May 18 1980

 Canterbury Sub-Unions have third win.

Canterbury Sub-Unions had their 3rd win of the season when they beat the touring Queensland Country side 27 – 3 on the Rangiora Showgrounds. Their previous wins had been 27 – 3 against Victoria at Leeston and 13 – 7 over Nelson Bays in Motueka.


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The Canterbury RFU around 1980 regularly put a Sub-Unions team in the field, usually early in the season. In 1978 Canterbury Sub-Unions played Mid Canterbury, West Coast, Buller and Marlborough, winning all four matches. The following year the Sub-Unions’ opponents were Nelson Bays, Mid Canterbury, and Marlborough, losing to Mid Canterbury  but winning the other two games.

The Sub-Unions spread their wings in 1981, making a five match tour of Queensland, winning three matches but losing two. Back home they lost to Mid Canterbury and Nelson Bays, but beat Marlborough.

As well as Canterbury Sub-Unions the Canterbury RFU also regularly fielded a “B” selection for first class matches, usually two matches a season.

Other major Unions also fielded “B”, Colts or Sub Unions teams. Canterbury perhaps did it a little more than most.

Scoring 18 May 1980:

Sub-Unions 27. D J Stewart and D Smolenski tries. A Roberts dropped goal. D Smolenski 4 pen and 2 con.

Queensland Country 3. W Banks pen.

 After winning three matches the 1980 Canterbury Sub-Unions side came unstuck in the 4th, losing 0 – 30 to Mid Canterbury in Sheffield. But that was no disgrace, Mid Canterbury had a good side in 1980, winning the South Island Second Division title and also defeating New South Wales and the full Canterbury side.


John Ashworth (Kaiapoi) - played against Queensland Country.