1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The 1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the second ever British national rugby league team or 'Lions' tour of Australasia, where it was winter and matches were played against the Australian and New Zealand national sides, as well as several local teams. The tour repeated the promotional and financial success of the 1910 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia and became famous for the third and deciding Ashes test, known as the "Rorke's Drift Test" due to a backs-to-the wall British victory against all odds.[1]

Touring squad[edit]

At the 1913–14 Northern Rugby Football Union season's conclusion, the following Great Britain squad was assembled by the NRFU to represent it on the tour of Australasia. The Union's tour manager was John Clifford.[2][3][4]

Australia[edit]

The first leg of the tour was Australia, where the game of rugby league football was in its seventh year since splitting away from rugby union in 1908. the tourists ventured to Adelaide, Melbourne, Ipswich and Bathurst, as well as Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle.[5]

The Australian team was captained in all three Ashes Tests by North Sydney skipper Sid Deane.[6]

First test[edit]

Future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee Harold Horder was selected to make his Test debut for this match.[7] On the other wing was the only Queenslander selected in the home side, Henry Bolewski.[8] Also selected to debut for his adopted country was New Zealander, Bill Kelly,[9] after whom the trophy contested in the ANZAC Test would be named.

27 June
Australia  5 – 23 United Kingdom Northern Union
Tries:
Ray Norman



Goals:
Henry Bolewski (1)
Tries:
Stan Moorhouse (2)
Doug Clark
Dave Holland
Jack Robinson
Goals:
Fred Longstaff (2)
Jack Robinson (2)
Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney
Attendance: 40,000
Referee/s: Tom McMahon, Sr.
Australia Pos. Northern Union
Howard Hallett FB Billy Jarman
Henry Bolewski WG Jack Robinson
Sid Deane (c) CE Bert Jenkins
Bill Kelly CE Harold Wagstaff (c)
Harold Horder WG Stan Moorhouse
Ray Norman FE/SO Billy Hall
Arthur Halloway HB/SH Fred Smith
Ed Courtney PR Dave Holland
Sid Pearce HK Percy Coldrick
Frank Burge PR Dick Ramsdale
Con Sullivan SR Jack Chilcott
Paddy McCue SR Fred Longstaff
Jack Watkins LK Douglas Clark

The first test of the 1914 Ashes series was played in Sydney before a crowd of around 40,000. Leeds forward Billy Jarman, making his debut for Great Britain missed a conversion attempt from in front of the posts.[10]


Second test[edit]

29 June
Australia  12 – 7 United Kingdom Northern Union
Tries:
Frank Burge
Charles Fraser
Wally Messenger
Goals:
Wally Messenger (3)
Tries:
Johnny Rogers (2)


Goals:
Fred Longstaff (2)
Jack Robinson (2)
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 55,000
Referee/s: Tom McMahon, Sr.
Australia Pos. Northern Union
Howard Hallett FB Gwyn Thomas
Dan Frawley WG Frank Williams
Sid Deane (c) CE Harold Wagstaff (c)
Wally Messenger CE Billy Hall
Bob Tidyman WG Jack Robinson
Charles Fraser FE/SO Johnny Rogers
Arthur Halloway HB/SH Fred Smith
Ed Courtney PR Billy Jarman
Sid Pearce HK Dick Ramsdale
Frank Burge PR Percy Coldrick
Robert Craig SR Dave Holland
Con Sullivan SR Douglas Clark
Billy Cann LK Jack Chilcott

After being humiliated in the first Test, the Australians bounced back to narrowly win the second 12–7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground with Charles Fraser and Frank Burge scoring and Wally Messenger kicking 3 goals.[11]


Third test[edit]

The third and deciding Ashes test had originally been scheduled for Melbourne in August, but the New South Wales Rugby Football League unilaterally rescheduled it for Sydney on 4 July to maximise profits. The British protested that it would be their third test match in seven days and several of their first team were out with injuries, but the NSWRFL got its way.[12] The tourists were instructed by the Northern Union officials to play and do their duty for England.[13]

