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WALES v NEW ZEALAND

  

 

1905 - 16th December  - WALES 3, NEW ZEALAND 0 (Cardiff Arms Park)

 

 

In the year 1905, the New Zealand 'colonial' team were the greatest team ever to visit the British Isles,  they were 'The Originals'.  Before arriving in Wales they were undefeated, having played 27 matches on tour, scored 801 points with just 32 points scored against. under their captain Gallaher, the team were dominant, earlier that year, they had beaten Australia 14-3, then on the tour Scotland 12-7, Ireland 15–0 and England 15–0 . Wales were unbeaten too, thrashing England 25-0, beating Scotland 6-3 and Ireland 10-3. So the scene was set, Triple Crown Wales against the all conquering All Blacks, a name they had earned on the tour, at Cardiff Arms Park. This was billed as the ‘Match of the Century’. the ‘World Championship’, the top two teams in the world head to head. The game lived up to expectations, it was the most controversial rugby match ever. The arguments rage and still do to this day. One thing is for certain Wales won the game 3 – 0 and were crowned the ‘unofficial champions of the world’.

EARLY DAYS of the TOUR

The All Blacks arrived in Britain after 40 days aboard the SS Rimutaka. With nothing to do on board but play cards and train, the 'Originals' honed their rugby skills and tactics to perfection under coach Jimmy Duncan. Duncan was an All Black veteran, captain of the first ever All Black test side and an astute tactician. After a week finding their land legs in Newton Abbot, they were set to face England’s champion county Devon at Exeter. The critics suggested the ‘colonial’ team would struggle against the West countrymen but the All Blacks thumped Devon by 55 points to 4, Cornwall were next, then Bristol, Northampton & Leicester, in their first five matches the All Blacks scored 197 points with just 4 against. News soon spread of this fantastic team, the qualities of the All Black scrum, the fitness of the players and the role of the forwards, who unprecedented at the time even joined in passing movements with the backs. They blazed a trail through England, Scotland & Ireland, defeating clubs, counties and countries alike !     

ALL BLACK SUPREMACY

The foundation on which the All Blacks built their victories was the scrum. The rules at that time relating to the scrum were not complex, the laws of the day described it thus 

  • “A Scrummage, which can only take place in the field of play, is formed by one or more players from each side closing round the ball when it is on the ground, or by their closing up in readiness to allow the ball to be put on the ground between them”. 

There were penalties for picking the ball up, a crooked feed and foot up, the number of players however, remained at the discretion of the participating teams. The All Black’s had honed their scrummaging skills almost to perfection. Their success was due to their scrum formation and tactics, only seven New Zealand men packed down against the opposition’s eight but with careful manoeuvring they could engage their seven man shove against only half of the opposing pack, Gallaher in his post tour book called it a ‘wedge formation’. The rule of thumb for British teams was that the forwards packed down as they arrived at the scrummage in a 3 -2 - 3 formation. It was first to arrive was first to pack, a forward could find himself in the front row of the scrum and in the next the back row, the British scrum was haphazard. The All Blacks had a system whereby each man took the same place at each scrum according to his physical characteristics and skills. Some of the names of today’s scrummaging positions derive from ‘the orignals’ scrum. The front row comprised of two hookers, responsible for hooking the ball, then came a ‘lock’ in the second row, with two ‘side men’, two back row men completed the scrum. It’s ‘crowning glory’ was that the two hookers fought tooth and nail to gain the ‘loose head’, once gained, the wedge formation drove against one side of the opposition scrum, either pushing them off the ball or turning the scrum. The photograph below shows the Middlesex match, the nearside Middlesex front row forward has nothing to push against and is turned sideways while the ball is being channelled nicely to the waiting Roberts. The ball has been put into the scrum by Gallaher who is unsighted behind the scrum. Co-incidentally 2 of the Welsh forwards played in this match, Jack Williams and Arthur Harding, both London based Welshmen packed down against the New Zealand seven.

Middlesex v All Blacks

   

 The above formation shows the positioning of the players, by gaining the loose head with the two man front row formation, the All Blacks cancelled out the shove of 3 of the opposing pack's players, we have marked these players with red crosses.  

 

The All Blacks backed up the scrum with mobile forwards that received and gave passes, winning the majority of the ball the tourists run riot with opposition defences sometimes running the ball from their own line, unheard of in the early 1900s. They had superior fitness, skills and tactical awareness which meant they were untouchable in the early part of the tour.

