April 1 1944

NZ Services end season with a win

New Zealand Services ended their 1943-44 season with a 9 – 5 win over regular opponent Rosslyn Park at Richmond. It was a good end to what had been their best season, played 12, won 8, drew 2, lost 2, points for 113, against 63.

Frank Crist - try scorer.

Like all NZ Services teams, the side had some changes from the XV fielded in the previous match, including five eight R E Hay, playing his only game of the season. It seems to have been a problem position at this time, Hay’s five eight partner was H Sturrock whose other five appearances had been in the forwards.

Still, there was a good sprinkling of regulars playing, including fullback Jack Macdonald, wing Eric Grant and forwards Frank Crist and Ray Dalton.

Macdonald was a member of the Marlborough family that produced a number of New Zealand Maori representatives. Now very much a veteran Jack Macdonald played for NZ Maori 1923,26,31,34,35, had a stint in rugby league in Britain, and had represented New Zealand as an oarsman at the 1930 Empire Games and the 1932 Olympics. He played a wartime rugby international for England v Wales in 1942.

Flying Officer Frank Crist, a Spitfire pilot (and a Squadron Leader by the end of the war) was another of the regulars. A lock forward, he played for Air Force selections and a Dominions XV during the war. Back in New Zealand he represented Wellington 1948-51, had an All Black trial in 1948 and continued to turn out at first class level for the invitation clubs (Centurions, Barbarians, Bohemians, Olympians) until 1956. A secondary school teacher he coached the Wellington College 1st XV 1953-62, and finished his career as principal of Hastings BHS 1965-84.

April 1 1944:

v Rosslyn Park at Richmond. Won 9 – 5. E Grant, V G Cave and W F Crist tries.