They’re too tough an opposition.”
From “Broadcasting with the Kiwis” by Winston McCarthy. Pub. By Sporting Publications 1947. P. 26-27.