December 10 1992
Good win for NZ Combined Services at Aldershot.
The New Zealand Combined Services team that made a seven match tour of the United Kingdom in 1992 was a strong one, with several players (Mervyn Dudley, Murray Henderson, Richard Kapa, Adrian Kennedy, Warren Matene, Kerry Pauling and Jody Smith) with provincial rugby experience. The captain was centre Steve “Ox” Hansen, another with provincial experience and later to become national coach, guiding the All Blacks to victory at the 2015 World Cup.
Coached by Gordon Hunter their first five matches were won comfortably. The sixth match was against the British Army at Aldershot on December 10 and resulted in a big win.
“ARMY 10 NEW ZEALAND COMBINED SERVICES AND POLICE 54
The New Zealand Combined Services and Police took a step nearer towards realising their ambition of winning all their matches on tour when they overwhelmed a below strength Army side at Aldershot. A final hurdle in the shape of their British counterparts awaits them at Imber Court on Tuesday.
Although the Army gained parity in the serums and edged the lineouts they made little progress against the New Zealanders’ hard tackling, well organised defence. Conversely, when the visitors got their hands on the ball they demonstrated a seemingly infinite capacity for retaining possession by rucking and mauling expertly. They also ran aggressively and used long, accurate passes to create overlaps. All this was done at speed and proved too much for an embattled Army side.
Carl McDuff, their young flanker, had an outstanding game and headed their scorers with three tries. Others were added by Richard Kapa, Kelly Hansen, Steve Hansen, Murray Henderson and John Mawhinney. Allan Henderson contributed four conversions and two penalty goals.
In the 70th minute the Army hooker, Chris Wood, intercepted a wayward pass to become the first player to score a try against the visitors. Ironically, had he not done so the New Zealanders would probably have scored at the other end. Gareth Thomas’s conversion supplemented an earlier penalty goal.
Army: R Hinton; S Bartliff, K Bowling, A Deans, J Fenn; G Thomas, D Williams; D Coghlan, C Wood, C Campbell; D Dahinton, T Swan; S Butt (Captain) (C James 63), S Berryman, M Lewis.
Try: C Wood Conversion: G Thomas Penalty goal: C Thomas
NZ CS & Pol: R Statham; R Kapa, S Hansen (Captain), K Hansen (S Guiney 63), W Matene; A Henderson, S Morgan, K Pauling, C Simpkins, R Rangi; J Cook, H Darry; C McDuff, M Henderson, J Mawhinney.
Tries: K Hansen, S Hansen, M Henderson, R Kapa, J Mawhinney, C McDuff (3) Conversions: A Henderson (4) Penalty goals: A Henderson (2)
Referee: Lt G Jones (Royal Navy).”
From: Unsourced report in tour booklet.