1940-1949

1940 — 1949
The ending of the 1939 games saw the commencement of much more serious games, the game of life and death known as the Second World War. Once again, club members joined the services, though this time they were spread more widely. ln England, George and Jack Brown and Alistair Matheson appeared for the N.Z. Services side.

Other club members appeared in Egypt, Canada, Pacific Islands and Japan. The highlight for the club was the selection of Alan Blake in the touring ‘Kiwi’ team which set out at the war’s end to help rehabilitate Rugby in the British isles. In that tour, Alan played in the four ‘Test’ matches.

At home, 1940 saw a depleted season, but the seniors won the championship, a club member Ted McKenzie was made a Life Member of the N.Z.R.F.U. 1941 was even more depleted, then in 1942, complete disturbance. First, the Showgrounds was taken over by the Army. No home ground! Fortunately, Harold Steel proprietor of the Royal Oak Hotel was able to provide a suitable paddock. Carterton played Wellington Club behind the Royal Oak Hotel, winning by 5 points to 3. Players in representative matches practised on Carrington Park, and the game went on. Second, the Fire Brigade Hall was demolished and a new meeting place was needed. This was found in the P. and A. rooms. The senior championship was again won until 1945 when Greytown was successful.

With the war finishing in 1945, 1946 saw the club ready and willing for all-comers. At this stage and for several years, the Senior team went on the field knowing that they would win. Indeed from 1946-53, the team lost only three matches in competition play. From 1946-52 they were coached by Gordon Udy who extracted the utmost in effort and loyalty from his players. In 1946 the team drew one match to spoil a clean sheet. This season also saw the club have one of its members Ted McKenzie, elected President of the N.Z.R.F.U.

In 1947, four teams were entered in the championship. The seniors won the championship and provided fourteen players to the Wairarapa A reps. and two others to the Wairarapa B. At the end of the season, the seniors played Onslow, winners of the Wellington Senior Championship. Carterton won ll—5. The juniors, thirds and fourth also did well in their competition to again give success in the Dewar Shield. The season ended on a high note with A. J.(Podge) Pinfold playing for the North Island.

A shock occurred in the third game of the 1948 season. We played Gladstone who won 9-3. There was stunned disbelief among the Carterton supporters. When the second game against Gladstone came along, the Rugby Union drew the game for Carterton. There was much heated controversy over this, but the Union stayed firm.

For the game, both grandstands were packed, and the fences along each touchline were jammed with spectators three deep. The gate takings were £110 ($220) and at one shilling or 10c a head that gives a crowd of over 2,000.

They were not disappointed (Carterton spectators that is) as after being down 0-5 early in the game, Carterton came away to win i4—5. The team then went on to win the championship. Not to be outdone, the juniors did the same as did the thirds, fourths and fifths.

CARTERTON FOOTBALL CLUB_1948
Winners of Dewar Shield

Fifth Row: Third Grade_PIayed 17; Won 13; Lost 4; Points
For 202; Against 110; Championship Points 26.
Fourth Row: Junior Grade_Played l7; Won 12- Lost 5; Points
For 229; Against 109; Championship Points 24.
Third Row: Senior Gradc—Piaycd 14; Won 13; Lost 1; Points
For 3l0; Against 55; Championship Points 26.
Second Row: 4th Grade_Pla_\’e<.i 15; Won 10; Lost 5- Points
For 159; Against 86; Championship Points 20..
Front Ro\v: Sih Gradc—Playcd 14; Won ll; Losi 3; Points
For I60: Against 58: Championship Points 22.

