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The Story of Scottish Rugby
Chapter IX. Antipodean Visitors


Visiting teams from the Southern Hemisphere have played in Scotland on four occasions. The first of these was the Maoris, a combination composed principally of New Zealand aborigines, who in the course of a British tour played their only Scottish engagement at Hawick in November 1888. The local club, then very strong, provided the opposition and proved themselves quite a match for the visitors, who won by a goal to a try. Play was conducted in a storm of wind and rain. The Hawick team, under the captaincy of Dr. Wade, included the elder W. Burnet at full-back and J. Jackson, forward. W. Warbeck, the full-back, was one of the most conspicuous of the visitors.

No team left a more permanent impression than the New Zealand 'All Black' side of 1905-6. Their football was high quality, and their physique and the personal ability of the players rendered them a formidable playing combination. In the match at Inverleith, on 18th November 1905, the Scottish team all but scored a success and were leading by a point until within five minutes of the close of play, when by something approaching hurricane play the New Zealanders ran in a couple of tries before time had expired. In response to the New Zealand 'five-eighths' position Scotland played an extra man, L. L. Greig, behind the scrummage. K. G. Macleod, making his first appearance in International football, saved a score by exercise of his speed when the ball was kicked over the Scottish full-back's head. The game was played on a treacherous ground recovering from frost. As a general impression the play did not reveal anything necessary or desirable of introduction to the Scottish style of game.

Of the two South-African representative matches, that of 1906 at Glasgow is memorable for the great work of K. G. Macleod, and for a Scottish victory by 6 points to nil. In the return visit, in 1912, of the South Africans, Scotland was well beaten at Inverleith by 16 points to nil. G. P. Morkel, at full-back, J. A. Stegmann, a strong running wing three-quarter, left a strong impression of their powers, but it was a good all-round team, and of the Scottish backs the Hawick three-quarter, W. R. Sutherland, alone compared well with the South-African players behind the scrummage.


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