April 10 1943

NZ Services lose to Metropolitan Police.

Military intelligence failed, and neither did the Police have a clue about the scorers in the Services last match of the 1942-43 season, against the Metropolitan Police at Hendon, which they lost 8 – 16. Nor are the New Zealand players named.

 It was the second time in that season that the NZ Services players and scorers were not recorded. The same thing happened when they beat St Bartholomew’s Hospital 13 – 3 the previous November. A sign of the difficulties of operating in war time with constantly changing personnel?

Eric Grant - on international duty.

The match against Metropolitan Police was the 12th of the season, and gave the team a reasonable record of seven wins, five losses.

One who certainly did not play against Metropolitan Police was club stalwart Eric Grant, for the very good reason he was playing centre for Scotland in a Services International against England, one of four internationals he played for that country.

Another regular club member, Jack MacDonald, also played a Services International that season, for England against Wales in November 1942. MacDonald who played for NZ Services variously at wing, centre, five eight and in the forwards for one game during the 1942-43 season was one of the side’s veterans. Born in 1907, he made his first class debut in 1925 for South Island Maori and went on to represent Marlborough, Manawhenua, New Zealand Maori and was an All Black triallist in 1935. Missing selection for the 1935/6 All Black tour he switched to rugby league, playing in England forStreatham & Mitcham, then Huddersfield. Like others who had turned to league he was automatically reinstated to Rugby during World War II. His father, also Jack, had played for NZ Maori 1913-14, as did his brother “Manny” 1923,31.

Rugby was not his only sport. Rowing for Wairau he was in NZ fours champion crew of 1934, won a gold medal in the coxed fours at the 1930 Empire Games and a silver in the eights. He was also in the New Zealand eight at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. His considerable sporting record is rounded off with tennis, at which he represented NZ Services at Wimbledon.

Jack MacDonald, versatile sportsman.