THE WELSH BUILD UP

The possibility that the All Blacks would be too strong for Wales made the Union sit up and take notice, the match committee were sent to Gloucester on October 19th to watch the visitors triumph 44-0 over the much fancied local team. The ‘colonials’ methods were noted and the Welshmen returned home to prepare for the big day. Two trials were held to find the 15 men with the task of defeating the tourists. The first on the 20th November saw several leading players missing, the favoured XV 'the Probables played with the New Zealand seven formation and were beaten 18 points to 9. The second trial took place on December 2nd only two weeks prior to the match, this time the 'Probables' won 33 points to 11, still experimenting with the All Black scrum formation. The Thursday (7 December) following this trial 13 of the selected players took part in a training session under the direction of scrum half Dicky Owen, this session concentrated mostly on the backs and in all probability was where the move that led to the try was practised. The second session on the following Tuesday, December 12th was dedicated to drop kicking and the scrum, 'Old Stager' the leading journalist of the day hinted to his readers that something new was in the offing. The Welsh public would have to wait until Saturday to find out what. 

THE ALL BLACKS BUILD UP

The All Blacks continued their rout, prior to arriving in Cardiff, they had played 600 minutes of rugby without conceding a point, No team had scored a single point against them in the last 7 and a half matches. These included the defeats of both England and Ireland, both by the score of 15 - 0. This was a team on a roll. Gallaher’s men arrived in Cardiff to a tumultuous welcome, even though it was close to midnight, the train station was packed to the rafters with well wishers, likewise the streets, police had to force a path for the tourists to reach their hotel. There was rugby fever in the air. 

PRE-MATCH

The 16th December arrived, special trains had been laid on for spectators from afar, queues formed at the gates and once opened around 11.00 am the ground quickly filled, at 1.30 pm the gates were closed. Those inside sang and joked while the unfortunate locked out looked for trees to climb and other vantage points. At 2.20 pm the All Blacks took to the field followed a little later by the Welsh team, the crowd roar was almost deafening as Nicholls led his men onto the Park. The All Blacks performed their customary haka then unusually the Welsh team started to sing the national anthem, this was soon picked up by the crowd and soon the whole stadium reverberated to the sounds of ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’. 

 

PRE-MATCH PREVIEW BY THE TIMES

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The following extracts are verbatim reports from The Times, it wouldn't suprise me if the 'correspondent' who wrote 'the Revolution in Rugby Union' is still eating his words.....................

FOOTBALL
     RUGBY UNION RULES
WALES V THE NEW ZEALANDERS

The New Zealanders make their first appearance before a Welsh crowd, at Cardiff, this afternoon, when they will be opposed in the last of their representative games by Wales. The match is being eagerly looked forward to and, although the Cardiff Arms-park can accommodate 40,000 people, it is estimated that almost double that number of spectators will want to witness the game. The sides will be:- (teams as selected listed here) 

THE REVOLUTION IN RUGBY UNION
   (FROM A CORRESPONDENT)

Wales is the only portion of the United Kingdom in which Rugby Union football is the national game (as it is in New Zealand), and it would be a kind of poetic justice if the victorious progress of the New Zealand team were checked at Cardiff to-day. But, to judge by the indifferent exhibition of the Welsh three-quarters on the Rectory Field last week, the defeat of the visitors is an unthinkable contingency. The famous three-quarter line has aged somewhat since I saw it a year ago, the effect of the efflux of time being most obvious in the case of and no longer possesses that instinct for position which, in the Rugby game, is always the prerogative of youth. Formerly he was the soul of his line of offence and defence, which, now that he has fallen into the ruck of international three-quarters, is a machine rather than an organism. Again and again last Saturday the Welsh back-play merely transferred the ball straight across the field, and the co-operation between the centre three-quarters - a Welsh device comparable at times in its results with the ''three insides'' combination in the Association game- was just a little too slow to be effective. It is a pity that the Welsh authorities had not the courage either to adhere to their own formation in choosing the 15 against New Zealand or to adopt that of the visitors. A ''flying'' back, even if he labours as lustily as he did the brilliantly eccentric Raphael in the New Zealand V. England match, cannot be a part of the combination in attack- for nobody knows where a pass will find him- and is a source of confusion even if his spoiling tactics are successful. This year the Welsh forwards are not as good as they were in 1904-5-time has stolen the dash from two or three of the best-and the missing eighth man is likely to be badly missed before the Cardiff game comes to its conclusion in the inevitable defeat Wales. None of the Welsh club teams, to take a line through the achievements of Gloucester, Devonport Albion, and Bristol, has the faintest chance of scoring a victory, and the only consolation for the players of Rugby Union in this country will be found in the inability of the ''silver fern'' to score a full thousand points in the course of their tour.

