1930 Auckland v British Lions
19th July 1930 at Eden Park
Lucas kicked off for Auckland, facing sun and wind and Finlayson forced Beamish into touch as he took the ball. Immediately the British backs gave proof of their prowess when they dashed away in a crisp passing bout and Reeve put in a great side-line dash until he was soundly tackled by Butler. Auckland were penalised and Black failed with a long-range penalty. Play returned to midfield and a succession of line-outs saw the Auckland forwards knocking the ball back too hard to give their backs a chance. Both sides were a little over-eager.
First Blood to Britain
Then there came a great dash by Ivor Jones who broke away from a lineout but was unsupported and could not pass Butler. Ten minutes after the start Auckland were again penalised and Black landed a magnificent goal from half way.
Britain – 3
Auckland – 0
Now the Auckland forwards started to find their feet and were seen in some great rucking work. They heeled quickly from a scrum and the local backs had their first run. Minn was forced out, but from the line-out they dashed again to the attack. Lucas centred perfectly, but a good chance was lost when Hadley flung out a wild pass at random. Securing the ball from scrums and line-outs and throwing it about freely, Auckland maintained the pressure. Britain was penalised for offside right in front of its goal and the crowd cheered as Corner evened the scores.
Britain – 3
Auckland – 3
Britain attacked again and A Knight was penalised for obstruction. Black made a good but unsuccessful attempt at goal. Auckland followed up a high kick, but Bassett surrounded by forwards, took a brilliant mark. Solomon joined in an Auckland back movement allowing Haslam to make ground with a strong dash. The Auckland pack carried on. But two penalties allowed Britain to clear.
Auckland Defence Holds.
A sharp dash by Novis transferred play to the other end of the field, but he punted too hard and Minns forced. Britain attempted to break through in a succession of passing bouts, but the Auckland defence held. On one occasion Haslam brought down two men in one rush. He was injured, But was able to resume.
Britain was now on the offensive and even when the backs were badly hustled they used the line perfectly to maintain their position. Relief came when Minns kick through and Batty and Hadley followed up to catch Bassett in possession. Again a scrum penalty led Britain clear, but Lucas and Hook stopped Aarvold.
Then from a scrum just outside the British twenty-five, Auckland heeled. Corner cleverly for a gap and Jamieson was on the ball in a flash. He was favoured by the bounce, ducked Bassett and passed to Hook, who dived over at the corner for a fine try. The crowd cheered for minutes on end. Butler failed with the kick.
The first half ended shortly after with Batty and Hook going through with the ball at foot. Auckland had held a well marked territorial advantage and the score was:
Auckland – 6
Britain – 3
Attack and counter-attack marked the opening of the second spell and Butler missed narrowly from a penalty. Well fed by Corner the Auckland backs dashed away again, but Bassett saved magnificently. The Auckland forwards were now at their best, but Solomon spoiled one or two back movements in which he joined by erratic passing. Then Finlayson and Minns bustled Bassett when he chose to kick instead or force and a few minutes later a race between Bassett and Batty with the ball lying between the posts saw the British fullback win by inches. The game was stopped owing to an injury to Beamish, but it was not serious.
Auckland continued to win the ball from the scrums, but any attempt at short punting found Bassett infallible. The crowd rose on its feet as Minns received the ball at the end of a passing bout. He dashed past Reeve, but was crowded into touch. Play shifted to the other wing with the British backs vainly trying to turn defence into attack. In one rush the ball went right along the line, but Novis was well smothered by Hook. The ball rolled clear and Lucas picked it up to send onto Haslam, who had backed up well. The five-eighths dashed across for a well-deserved try which Butler failed to improve.
Auckland – 9
Britain – 3
Bowcott continued to be the most dangerous of the British backs and had it not been for the backing up of the Auckland forwards a strong cut-in would have the home side in difficulties. They made a strong rush, but Ivor Jones and Aarvold came back in individual attempts to pierce the defence. Auckland’s tackling was deadly.
Magnificent Forward Rush
Then came one of those incidents that live in Rugby history. From a scrum near the Auckland twenty-five, Corner and Solomon broke away and in a flash they were moving downfield with the whole Auckland pack in attendance. A Knight carried on the rush, brushing aside several tacklers and then passed to McWilliams, who scored between the posts with 5 men in attendance, all of them Aucklander’s. It was a wonderful piece of forward play which had covered three-quarters of the length of the field. Corner made no mistake with the kick.
