January 25 1919
NZ Army team start with draw.
A week after their trial match the newly selected NZ Army team started their programme of matches against the Royal Navy in Devonport. The Army side included a number of pre World War I All Blacks and other players who would achieve that status in the post war years. But despite the star quality in the New Zealand drive the match finished in a scoreless draw.
MATCHES WITH NEW ZEALAND TEAMS.
(UNITED PRESS ASSOCIATION.—COPYRIGHT.)
(AUSTRALIAN-NEW ZEALAND CABLE ASSOCIATION.) LONDON, 25th January.
At Rugby a match at Devonport between the Royal Naval Depot and the New Zealand All Blacks resulted in a draw, neither side scoring.”
Past and future All Blacks abounded in the Army team. Some e g five eighths Dick Roberts and James Ryan, forwards Toby Murray and Arthur “Ranji” Wilson had represented before the war. Others, like wing W A “Jockey” Ford plus forwards E A “Moke” Bellis and Alf West became All Blacks in the 1920s.Fullback Jack O’Brien (1914,20), halfback Charles Brown (1913,20) did both. A draw may have been a good result for a first match Or perhaps the New Zealand side, considering the personnel of the team, should have done better.