 

THE TEAMS

WALES

NEW ZEALAND

THE MATCH

Hodges kicked off for Wales and finally the match was underway and the question of who was the ‘greatest’ would soon be answered. Play was hard, Seeling made a burst upfield, he was brought down and a scrum given. The All Blacks formed up and expected the usual seven against eight. The Welsh had however done their homework and were forming their scrum differently with seven men instead of the normal eight and unusually there were four men in the front row. Only the middle two Welsh players made ready to engage the All Black hookers and as the front rows met the outside Welshman engaged the scrum, while the surplus player on the other side retired into the second row. The men in scarlet had outwitted the All Blacks, stolen the loose head and would continue to do so for the rest of the afternoon.

 

All Blacks engage to the right, Harding packs down in the front row while Jones retires and packs down with the remainder of the pack in the second row, there was no back row.

 

All Blacks engage to the left, Jones packs down in the front row while Harding retires and packs down with the remainder of the pack in the second row, there was no back row.

 

 

With the loose head won on each scrum Wales started to put the All Blacks under pressure and almost went ahead through Willie Llewellyn, but unfortunately the London Welshman dropped the ball after an awkward pass from Jack Williams with the line just yards away. Then after 23 minutes the All Black line was crossed as Teddy Morgan scored the only points of the game.

THE TRY

The Welsh try was a pre-conceived move, thought up by the ‘pocket rocket’ Dicky Owen and practised in the training sessions prior to the game. In a feint to the blindside where Bush, Nicholls & Llewellyn lined up, drawing the NZ defence, the diminutive Owen suddenly changed direction and sent out a long pass to the openside, Cliff Pritchard scooped the ball up off his feet, he then drew Deans and fed to Rhys Gabe, McGregor was drawn and Gabe offloaded to Teddy Morgan, Morgan outstripped the covering full-back Gillett to race away into the corner for the game’s solitary score. 

THE DEANS INCIDENT

The game continued with both teams capable of scoring, the closest opportunity came for the All Blacks when three-quarter Bob Deans was brought down inches from the line. Deans maintained until the day he died that he had scored on the day and the Welsh try scorer Teddy Morgan years later agreed. Morgan also claimed to have brought Deans down but the 'honour' of the try saving tackle fell to Rhys Gabe. Gabe recalled the incident in an article prior to the 1963 match.

  • "It was then that Deans figured in the controversial "try" episode. Wallace, a superb runner on the wing, broke away. He was challenged by our wing, Willie Llewellyn, and passed inside for Deans to fasten on to the ball and burst for the line. It was a moment of high tension and I put all I knew into a sprinting effort to catch the flying All Blacks' centre. I came up with him going at tremendous speed and crashed him to the ground from the side. I knew it was touch and go whether I had managed to tackle him before he reached the line then, as I lay there gripping him firmly, I felt Deans trying to struggle away from me. Instinctively I clutched tighter. Then I realised why he wanted to wriggle on. He had not reached the line. He was just inches short. I pulled back with all my strength and then the whistle went. The referee had arrived on the spot, Deans was still in possession of the ball and our goal-line was just beyond his reach. There was no other real chance for the All Blacks 

Deans claims he was pulled back, but it is difficult to see how a prostrate 11st 9lb Gabe could have pulled back 13st Deans if as the Canterbury man stated he had crossed the line. The referee, John Dewar Dallas (1 cap for Scotland in 1903) is said to have been too far away but in a letter following the game he states that he saw the incident quite clearly and that Deans was brought down 6 to 12 inches short of the goal line. 

POST MATCH

The final whistle went, Wales had won, the crowd rushed the field and carried the Welsh players shoulder high from the field. The All Blacks dejected made their way back to the changing sheds, later Gallaher led his men to the Welsh changing room where he swapped jerseys with Nicholls, the teams then exchanged jerseys en masse.

MATCH REPORT BY THE TIMES

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FOOTBALL - RUGBY UNION RULES

