November 17 1945

‘Kiwis’ find food, glorious food, in Dublin

Coming from England and Wales, where wartime rationing still applied, the NZEF ‘Kiwis’ were delighted to find no such restriction in Ireland. And, as Winston McCarthy recounts, they made the most of it.


Eric Boggs - try scorer.

  1. Leinster, at Lansdowne Road Ground, Dublin

And so to Dublin.

The boys had heard that perhaps food might be more plentiful in Dublin than elsewhere. Almost the first question many• ‘‘Kiwis” asked when we arrived was: ‘‘Have you any steak, here?” ‘‘Any amount—as much as you want to eat,” came the. answer. And there, in my opinion, is the story of the ten-point draw with Leinster. Never ever have I seen anybody eat—. and really enjoy eating—like those lads. I’ll never forget one of them—perhaps he was the shortest of the team—eyeing his first meal in Dublin. It must not be forgotten that many of the team had not seen a steak in many moons. ‘‘Shorty’’ said he’d have a porterhouse steak with eggs, oysters, tomatoes and chips. He got them—on two plates. The steak itself overlapped the sides of the plate; two eggs adorned the porterhouse, and the rest of the meal was on another plate! ‘‘Shorty’’ ate the lot. But he was only one of many. I’ll swear ‘‘Ike’’ Proctor’s steak was a full beast minus only the horns and hooves! -That was breakfast. We were there in Dublin for two-and-a-half days  before the Leinster game started, and it was possible to have a steak in the grill room at any time during the day. That suited the boys, too.

And so, bursting with steak, oysters, kidneys and whatnot, the ‘‘Kiwis” walked onto Lansdowne Road Ground to continue on their victorious way. They started well. From a typical, snappy “Kiwi” back movement, Boggs scored on the left wing. Scott converted (5-0). The ‘‘Kiwis’’ were lethargic. I well remember ‘‘Jim’’ Gasson and I trying to get some of the team to have even a ‘‘run around the block” before going to bed on Friday night just to sharpen up. But the lads had not yet had their baptism of fire and thought they were all right. I’ve often wondered if any of them thought of that during the game. Anyhow the Leinster forwards didn’t give them much time for thinking. We got a glimpse of what Irish forwards can do. “Charlie” Saxton played his second game of the tour—despite his injury’ but with the England International in view—and he did not have a happy time.

Leinster scored from a lovely ‘‘pot” by the blond stand-off half Carry (5-4). Actually there is little to say about the game, except two startling episodes. But I’ll give the scoring first. Arnold was next to score following a fumble behind the scrum by Thorpe on his goal-line. Scott made it 10-4, and so came half-time. But before that came one of the episodes. It is a fact that Referees overseas do not signal with the arm to indicate the type of infringement, try, penalty, etc. From a hot Irish rush on the right wing, it looked touch and go whether or not Moran bad scored. The Referee stood on the goal-line and faced ‘‘Kiwi-wards’’ after blowing his whistle, and there was a roar from the crowd as Thorpe lay down to hold the ball for McAuliffe’s kick at goal. The kick fell in front of the’’Kiwi’’ posts, and Scott running out, gathered it in and put in a mighty kick to Leinster’s twenty-live. And it was only then that I woke up to the fact that it was a, penalty kick against the ,“Kiwis” and not a try that had been signalled. But many people thought a try had been scored and actually left the ground thinking Leinster had won 13-10.

In the second spell, it was practically all Leinster, with scarcely a “Kiwi” attack. Coveney and Moran scored unconyerted tries, and it was 10-10. Leinster then tried everything, and so came the second incident. Moran actually hit an upright with an attempted “pot” from 40 yards out just 4 minutes time from time. Begorrah, it was touch and go that time! Carry grazed an upright with another beauty just before the final whistle blew, the “sweetest sound the ‘Kiwis’ ever heard,’’ as one
newspaper put it The final score was 10-10, and there was steak on the menu at dinner.


The teams.

From “Broadcasting with the Kiwis” by Winston McCarthy. Pub. 1947 p.34-5