May 15 1935

All Black trials start, unofficially.


With the All Blacks to tour Britain at the end of the 1935 season a series of trial matches were played throughout the length and breadth of the country. Two of the early matches, at Ashburton and Gisborne, were deemed “Local Unofficial Trials”, the remainder were “The 1935 Trials”. 

George Hart - try scorer at Ashburton, perhaps the best wing in 1930s All Black rugby.

Local Unofficial Trials.

May 15, at The Domain, Ashburton. Canterbury XV. defeated Ashburton—South Canterbury XV., 16 to 9. For Canterbury: G. H. Hart (2) and C. J. Oliver (2), tries; C. J. Oliver and G. T. Nolan conversions. For Ashburton—South Canterbury: E. Black, G. T. Adkins and G.  J. Gaffaney, tries. Referee: Mr. A. McLachlan (Canterbury).

June 3, at The Oval, Gisborne. Poverty Bay—Bay of Plenty— East Coast “Probables” XV. defeated Poverty Bay-Bay of Plenty- East Coast ‘‘Possibles” XV., 19 to 9. For “Probables” XV,: A. H. Webb, K. Reedy and W. Steel, tries; H. C. M. Nepia, dropped goal and 3 conversions. For “Possibles” XV.: R. Potaka and M. Ross, tries; M. P. H. Davies, penalty goal. Referee: Mr. N. Tasker (Poverty Bay).

 The 1935 Trials.

 Match No. 1.—May 22, at Rugby Park, Hamilton. North Maori XV. drew with South Maori XV., 19——19. For North Maori XV.: L. Kawe, W. .J. Phillips and G. R. Harrison. tries; T.C. Chase, dropped goal ; J. Hemi, 3 conversions For South Maori XV.: C. W. Smith (2), S. Moeau (2) and P. Kaua, tries; G. Pepere, 2 conversions. Referee: Mr. T. Parata (Horowhenua).

Match No. 2.—May 25, at Carisbrook Ground, Dunedin. Canterbury-Ashburton-South Canterbury XV. defeated Southland-Otago—North Otago XV., 10 to 9. For Canterbury Group: G. F. Hart and C. J. Oliver (penalty), tries; H. Deavoll, 2 conversions. For Otago Group: .J. Hore, try; J. Taylor, 2 penalty goals. Referee: Mr. L. E. Macassey (Otago).

Match No. 3.—May 29, at Trafalgar Park, Nelson. West Coast-Buller XV. defeated Nelson, Golden Bay-Motueka and Marlborough XV., 18 to 14. For Westland Group: E. C. Holder, P. Ahearn, M. Davidson and J. West, tries; C. Gilbert 3 conversions. For Nelson Group: J. McDonald (2), R. N. Busch and R. Watson, tries: R. Watson. conversion. Referee: Mr. J. S. King (Wellington).

Match No. 4.-June 1, at Spriggens Park, Wanganui. WeIlington—Wairarapa XV. defeated Taranaki— Wanganu—Manawatu- Horowhenua XV., 27 to 11. For Wellington Group: N. Ball, N. Trass, A. L. Stevenson and R. R. Devine, tries; J, Hemi, penalty goal, dropped goal, and 4 conversions. For Taranaki Group: R. Merwood and A. B. Campbell, tries; A. J. Collins, penalty goal and conversion. Referee: Mr. A. E. Spratt (Taranaki).

Match. No. 5.—June 3, at Eden Park, Auckland. Auckland— North Auckland XV. defeated Waikato—Thames Valley—King Country XV., 18 to 16. For Auckland Group: T. H. C. Caughey (2), W. E. Hadley and E. J. Hedge, tries; R. G. Bush, dropped goal and conversion. For Waikato Group: J. Leeson, W. H. Carlson, W. R. Allen and J. G. Wynyard, tries; W. H. Carlson, 2 conversions, Referee-. Mr. A. E. Austin (Auckland).

Match. No. 6.—June 6, at McLean Park, Napier. Hawke’s Bay-Bush Districts XV. defeated Poverty Bay-Bay of Plenty-East Coast XV., 22 to 14. For Hawke’s Bay Group: C. W. Smith (2), C. M. Le Quesne, D. Dalton, S. T. Reid and R. D. Mitchell, tries; S. T. Reid. and C. B. Udy, conversions. For Poverty Bay Group: L T. Martin and K. Reedy, tries; H. H. M. Nepia, 2 penalty goals and conversion. Referee: Mr. N. Gilchrist (Poverty Bay).

Match No. 7.—.June 8, at Lancaster Park, Christchurch. South Island “Possibles” XV. defeated South Island “Probables’’ XV,, 39 to 21. For ‘‘Possibles”: G. F. Hart (3—one penalty), T. C. Morrison (2), L. Max (2), C. J. Oliver and G. T. Adkins, tries; H Deavoll (5) and G. Gilbert, conversions. For “Probables”: G. Giddings, F. J. Green, N. A. Mitchell. T. C. Metcalfe and F. H. Vorrath, tries; E C. Holder; 3 conversions. Referee: Mr. A. Thompson (Canterbury).

Match No. 8.—June 11, at Show Grounds, Palmerston North. North Island “Possibles’’ XV. defeated North Island ‘‘Probables” XV., 13 to 12. For “Possibles”: H. F. McLean, R. R. Hull and E. G. Apsey, tries; H. R. Pollock, 2 conversions. For ”Probables”: H. M. Brown (2), S. T. Reid and A. B. Campbell, tries. Referee: Mr. W. H. Rowe (Wanganui).

Match No. 9.—June 13, at Athletic Park, Wellington. “Possibles” XV: defeated “Probables” XV., 23 to 22, For “Possibles”: H. Deavoll (2), L. Niven and R. R. Devine, tries; H. Deavoll, penalty goal and 2 conversions; 13. E. W. T. Tindill, dropped goal. For ‘‘Probables”: B. S. Sadler (2), O. J. Hattersley, E. C. Holder and T. H. C. Caughey, tries; A. .J. Collins, conversion; E. C. Holder, conversion and penalty goal Referee: Mr. J. A. Wilson (Wellington).

Match No. 10.—June 15, at Athletic Park, Wellington. ‘Possibles” XV. defeated “Probables” XV., 25 to 11. For ‘Possibles”: J. L. Griffiths, A. H. Andrews, N. Ball, T. H. C. Caughey and D. Dalton, tries; E W. T. Tindill, dropped goal: R. G. Bush, 3 conversions. For “Probables’’: G. R. Harrison and D. Solomon, tries; H. G. M. Nepia penalty goal and conversion Referee Mr H J McKenzie (Wairarapa).

 “1936 THE RUGBY ALMANACK” pp.94-95.

Were the Trials successful? Reasonably so judging by the results of the 1935/6 All Blacks. In the British Isles they won 24 of their 28 games, losing to Wales, England and Swansea, drawing with Ulster. They did not match the records of their predecessors in 1905/6 (won 31 of 32 and their one loss was contentious, in New Zealand eyes anyway) and 1924/5 who were unbeaten in their 28 matches.

There were players selected who were perhaps fortunate to be chosen in 1935 and inevitably some who were disappointed. Three All Blacks who had missed selection, George Nepia, Eddie Holder and Hawea Mataira, switched to rugby league in the next two seasons, as did blockbusting wing Charlie Smith from Hawkes Bay, a star on the 1935 Maori tour of Australia.

George Adkins - Try scorer and 1935-36 All Black.