WALES V. THE NEW ZEALANDERS

FIRST DEFEAT OF THE ZEALANDERS

The Welsh fifteen beat the New Zealanders, at Cardiff on Saturday, by one try to nothing. It was the first defeat of the New Zealanders, whose long sequence of victories had established with them such a habit of winning that it was difficult to realize that they had at last experienced defeat. Wales won only after a very severe struggle, and even in the last ten minutes the New Zealanders, as at Inverleith, came near to winning the game on the post. The two great factors in the Welsh victory were the unyielding nature of the forwards and the accurate kicking of H. B. Winfield, the full back. It may be laid down at once that Wales beat the New Zealanders at their own game, for the Welshman not only threw out a dashing flying man, but, abandoning their own particular four three-quarters system, went in for strong individual play. They set a wonderful pace at the start, maintained it to the end, and with the turn of the luck just won. The football was the hardest imaginable. Virtually it resolved itself into a tremendous battle between two sets of determined forwards, for the game outside the scrummage was comparatively little else than by-play. In the robustness and fierceness of the forward work there was no room left for a display of the finer arts of the game. Thus, behind the Welsh pack Cliff Pritchard, as flying man, fulfilled his duties, with an execution that few could have thought possible against the New Zealanders; R. M. Owen, as the genuine half-back, ''worked'' the scrummage with a skill and a courage that were wonderful against the strenuous forwards; and then Percy Bush, Gwyn Nicholls, and R. T Gabe, when they got the ball usually went on and, when checked, finished by finding touch. Thus there were few of those wonderful movements characteristic of the Welsh system. There were two or three exceptions, particularly that which led up to the E. T. Morgan's try when the game was about 30 minutes old. But the Welshman made no pretence of playing their orthodox game. They had thought out new devices for combating the New Zealanders' extended attack, and these succeeded excellently. Everything depended in the first instance on the forwards. Would they hold the scrummage? Would they get the ball? were questions commonly asked before the game. The affirmative answers came in the early moments of the match. The forwards had the industry of the Scottish, at Inverleith, and the dash of the Irish, and the Lansdowne road, combined. Their scrummage work was wonderful. They often got the ball and heeled quickly; they broke at once and followed up, and their tackling was relentlessly severe. The New Zealanders were not much behind them in pace, in keenness, or in getting a fair share of the ball. But the New Zealanders were not so expert in their actual footwork. The Welshmen had other advantages. They were splendidly served by their full back, who consistent length in kicking never faltered. Such kicking as this of H. B Winfield has rarely been equalled in a representative match; it can never have been surpassed; and the effect of all this wonderful play by Winfield was the immense economy in energy of the forwards. While the Welshman were so well served in this respect, the failure of the visitors' backs to do more than send the ball up the field meant that the New Zealanders' forwards were run off their legs. But there were other causes for the failure of the New Zealanders. The most obvious of all was the inability developed by the five-eights- H. J. Mynott and J. Hunter- to field the passes from F. Roberts, the New Zealanders' half back. Roberts played as brilliantly as ever in getting the ball and in passing quickly; but neither Mynott nor Hunter seemed capable of fielding it, and when they succeeded it was only to give slow lobbing passes that were usually intercepted by Cliff Pritchard. This breakdown in the New Zealand game behind spelt to the attack, which is absolutely dependent on the pivot furnished by the five-eighths for the three-quarters, and so beyond defensive work W. J. Wallace and D. Macgregor on the wings had very little to do until late in the game. Roberts, indeed, became so weary of fruitlessly feeding the five-eighths that in the second half of the match he took to going on himself with the ball, with the result very largely that thereafter the New Zealanders did the preponderant share of the attacking. G. Gillett, the full back, fielded the back badly, and never got any length on his kicking; his punts up the field would have ruined any side. In short, the New Zealanders played much below their best form, and those who saw the work of the backs could scarcely believe that this was the side that had come away from Scotland and Ireland with so many honours, The New Zealanders left the most severe portion of their tour too late, for the side is evidently feeling the effects of three months' hard football, to say nothing of having lost through injuries their chief attacking three-quarter, G. W. Smith. That Wales deserved to win on the run of the game is beyond question. The New Zealanders never looked like scoring in the first half, during which the play was only once in the home twenty-five and in that case only for a moment before the interval. In the second half of the game, however, the New Zealanders had their chances; but there was no fortune for them, Wallace crossed the line only to be called back for having gone into touch, and in another instance a forward pass by R. G. Deans prevented the completion of an inevitable try by D. Macgregor. Then when the ball was in a series of scrummages all along the Welsh goal line the superb tackling of the Welshmen prevailed. So the match was decided by the try which E. T. Morgan scored at the end of some 30 minutes; it was splendidly executed movement that led to it, and R. T Gabe's subtle tactics in drawing the remnants of the defence had most to do with the scoring. For robustness and keenness the game could not be surpassed. Mr. John D. Dallas, the referee nominated by the Scottish Union, had a very difficult task to perform. He administered the laws of the game unflinchingly, and the New Zealanders had to pay dearly for sailing so near the wind on the question of off-side. The many penalties given against them in the first quarter of an hour of the game obviously affected their organisation, and the pace and vigour of the Welsh forwards gave them no repose in which to steady themselves. There was a large company at the Cardiff ground, estimated roughly at 45,000, and the conditions generally were admirable. Those familiar with the Welsh character can readily depict the scenes of enthusiasm which the victory of Wales created. This was only the fourth try made against the New Zealanders in the tour, and the record is still 99 goals and 105 tries for them and only four goals and three tries against them (three of the goals were other than from the try). The teams were as follows :- (teams as selected listed here)