4 July
Australia  6 – 14 United Kingdom Northern Union
Tries:
Wally Messenger[14]
Sid Deane
Goals:
Tries:
William Davies
Arthur Johnson
Goals:
Alf Wood (4)
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 34,420
Referee/s: Tom McMahon, Sr.
Australia Pos. Northern Union
Howard Hallett FB Alf Wood
Bob Tidyman WG Frank Williams
Wally Messenger CE Harold Wagstaff (c)
Sid Deane (c) CE Billy Hall
Dan Frawley WG William Davies
Charles Fraser FE/SO Stuart Prosser
Arthur Halloway HB/SH Fred Smith
Ed Courtney PR Jack Chilcott
Sid Pearce HK Dick Ramsdale
Frank Burge PR Percy Coldrick
Con Sullivan SR Dave Holland
Robert Craig SR Douglas Clark
Billy Cann LK Arthur Johnson

Within the first minutes of the match, Great Britain were down a man due to an injury to Frank Williams. Forward Arthur 'Chick' Johnson, the Widnes club's first international representative, was shifted to the wing to take Williams' place.[15] At half time the British were leading 9–3. Ten minutes into the second half, they had lost Douglas Clark and Billy Hall to injuries so were reduced to ten men.[16] 'Chick' Johnson, playing out of position on the wing, then used the unorthodox method of dribbling the ball ahead with his feet to score a try.[17] This lifted his teammates in defence and the British managed to win 14–6.

New Zealand[edit]

Originally scheduled to take place during the Ashes series, the New Zealand leg was postponed until afterwards.

1 August
New Zealand  13 – 16 United Kingdom Northern Union
Tries:
Billy Wilson (2)
Vic Banks

Goals:
Karl Ifwersen (2)
Tries:
Stan Moorhouse (2)
Arthur Johnson
William Davies
Goals:
Alf Wood (2)
Auckland Domain, Auckland
Attendance: 15,000
New Zealand Pos. Northern Union
Arthur Hardgrave FB Alf Wood
Stan Weston CE William Davies
Karl Ifwersen WG Bert Jenkins
George Bradley (c) CE Harold Wagstaff (c)
Billy Wilson WG Stan Moorhouse
Frank Barclay FE/SO Billy Hall
Bill Bussell HB/SH Fred Smith
Charles Savory PR Dave Holland
Ernest Button HK Percy Coldrick
Jim Parker PR Dick Ramsdale
Vic Banks SR Fred Longstaff
Bob Mitchell SR Arthur Johnson
Stan Walters LF James Clampitt

New Zealand lost the sole Test match 13–16. Billy Wilson scored two tries, Vic Banks scored one and Karl Ifwersen kicked two goals.[18]


Great Britain defeated Auckland 34–12 in front of 14,000. The gate earned Auckland Rugby League ₤650. The Auckland team was; Tom Cross (Ponsonby), Charles Woolley (City), Karl Ifwersen (Grafton), Edward Fox (North Shore), Thomas McClymont (Ponsonby), Arthur Hardgrave (Otahuhu), Charles Webb (Ponsonby), Charles Savory (Ponsonby), J Bennett (Newton), Stan Walters (North Shore), Bob Mitchell (Grafton), Harold Hayward (Thames) and Jim Clark (Ponsonby).[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hadfield, David (11 July 2009). "Great Sporting Moments: Australia 18 Great Britain 25, Brisbane, 1958". The Independent. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "The English Team". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "ENGLAND v. METROPOLIS—NORTHERN UNION RULES.". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Touring Teams". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cheapening the Jumper". stevericketts.com.au. Stve Ricketts. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sid Deane". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Cunneen, Chris. "Horder, Harold Norman (1894–1978)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "FOOTBALL: "Australian" League Team". The Brisbane Courier. trove.nla.gov.au. 24 June 1914. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bill Kelly". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  10. ^ On this day at therhinos.co.uk
  11. ^ "sportsmem.com.au". 1914 Australian RL Jersey Maroon & Blue Hoops. Michael Fahey – Sports Memorabilia Australia. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Legend of Rorke's Drift". Sports Post. rl1895.com. Retrieved 19 November 2011. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Collins, Tony (2006). Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain. UK: Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 0-415-39614-X. 
  14. ^ "Player Profile – Wally Messenger". yesterdayshero.com.au. SmartPack International. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  15. ^ rugby.widnes.tv. "Arthur Johnson". Hall of Fame. Widnes Vikings. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Headon, David (2001). The best ever Australian sports writing: a 200 year collection. Australia: Back Inc. p. 367. ISBN 1 86395 266 7. 
  17. ^ "Arthur Johnson". Hall of Fame. Widnes RLFC. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  18. ^ New Zealand vs England 1914 rugbyleagueproject.org
  19. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909–2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.