September 19 1894
West Coast well beaten
The 1894 New South Wales team was finding New Zealand a tough place to tour, losing seven of their first eight matches. But then they beat New Zealand 8 – 6 at Christchurch, would their next match, against West Coast in Greymouth, confirm they had turned the corner? The “West Coast Times” match report follows.
Note: The list of scorers in this report is different from that shown in other accounts of the game.
The much talked of match between the New South Wales team and a team representative of the West Coast Union, actually confined to Hokitika and Greymouth players, took place in Victoria Park, Greymouth yesterday. A large number of excursionists left here by the mid-day train roughly estimated at from four to five hundred. The day was very fine and the ground dry and hard — especially favourable to a fast open game — whilst a light wind swept across the ground.
Butland captained the West Coast men and McMahon the visitors, the whistle being entrusted to Mr F. T. Evans, who proved himself an active, capable and impartial referee. The West Coasters won the toss and secured the south side, having the wind and ground in their favour.
The game had not been started long before it was apparent that the visitors were the better men. Their backs were
very quick and dodgy whilst their forwards were heavy and fast and thus they not only got the best of the scrums but succeeded in smothering the opposing backs before they were fairly started ; their place kicking, however was very much at fault, several easy opportunities of placing the major score failing, whilst one trembles to think what would have been their total score had even half of their penalty kicks and marks eventuated. As it was their score of 20 to 6 proved quite overpowering enough.
The ball had not been set going long before the visitors secured a try and this was followed shortly afterwards by a rush from the reds coming with a good high punt of Benjamin’s and before the visitors could recover themselves the local men were over the line, the full back himself scoring. The blues responded with some very brilliant passing and the first spell ended, N.S.W. 6 points, West Coast 3. In the second spell the visitors scored more rapidly, getting four tries, the last two very nearly at the call of time, the last of all being converted. Butland was desperately working his men to try and equalise the score and nearly at the call of time got on a passing rush which ended in Kilgour safely crossing the line. This kick at goal, an easy one, was entrusted to McKay, but the effort failed and the game ended, as above stated, in a win for the visitors by 20 points to 6. Those who scored for the visitors were Lusk (2) Dibbs (2) and Rankin and Lane 1 try each, Carson converting one try. The takings at the gate were £90 so that fully 2000 were present. The net takings go to the New Zealand Union.”