Auckland – 14
Britain – 3
Auckland was now doing all the attacking and the crowd frequently expressed its displeasure when the referee allowed British players to hold on to the ball after they were tackled. Hodgson tried to break through, but he was thrown unceremoniously. Willing work followed in midfield and the crowd hooted when Auckland was penalised. L. Knight argued with the referee and was ordered off. He was cheered by the crowd as he walked across the ground and demonstration against the referee lasted several minutes.
Britain was now making frantic efforts to get through, but 14 Aucklanders continued to hold it. The referee was cheered when he penalised the British forwards for offside. Bowcott and Aarvold headed a British rush, but Minns kicked well to touch. Auckland was now playing with only 5 men in the scrum, Batty making an extra wing forward.
Britain’s Only Try
Britain hooked from a scrum and Aarvold came round to work the blind side with Bowcott and Reeve. The winger was beautifully tackled by Minns, but he passed off the ground to Bowcott, who went across unopposed. Ivor Jones failed with the kick.
Auckland – 14
Britain – 6
Ivor Jones was feeding his backs at every opportunity and Reeve made one dash which ended when he was heavily bumped by Butler. Auckland were still dangerous and A Knight came across with an alarming burst of speed to catch Reeve in possession in midfield. Batty picked up and found touch well inside the British 25. Auckland won the ball, but Lucas made a weak attempt to pot a goal when he had Hook outside him practically unmarked. It was the Auckland Captain’s only mistake and then he was in a position to justify the ‘pot’.
Britain was now a badly beaten team. And it was Auckland that came to light with the last minute dash. Forwards and backs kept visitors penned in their 25. Auckland’s five men hooked the ball from the British eight and the backs swung into action to put a memorable game beyond doubt. When Lucas received he changed the direction of the attack brilliantly with a quick side step and dash infield and passed to Solomon, who scored between the posts. Corner converted and the final whisle followed with the scores:-
Auckland – 19
Britain – 6
Comments at the Post Match Dinner:
James Baxter (British Team Manager)
“It is satisfactory always either to win well or to be jolly well whacked and we were jolly well whacked today”
Mr J Arneil (President of the Auckland Rugby Union)
“The game was played in a sportsman like manner, and we are all satisfied with the result, from my point of view the referee was very good indeed. I wish to congratulate the Auckland team on its success and the British team on its game”
Doug Prentice (British Team Tour Captain) ‘Who was acting as line-umpire’
Commenting on the sending off “he was very sorry that knight had been sent off” & “The referee had a very difficult job, but we congratulate him on having refereed the game fairly and very well indeed”
F.W Lucas (Auckland Captain)
“That they had all enjoyed the game, they were glad that the British team was enjoying its tour, but wished that its stay in Auckland might of been longer”
Comments by the Referee Mr J.E Moffitt (in relation to the sending off)
“I should like it to be understood that I did not have to order Knight off for rough play, previously I had occasion to speak with A Knight several times with regard to breaches of the rules, chiefly in the line-outs. Subsequently there were some warm exchanges between the two packs and realising the necessity for action I stopped the game and issued a general warning. L Knight interrupted me and owing to a remark that he made I considered that I had to order him off”
R Haslam (try), L Hook (try), R McWilliams (try), F Solomon (try), M Corner (2 conversion & 1 penalty)
British Lions: 6
Bowcott (try), Black (penalty)
J.F Moffitt (Wellington)
Venue: Eden Park
V.C Butler, P.C Minns, F.W Lucas, L Hook, R Haslam, A Jamieson, M Corner, F Solomon, B Palmer, S Hadley, A Knight, L Knight, R.G McWilliams, W Batty, A Finlayson.
J Bassett, J.S.R Reeve, C Aarvold, H Bowcott, A.L Novis, T.C Knowles, H Poole, H O’Neill, D Parker, S.A Martindale, B.H Black, J.L Farrell, J McD Hodgson, G Beamish, I Jones.
NZ Herald, Evening Post, NZ Truth & Auckland Star