October 23 1926

Maori beat Swansea 11 – 6

“The chief feature of the latest four games has been the distinct improvement in the tackling of the New Zealanders

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At Swansea the weather was ideal for fast, open and spectacular football, but unfortunately a very tame exhibition was given by both sides, except for a few bright individual flashes. The Maoris had the better of the game, though Swansea proved themselves dangerous many times.

Pat Potaka - Maori goalkicker.

Swansea at Swansea

Maori team: Pelham, Phillips. Potaka. Falwasser. Mete, Bell (captain), Kingi, S. Gemmell, Dennis, Stewart, Rika, Crawford, Tatana, Haupapa. and Manihera.

Swansea team: D. Hopkins, G. Walters, J. F. Watkins (captain). B. Barter, R. Jones, I. Matthews, W. J. Trew, J. H. John, D. Parker, T. Hopkins, D. R. Jenkins, W. Faull, F. Long, H. Rice. and J. Rees.

This was a game of free-kicks, many being given against both sides, and in fact the referee spoilt the game by the number of times on which he stopped play. Play for the first 15 minutes remained in Swansea territory, the Maoris getting near a score on several occasions, once from a run by Falwasser, and also from a couple of penalty shots by Potaka. Al this stage Swansea backs passed well and got into Maori ground, but a fly-kick by Pelham gave relief, but the Swansea forwards dribbled to the black line. The Maoris were not to be denied however, and from a scrum Mete cut in past Trew, and reversed-passed to Bell, who dived over under the bar. Potaka converted. Maoris 5-0. Almost immediately D. Hopkins kicked a fine penally for Swansea, and halftime sounded with the score, Maoris 5, Swansea 3.

The opening play of the second spell saw Swansea nearly over, but Pelham tackled well, and then a great run by Phillips took play to the other end of the field. Here Potaka kicked a penalty from wide out, the ball glancing inside the far upright. Even play followed, and then Hopkins improved Swansea’s score with a brilliant penalty goal, and the score was Maoris 8, Swansea 6. The Maoris had the better of the remainder of the play, Pelham showing up well on several occasions for heady and safe play. From him came the tit-bit of the match. Pelham fielded a long punt, and electing to run made good ground and then punted. He followed up at a fast pace, and regained possession to score a very fine try in the corner, for which he was warmly applauded by the spectators. Potaka failed with a difficult kick. Maoris 11, Swansea 6. For the final five minutes Swansea attacked strongly, and the final whistle blew without alteration to the score, and Swansea on attack. Maoris 11, Swansea 6. passed to Bell, who dived over under the bar. Potaka converted. Maoris 5-0. Almost immediately D. Hopkins kicked a fine penally for Swansea, and halftime sounded with the score, Maoris 5, Swansea 3.

The opening play of the second spell saw Swansea nearly over, but Pelham tackled well, and then a great run by Phillips took play to the other end of the field. Here Potaka kicked a penalty from wide out, the ball glancing inside the far upright. Even play followed, and then Hopkins improved Swansea’s score with a brilliant penalty goal, and the score was Maoris 8, Swansea 6. The Maoris had the better of the remainder of the play, Pelham showing up well on several occasions for heady and safe play. From him came the tit-bit of the match. Pelham fielded a long punt, and electing to run made good ground and then punted. He followed up at a fast pace, and regained possession to score a very fine try in the corner, for which he was warmly applauded by the spectators. Potaka failed with a difficult kick. Maoris 11, Swansea 6. For the final five minutes Swansea attacked strongly, and the final whistle blew without alteration to the score, and Swansea on attack. Maoris 11, Swansea 6.”

Sam Gemmell - Maori forward.

From “Maori Rugby 1884-1979” by Arthur H Carman. Pub. 1980 by Sporting Publications. P. 201-202.