 

THE TOUR CONTINUES

The All Blacks continued their tour with a further 4 matches in Wales and were extremely fortunate to come away without a further loss. In the week following the international they defeated Glamorgan 9 - 0, won by a narrow margin 6 - 3 at Rodney Parade, Newport. On Boxing Day the All Blacks defeated Cardiff 10 - 8, at 5 points apiece, Percy Bush gifted the tourists a try, Cardiff fought back with a score but the missed conversion saw Cardiff beaten. In this match the Blue & Blacks were the only team to score two tries against the All Blacks during the tour. The tourists last match in Wales was a hard fought 4 - 3 victory over Swansea where Wallace's drop goal worth 4 points overcame the only try of the match, worth three points scored by Fred Scrine.    

WORLD CHAMPIONS

Both Gallaher & Dixon in the post-tour books complain that this was one match too many and the All Blacks had become stale. In fairness, they were carrying some injuries, but results leading up to the international suggest this was a team firing on all cylinders. The Welsh team played hard, focussed on the task in hand and victory was theirs. The telling factor, we believe was the gaining of the loose head, thereby neutralising the previously dominant All Black scrum, then with the ball in hand, the magical Welsh backs won the day for Wales. A century later, the legend lives on and Wales are still the first ever unofficial 'World Champions'.

THE WELSH TEAM

GWYN NICHOLLS - (Back, Wales) – Brought out of retirement to captain Wales against the All Blacks, Nicholls controlled and inspired the team to the greatest of victories. Winning his first cap in 1896 Nicholls career moved from one success to the next. In 1899 he became the first Welshman to play for a British side during the tour of Australia . During this match he scored the first ever international try against the home team. In 1905 he became the first ever captain to defeat the All Blacks while in 1907 he scored a try in Cardiff’s brilliant 17 – 0 victory over the Springboks. He played a total of 24 times for Wales , refereed the Calcutta Cup match in 1909 and became a Welsh selector in 1925. He died in 1939 and as a tribute Memorial Gates were opened at Cardiff Arms Park in 1949. W-148

PERCY BUSH - (Half Back, Wales) – The NZ match was the first cap for Bush. In the build up to the try the Cardiff man was responsible for drawing the defence to the blind side while Owen feigned a pass to him. Owen then switched to the open side for the Welsh try. George Dixon the All Black’s manager said “Bush, as was the case in New Zealand (during the 1904 British tour) was remarkable chiefly for quick kicking”. He went on to represent Wales in a further 7 matches winning his last cap in 1910. See what Bush said about winning his first cap. CLICK HERE. W-205

JF ‘JACK’ WILLIAMS (Forward, Wales ) – Jack Williams was everywhere ! No piece of turf remained untrodden as the London Welshman harrassed the All Blacks and played his part in Wales ’ greatest victory. Five days later he lined up in the 9 – 0 defeat for Glamorgan against the same tourists. He won a total of 4 caps for Wales , his last against South Africa in 1906. Williams captained London Welsh in 1907-08 and toured Australia and New Zealand in 1908 with the Anglo-Welsh (British Lions) touring team. He died only 28 years old in 1911 while in the Colonial Service in Nigeria after contracting blackwater fever. W-192

RHYS GABE (Three-Quarter Back, Wales) - Rhys Gabe had a hand in the two most important moments of the Wales v New Zealand 1905 game. It was he that drew the New Zealand defence, his pass then put Teddy Morgan away for the only score of the match. He was the man who brought down Bob Deans short of the line to deny the Canterbury man an equalling score. Gabe played 24 times for Wales between 1896 and 1906 and also toured Australia & New Zealand with the 1904 British team. His partnership at centre with Gwyn Nicholls is regarded as one of the finest of all time. W-177

ARTHUR HARDING - (Forward, Wales) - Harding's first match for Wales was the Triple Crown victory over England in 1902. He went on to win a further 19 caps including the 1905 victory over the All Blacks. It was Harding's responsibility along with Dai 'Tarw' Jones to steal the loose head from the All Blacks as both packs fought tooth and nail to gain the upper hand in the scrum. He played his last international for Wales in 1908 and also captained the British tour of Australia and New Zealand in the same year. In 1910 he emigrated to New Zealand and lived there until his death in 1947. W-181

