November 6 1926

New Zealand Maori defeat Cardiff

“At Cardiff the team obtained a well-earned victory. Cardiff supporters were confident of victory owing to the fact that the club bad defeated Newport and Swansea badly, and also owing to the sweeping victory over the Maoris by Devon. All sorts of scores were suggested, but some of the newspapers warned people that the Maoris should not be taken lightly, and that over- confidence might give the Maoris the game. This proved to be the case. The Maoris played a very fine game, and had complete confidence throughout.

The weather conditions were atrocious, but the teams overcame this wonderfully well, and a good game of Rugby resulted. The spectators went away quite satisfied that they had seen a good game, in spite of’ the fact that their team had lost. 

Dick Pelham, two fine saves.

A Win at Cardiff

Maori team: Pelham, Falwasser, Lockwood, Phillips (captain), Mete, Wi Neera, Love, Haupapa, Olsen, Stewart, Rika, S. Gemmell, Tatana, Wilson and Manihera.

Cardiff Club: Male, Johnson, Davies, Turnbull, Cornish, Delahay (captain), G. Richards, I. Richards, Lewis, D. G. Davies, Burns, Lee, Watkins, K. J. Turnbull and Barrell.

Cardiff soon opened their scoring account, Falwasser being caught with the ball near the line. Davies scored, and Male converted. The Maoris attacked strongly, however, and from a scrum on the line the ball came out to Falwasser. The wing was held on the line, but contrived to get a pass out to Love, who scored. Phillips failed with the kick. A shower of rain made things unpleasant, and a period of even play followed. A free kick against the Maoris enabled Male to bring Cardiff’s score to eight points, but the Maoris were equal to the occasion. Pelham smothered a movement and set off on a sixty- yard dribble to the Cardiff line. A try was lost, however, through Manihera knocking on in an endeavour to pick the ball up, but almost immediately the Maoris drew level. A kick by a Cardiff back rebounded off a Maori, and Mete jumped for the ball, to score a fine try. Pelham converted, and at half-time the score was eight all.

In the second spell the Maoris played with complete confidence and scored two more tries. A fine piece of dribbling by Mete put the Maoris in an attacking position, and from play close to the line Wi Neera scored. Later the Maori forwards rushed the ball across the line, and after Cornish had failed to touch down, Wi Neera scored his second try. Pelham converted both tries, Cardiff made two very dangerous attacks, but Pelham was equal to the occasions and brought off two very fine saves, and the Maoris left the field winners by 18 points to 8.”

Albert Falwasser, involved in the first Maori try.

From “Maori Rugby 1884-1979” by Arthur H Carman. Pub. 1980 by Sporting Publications. P. 205-208.