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Gloucestershire v New Zealand Natives

 
 
 

Gloucestershire played the Maori's, otherwise known as the New Zealand Natives on February 2nd 1889. 8,000 people watched the match at The Spa in Gloucester. Clifton captain Hiatt Cowles Baker was the Gloucestershire captain. The New Zealand Natives won (4-1) by a goal (E.McCausland) and a 2 tries (P.Keogh 2) to a try scored by Gloucestershire's R.Grist. Gloucestershire player, S.A.Ball, had a try disallowed and Hiatt Cowles Baker missed 2 kicks at goal. A strong Gloucestershire side came very close to winning.

Above The Spa Cricket Ground, Gloucester. All rugby matches were banned from this ground after the grass had been ruined due to the over application of salt to make the frost-bound pitch fit for play. The Gloucester Club had also used this ground and they moved to Kingsholm in 1891.

Gloucestershire v New Zealand Natives February 2nd 1889

Gloucestershire

New Zealand Natives

Hiatt Cowles Baker

Clifton, England & Glos Captain

William Warbrick

Auckland

Edward Leonard

Clifton

Edward Elsmere Montgomery McCausland

Auckland

J.Faulkener

R.A.C

William Thomas Wynyard

Auckland

R.Edwards

Bristol Medicals

Frederick Warbrick

Arforma

A.F.Hughes

Gloucester

E ("Smiler") Ihimaira

Te Aute College

G.W.Coates

Gloucester

David Richmond Gage

Wellington

T.Bagwell

Gloucester

Patrick Keogh

Otago

C.E.Brain

Gloucester

Thomas Rangiwahia Ellison

Wellington

R.Grist

Gloucester

Richard Maynard

Auckland

S.A.Ball

Gloucester

Harry Lee

Wellington

W.George

Gloucester

George A Williams

Wellington

C.J.Whitcombe

Gloucester

Teo Rene

Nelson

H.V.Page

Gloucester

Richard G Taiaroa

Hawke's Bay

T.Collins

Gloucester

W Anderson

Hokianga

R.C.Jenkins

Gloucester

George Wynyard

This was New Zealand's 50th match in the series. Some of their players played very little rugby before of after this tour, had very little experience. Of the New Zealand side, were 3 Pakeha players (full-blooded Maori), Ihimaira, Rene and Taiaroa. Although the parentage of Anderson is unclear as he was sometimes known as Kiri Kiri and some Maori would adopt Englsh names during the late nineteenth century.

A report in The Western Daily Press on February 4th 1889 said

THE MAORIS v GLOUCESTERSHIRE - This long-anticipated match was plyed at the Spa, Gloucester, on Saturday. The weather was favourable, and there was about 8,000 spectators present. The teams were Gloucester: A.F.Hughes, back; G.W.Coates, T.Bagwell, C.E.Brain, R.Grist, three-quarter backs; S.A.Ball, W.George, half-backs; T.Collings, R.C.Jenkins, C.J.Whitcombe, H.C.Baker, E.Leonard, R.Edwards, J.Faulkener and H.V.Page, forwards. Maoris: W.Warbrick, back; McCausland, W. Wynyard, and F.Warbrick, three-quarter backs; Ihimaira, D.Gage, P.Keogh, half-backs; Ellison, G.Wynyard, H.Lee, Taiaroa, Maynard, Williams, Anderson and Rene, forwards. The Maoris kicked off, and Brown sent the ball dead in touch outside the centre flag. Eventually packed scrimmages followed, and the Maoris' heeling out well, carried the play their opponents' quarters. Page dribbled to beyond the half-way flag, but Leonard being offside gave the Maoris a "free". Nothing came of the kick, and Hughes returned into touch near the Maoris' 25 flag. Shortly afterwards the home county claimed a free kick, and a possible easy chance of scoring was lost to them by not following up. Play continued in the Maoris' quarters until some fine passing transferred hostilities to the Gloucestershire territory, where a claim for hand ball was successfully made for the visitors, and Brown, mulling the return, almost let them in. The home team, however, gradually worked out, but the Maoris again and again pressed the attack, and Hughes averted danger by kicking out. Evenly-packed scrummages followed, and the home backs indulged in some spirited passing, from which an easy chance of scoring was lost to them by a forward ball. The Maoris made repeated efforts to score after this, but the defence offered most most subborn, and Gloucester gradually worked out to the centre, where a round of grand passes by the Maoris was loadly applauded. The match was now being fought out on the home goal line, but by an almost superhuman effort Gloucester successfully averted danger, to the relief of the spectators. Subsequently Gloucester invaded the Maori ground, and Ball got over the line amidst load cheers, but to the dismay of the spectators the leather was ordered back, and a scrummage was formed in front of the goal. Afterwards the Maoris gained some ground by a free kick, and "Smiler" made repeated efforts to score but was always repulsed. After the break up of the scrummage Keogh got the ball, and made a powerful run over the line and scored. The place by McCausland was a failure, and nothing further of importance happened to half-time. After changing over, renewed vigour was infused into the play, and Keogh, again getting possession, in fine style won another try, which McCausland converted into the premier point. After this reverse the home men, heartily cheered by the spectators, played magnificently, and once Grist was a warded free near the centre line, and Baker took the place, the ball falling just inside the cross-bar. Coates, George, Bagwell, and Page put in some sterling work, but the defence was too stubborn to be broken through, and the ball travelled up and down the field with great rapidity, neither side being able to claim advantage, after some passing by the home team, Coates handled the leather to Grist who galloped over the line and registered a try amid immense cheering, Baker took the place but failed to improve it. The remainder, of the game was remarkable for the fine play shown by the home county, but they were unable to equal the score of their opponents, the result being that the Maoris were winners by a goal, a try, and one minor to a try.

Above Patrick Keogh scorer of the 2 tries for New Zealand. Born in Birmingham, England. He emigrated to New Zealand when he was 4 years old. His rugby career came to an abrupt end in 1891 when he admitted taking bets for loosing matches. He ended much of his later life from 1913 to 1940 in Seacliff Mental Hospital where he died of bronchial pneumonia. He played in 60 of the 74 games on the tour and was leading try scorer with 34 tries.

Above the New Zealand Natives touring side of 1888. They were the first overseas team to tour Britain. They played 74 matches between October and March, less than six months. Of these they won 49. This picture is thought to have been taken before the Middlesex match on October 22nd 1888.

Above left the New Zealand Natives card of 1888. Football cards like this were very popular in the late 19th c. Above right New Zealand Natives cap was notable for the first use of the silver fern in New Zealand rugby. This symbol would come to be used on most New Zealand sporting uniforms.

Above left team photo and details of the 1888-1889 New Zealand Natives. Above right fixture list. This was extended after publication.

For details of more Gloucestershire statistics click here