JEHODIA HODGES  - (Forward, Wales) - Winning his first cap against England in 1899, Jehodia Hodges went on to win a total of 23 caps for Wales. His finest match was against England in 1903 when he was switched to the wing after an injury to another player. From there he scored three tries in a 21 - 5 victory. He was one of the outstanding forwards in the New Zealand game of 1905, the correspondent of the London Observer said of him “but I raise my hat to the Welsh forwards, and to Hodges and Harding especially” W-164

DAI 'TARW' JONES - (Forward, Wales) 'Tarw' is the Welsh word for a bull and Dai Jones was just that. At 6 foot 1 and over 15 stone he was a giant of a man at the turn of the century. He was robust, fearless and a superb scrummager. This made him one of the most feared forwards in the game. He played in the front row against the All Blacks in 1905 and was instrumental in countering the All Black 'loose head'. He won a total of thirteen caps for Wales playing his last match against the Springboks in 1906. Later he turned professional, playing for the Merthyr and Treherbert Northern Union sides. Dai 'Tarw' was badly injured on the Somme during the first world war and died in Aberdare in 1933. W-182

WILL JOSEPH - (Forward, Wales) - A outstanding member of the Welsh pack, Will Joseph won 16 caps for Wales between 1902-06. The Swansea man played against the 1905 All Blacks on three occasions, for Wales, Glamorgan and Swansea. In the latter match the All Blacks triumphed 4 -3 winning by a drop goal worth four points to a try, then only worth 3 points. He was a cousin to half back Dicky Owen and also played quoits for Wales.  W-184

WILLIE LLEWELLYN - (Three-Quarter Back, Wales) - A prolific try scorer, Willie Llewellyn scored four tries for Wales against England on his debut in 1899, just 6 days after his 21st birthday. He scored a total of 16 tries for Wales and captained the side on five occasions including the 1905 Triple Crown match against Scotland where he scored both tries in the 6 - 3 victory. The New Zealand international in 1905 was his last match for Wales. During his career, Llewellyn also travelled to Australia and New Zealand with the 1904 British side. he played in all four tests, scoring 4 tries. He died in 1973 aged 95, the last survivor of the great 1905 Welsh team that defeated the 'Original' All Blacks. W-165

TEDDY MORGAN - (Three-Quarter Back, Wales) - Although he played 16 times for Wales, captained the British team in tests against Australia & New Zealand, when the name Teddy Morgan is mentioned only one thing springs to mind, the try he scored against New Zealand in 1905. This was only one of fourteen that he scored for Wales as the London Welsh man dodged, weaved,  swerved and dazzled the opposition between the years 1902 and 1908. In his last match for Wales he captained the team and scored two tries in the 36 - 4 triumph over France during Wales' first Grand Slam season. W-185

DICKY OWEN - (Half Back, Wales) -  Dickie Owen won 35 caps for Wales 1901 - 1912, a record which stood for over 40 years. Known as the 'pocket Hercules' Owen was a rough, tough, fearless player who's skill and tactical genius became legendary. He was responsible for inventing the move which brought about the Welsh try against the All Blacks in 1905. In a pre-conceived move Owen went blind and feinted to pass to Bush but instead, the Swansea man reverse passed to to extra back Cliff Pritchard on the open side. Pritchard fed Gabe who then sent Morgan over for the winning try. Playing his last international against Scotland in 1912 at the age of 35, Owen was carried from the fields shoulder high, a fitting end to a glorious career. W-180 

CHARLIE PRITCHARD - (Forward, Wales) - Charlie Pritchard was one of Wales' great forwards in the first golden era. he won fourteen caps, 1904 10 as a forward, more often than not in the back row where he played with fire and exuberance and was a very difficult player to stop. George Travers said of his performance against the 1905 All Blacks 'he sent 'em down like ninepins'. He died in the battle of the Somme during World War I.  W-202

CLIFF PRITCHARD  - (Extra Back, Wales) - Earning 5 caps for Wales 1904 - 06 Cliff Pritchard worked as an undertaker in Pontypool. During the move that resulted in the Welsh try in the 1905 game against the All Blacks, Pritchard scooped up Dicke Owen's pass of his feet then fed Rhys Gabe. the Daily Mail correspondent Buttery said of Pritchard, "Mynott was oppressed by the shadow of Cliff Pritchard, the “spoiler” whose mission it was to dislocate the five-eighths part of the machine, and thus put it out of gear”. On his return to Pontypool by train later that evening, the station was packed with well wishers and he was carried shoulder high through the streets to his home. W-197

