1963 New Zealand rugby league season
The 1963 New Zealand rugby league season was the 56th season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand.
New Zealand toured Australia, losing the series 1-2. The team was coached by Bill Telford and included Gary Phillips, Neville Denton, Roger Bailey, Graham Kennedy, Brian Reidy, Jim Bond, Bill Snowden, Brian Lee, Gary Blackler, Maunga Emery, Don Hammond, Ron Ackland, captain Mel Cooke, Jack Fagan, Ken McCracken, Sam Edwards and Jock Butterfield.
South Africa also toured the country, being met by 40 protesters when they arrived in the country. They upset New Zealand 4-3 at Carlaw Park. However, the match was not granted Test match status as the South Africans had enlisted two Australian guest players due to their serious injury toll sustained on the Australian leg of the tour. The South Africans were assisted by Maurie Robertson while in New Zealand.
They then defeated Wellington before losing 4-10 to Auckland. The Auckland team was a virtual B side as it did not include players in camp with the Kiwis. The team included Roy Christian, Doug Ellwood, captain Roger Tait, Paul Schultz and Graham Mattson.
Northern Union Cup
Canterbury held the Northern Union Cup at the end of the season, after they had defeated the West Coast 38-9 in Christchurch. Canterbury then successfully defended the trophy three times, drawing 10-all with Auckland at the Epsom Show Grounds, defeating Waikato 15-0 at Davies Park in Huntly and the West Coast 7-5 at Wingham Park in Greymouth.
National Club competition
Southern Districts (Auckland) won the Rothmans tournament, defeating Linwood (Canterbury) 15-2 in the final. Southern had defeated Te Mahoe (Bay of Plenty) 53-4, Ngaruawahia (Waikato) 26-9 and Waitara (Taranaki) 53-17.
Eastern United won the Auckland Rugby League's Fox Memorial Trophy, Roope Rooster and Stormont Shield. Southern Districts won the Rukutai Shield. Eastern United defeated Southern Districts 8-0 in the Fox Memorial final.
Roger Tait and Graham Mattson played for Glenora while Ron Ackland, Reg Cooke, Doug Ellwood, Ken McCracken and Ray Sinel played for Eastern United. Ken George, Ernie Wiggs and Roy Christian played for Southern Districts.
Wellington Marist and Christchurch Marist played against each other on 13 April in Wellington. The match was the first live rugby league telecast in the country.
A match was played in Kaikoura between Shirley and Papanui during the season.
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