August 15 1921

 

New South Wales in New Zealand 1921

 

The 1921 New South Wales tour of New Zealand overlapped and was very much overshadowed by the 1921 Springboks’ longer tour. Their third match was against Bay of Plenty in Rotorua.

“The third fixture of the tour was, rather unusually, played on a Monday. Only 1,000 people turned up at Arawa Park, Rotorua, for the New South Wales v Bay of Plenty game, which was played in fine weather on a dry ground.

After even play in the opening stages, a New South Wales forward rush took the ball to the home line, where Dunn scored an unconverted try. Austin evened with a penalty goal when Carr was ruled offside, but the New South Wales speedster made amends when he raced away for a try which Nothling failed to convert. Halftime came with the visitors leading 6-3.

A New South Wales attack early in the second half ended in another try to Carr. From a scrum near the home line Walter then tried to dive over but he struck a post and lost the ball over the line.

The visitors kept up the pressure and from a back movement Carr scored his third try. Then Fox broke away with the ball and passed to Steannes, who scored for Loudon to convert. Pym used his pace to run over for a try, also converted by Loudon, and a few minutes later the wing crossed again. The final points in this 29-3 win came from a dropped goal by Wogan.

Although the visitors were clearly the better side, the game was an entertaining one. The New South Wales team moved the ball quickly to the wings, who had a field day, the crowd being very appreciative of the speed of Carr and Pym. The visiting backs all played well, with Fox and Steannes perhaps the best of a good pack.

The home backs had few chances, as the forwards were well outplayed in the second half. Bay of Plenty spent most of the time on defence and found the speed of the New South Wales backs too hard to contain.”

From “The Visitors” R H Chester & N A C McMillan, Moa Publications, pub. 1990 p.121-2.

The New South Wales team went home satisfied with their record of nine wins from 10 matches. They lost to Wellington (the only major union they met) in their final game but comfortably won their “test” in Christchurch against the All Blacks 17 – 0. That has to be qualified, the All Black team for the most part did not include the players who played the tests against South Africa.

 

An unusual feature of the tour was that, before some games at least, New South Wales performed a war-dance. The “test” was preceded by, the “Press” reported, “a haka by the New South Wales team”. A “Weekly Press” photo was captioned “New South Wales players perform an Aboriginal war-dance prior to the start of the Wellington game”.