GEORGE TRAVERS - (Forward, Wales) - Travers was a dedicated player who, after a 12 hour shift as a coal trimmer in Newport Docks would do a hard training session before venturing home. The fact that he was the fittest man on the field meant that he was first to the breakdown and inevitably would end up hooking at the resulting scrummage. He is regarded as the first specialist hooker in rugby and as such in the 1905 game he won clean ball on both the Wales and New Zealand scrums. This denied the All Blacks the possession they had enjoyed in every match up until that point on the tour. He won 25 caps between 1903 - 1911, his son William 'Bunner' Travers also played for Wales. W-190

BERT WINFIELD - (Back, Wales) - Bert Winfield is regarded as being a major contributing factor in the Welsh victory over New Zealand in 1905. The All Blacks manager George Dixon said of him......“of the Welsh backs there is no doubt that Winfield at full back, was the star of the side. His kicking was the best I have seen for years." Several of the press core joined Dixon in their praise for the Cardiff man. Winfield won 15 caps for Wales, 1903-08, scoring 50 points. He was the brother-in-law to Gwyn Nicholls and partnered him in their famous laundry business.  W-192

ALSO IN THE ABOVE PHOTO

Sir JDT LLEWELLYN - (President, Welsh Football Union 1885-1906) - A former president of the South Wales Football Union, Sir John Llewellyn was first elected to the Welsh Football Union committee in 1884 as a vice-president. He became the third president of the Welsh Football Union when he succeeded the Earl of Jersey in 1885. A former captain of the South Wales Cricket Club he was a member of the Cadoxton Cricket Club team that faced the United South of England XI at the Gnoll, Neath in 1868 when WG Grace famously bagged a pair. The son of eminent scientist JD Dillwyn Llewellyn F.R.S. and Emma Maud Talbot of Margam, Sir JDT was knighted in 1890 and served as the conservative M.P. for Swansea 1895 - 1900. (wapd03)

TOM WILLIAMS - (Welsh Football Union Committee) - Tom Williams of Llwynypia represented Wales in their second match and first victory against Ireland in 1882. He was at the time playing for Pontypridd but also played for his home town and Cardiff during his career. An able administrator he represented Wales on the IRFB 1901-08 and refereed England v Ireland in 1904. He is credited with the suggestion that the Welsh team sing the national anthem after the New Zealand haka in the 1905 encounter with the hope that the crowd would join in. All went to plan and the All Blacks were overawed with the passion generated by the crowd's singing. He was the uncle of Willie Llewellyn. (wapy026)  

ACK LLEWELLYN - (Welsh Football Union Committee & Touch Judge) - Ack Llewellyn was one of Wales' top administrators of the early 20th century. A member of the WFU committee he also represented Wales on the International Rugby Football Board 1909 - 1922. In December 1905 he acted as touch judge in the famous Wales v New Zealand encounter, it is said that he had the best view of the Deans incident. The following year he refereed England v Ireland. He was heavily involved with the formation of Taff Vale Park, Pontypridd as a major athletics and sporting venue. (wacm-al)

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01-Well-done-Wales.jpg (169464 bytes)

Match report from The Graphic newspaper 18th December

 

THE 1905 ALL BLACKS TOUR RECORD

    For  Against
Sep 16 Devon County 55 4
Sep 21 Cornwall County 41 0
Sep 23 Bristol 41 0
Sep 28 Northampton 32 0
Sep 30 Leicester 28 0
Oct 4 Middlesex 34  0
Oct 7 Durham 16 3
Oct 11 The Hartlepools 63 0
Oct 14 Northumberland 31 0
Oct 19 Gloucester 44 0
Oct 21 Somerset County 23 0
Oct 25 Devonport Albion 21 3
Oct 28 Midland Counties 21 5
Nov 1 Surrey 11 0
Nov 4 Blackheath 32 0
Nov 7 Oxford 47 0
Nov 9 Cambridge 14 0
Nov 11 Richmond 17 0
Nov 15 Bedford 41 0
Nov 18 Scotland 12 7
Nov 22 West Scotland 22 0
Nov 25 Ireland 15 0
Nov 28 Munster 33 0
Dec 2 England 15 0
Dec 6 Cheltenham 18 0
Dec 9 Cheshire 34 0
Dec 13 Yorkshire 40 0
Dec 16 Wales 0 3
Dec 21 Glamorgan County 9 0
Dec 23 Newport 6 3
Dec 26 Cardiff 10 8
Dec 30 Swansea 4 3
Jan 1 - 1906 France 38 8
Feb 9 British Columbia 43 6
Feb 13 British Columbia 65 6

       

 

29th November 1924 - WALES 0,  NEW ZEALAND 19 (St Helen's, Swansea)
   
21st December 1935 - WALES 13, NEW ZEALAND 12 (Cardiff Arms Park)

    
A great victory for Wales at the Arms Park, captained by Claude Davey, the Welsh team inspired by the Wilf Wooler - Cliff Jones combination defeated Jack Manchester's third All Blacks. Only 10 minutes to go, and the men in scarlet were trailing by 12 pts to 10. Hooker Don Tarr suffered a neck injury which meant that Wales had to play out the remainder of the game with 14 men. With six minutes to go, Wooller breaks through the gap, chips the full back, the ball flies high and into the in goal area, but the ball then cruelly bounces back over Wooller's head. Crashing into the straw bales all Wooller could hear was the roar of the crowd as Geoffrey Jones following up took the ball and scored his second try to give Wales a remarkable 13-12 victory.      
  

BUY AUTHENTIC 1935 WALES V NZ MEMORABILIA AT RUGBY RELICS - CLICK HERE

CLICK ON THE CENTRE OF THE ABOVE IMAGE TO SEE OUR WALES V NZ 1935 EXHIBIT AT THE NEATH RUGBY 125 EXHIBITION CELEBRATING 125 YEARS OF THE WELSH RUGBY UNION FOUNDED IN NEATH

  
19th December 1953 - WALES 13, NEW ZEALAND 8 (Cardiff Arms Park)

The All Blacks were hoping to make it 3rd time lucky in the nation's capital. In 1905 & 1935 they had been beaten (the 1924 win by the All Black Invincibles was at Swansea) at the Arms Park, was this to be the one? A Welsh defeat looked ominous when 10 minutes into the second half centre Gareth Griffiths left the field with a badly dislocated shoulder. The All Blacks led 8 - 5 at the time. With 15 minutes remaining against medical advice Griffiths returned, this immediately fired up the home team's forwards who managed to win a penalty which Gwyn Rowlands converted. It was now 8 points a piece. The battle raged and giant Welsh wing forward Clem Thomas found himself hemmed in on the touchline by All Blacks, he hoofed the ball way across field for Olympic sprinter Ken Jones to scoop up the ball and race in for the decisive try. A mighty roar ensued as the 56,000 crowd celebrated another glorious victory over New Zealand's finest.

   

BUY AUTHENTIC 1953 WALES V NZ MEMORABILIA AT RUGBY RELICS - CLICK HERE

21st December 1963 - WALES 0, NEW ZEALAND 6 (Cardiff Arms Park)
11th November 1967 - WALES 6, NEW ZEALAND 13 (Cardiff Arms Park)
31st May 1969 - NEW ZEALAND 19, WALES 0 (Lancaster Park, Christcurch)
14th June 1969 - NEW ZEALAND 33, WALES 12 (Eden Park, Auckland)
2nd December 1972 - WALES 16, NEW ZEALAND 19 (Cardiff Arms Park)
11th November 1978 - WALES 12, NEW ZEALAND 13 (Cardiff Arms Park)
1st November 1980 - WALES 3, NEW ZEALAND 23 (Cardiff Arms Park)
14th June 1987 - NEW ZEALAND 49, WALES (Ballymore, Brisbane)
28th May 1988 - NEW ZEALAND 52, WALES 3 (Lancaster Park, Christcurch)
11th June 1988 - NEW ZEALAND 54, WALES 9 (Eden Park, Auckland)
4th November 1989 - WALES 9, NEW ZEALAND 34 (Cardiff Arms Park)
31st May 1995 - NEW ZEALAND 34, WALES (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
29th November 1997 - WALES 7, NEW ZEALAND 42 (Wembley Stadium, London)
23rd November 2002 - WALES 17, NEW ZEALAND 43 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
21st June 2003 - NEW ZEALAND 55, WALES 3 (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)
2nd November 2003 - NEW ZEALAND 53, WALES 37 (Telstra Stadium, Sydney)
20th November 2004 - WALES 25, NEW ZEALAND 26 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
5th November 2005 - WALES 3 v NEW ZEALAND 41 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
25th November 2006 - WALES 10 NEW ZEALAND 45 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

22nd November 2008 - WALES 9 NEW ZEALAND 29 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

7th November 2009 - WALES 12 NEW ZEALAND 19 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
 
 

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