BACK ROW: G. Sicrfen urcznurer), K. Reid, T. Clark. M. Falcuncr, M. Blind. L. Mclliuh, I. Rcnull, J. McPhcc_ l). Rufc.
K. Tan, I. Hcrwuod. B. Hopkins. H, Fraser. M. Falcnncr. G. Ed\\ard~. F. Harringlnn_ M. Parker.
FOURTH ROW: (. Gray. N. Hannah, B. Hopping. I. Workman. ‘l. Curlell. P. Hurley. 1. McPhec, R. Baker. Y. Bengt.
P. McKerma. P. Thnmas, G. (urry, B, Hfimi. G. Sl\|bb$, L. Filzgvralcl. K. $Kuar\_ B. Hnpkim, H. Butcher.
J. Garreu. T. Harp (coach).
THIRD ROW: G. (halnin (secretary), S. Walsh, J. Tilyard. J. Mckcnnc. D \1cl-‘hoe. (), Reid. G. Parker, J. Berry,
I. lilakc, K. Parker. J. Blake (palrnn), B. Gayfer (prcsidcm), B. M|:Phec, P. Morgan, A. Blake. H. Malhcsinn,
R. Warringlom N. Desmond. B. Dcsmnnd, A. Pirlfuld. R. Lcnihan. G. Udy (coach).
SE(“()ND ROW: L. Jensen (club captain). R. Salishur) (Jrds coach), (. Stark. J Chnrchmise, R. Walls. .|. Nighlingalc,
R. Blake. G. Manley, P. \/lillcr. L. Falcunvr. T, (lark. G. Cumplon, P. Palersun, C. Richards, A. Dew, P.
Marshall, B. Allen. T. l_lpln§l.i (5lhs coach). W. (km Mths coach).
FRONT ROW: _N. Taylor.‘T\l. len§gn,’ J_. \Q/a.il€hS1._$i.‘_l3?dC,_1l. ‘l'(_.m_l‘i_y1vi‘r||ul%i‘, J’_“l7)e[\hc’L1._’_l$_ .<|m’.w_ 0. Nilwn. .4. Jensen

In the last chapter, mention was made of the search for ‘home’ At this stage in Our history, ‘home’ Was the 3 l ‘ d the Club Hotel Two small rooms °l“”%h3§ {g9.n1S<.PEbmal.-5 8 shower room were there. 93¢ ‘éj§;}]gjng room useo by Lhe seniors hc\d \\’\c hhgatioi apparatus which consisted of Zl small heater attac e ‘ hoiler. At four o’clock on practice nlghi-5. 3I3P°‘me_d sehonlboys would light the heater and, once going, feed Ii with coke. The coke was stored on the floor.

By the end of practices, the heater had usually done its work and vast clouds of steam emerged from the shower-rooms where under eight showers, four teams tried to get themselves clean. After showering, juniors and below made for their changing rooms, while the seniors did likewise. I-[alf the seniors had to stand on top of the coke pile while drying. These rooms also served for after-match functions. Two earthen-ware jars were procurred and emptied. On one occasion, after the first jar was getting well down, the liquid slowed down as it was poured.

Gradually, the reason for this strange behaviour became evident as a dirty old sock slowly emerged from the neck of the jar. The contents were not finished. Strange as it may seem, fairly cordial relations existed between the teams. The committee however knew that such conditions could not continue and began the long journey towards clubrooms by becoming an incorporated society and later purchasing a section adjacent to the Club Hotel.

ln the wider field, A. W. (Kiwi) Blake represented North Island after having earlier toured Fiji with the N.Z. Maori side.

The pattern of 1948 was repeated in 1949 and 1950. In 1949, ‘Kiwi’ Blake again represented the Maoris, this time in Australia. He followed this with selection to play for New Zealand against Australia. In the thirty years since we have not produced another full representative. In I950, he again represented the Maoris against the British Isles, being further honoured by being captain, In 1949, the senior team was nicknamed ‘The Thundering Herd‘ by a newspaper correspondent. In this season also, Carterton beam: the first club to have produced two Life Members of ll! N.Z.R.F.U., Norman McKenzie being honoured for Aflcr fifty years of black shorts, a decision was made in I950 to change to white.

This radical move was made, not for change, but because it was impossible to get a Set of black shorts. The colours soon ranged from light grey through to black, and did not do much to improve appearances. The suggestions that the black socks with broad maroon band at the top be replaced was heavily defeated. The senior team had been quite keen to have these socks X ftll qllile disappointed However, an anonymous iuatirn of a complete set of socks to the seniors allowed It to appear in the uniform that was to be familiar for ti: next 29 years. The team had to run the gauntlet from the Club Hotel to the grandstands. As usual in those days. Jim Blake and Bert McKenzie were standing just inside the gates to give the team the once over. When the striped sluts came into view, the look of horror that came over tiei [mes would have been very amusing to any innocent bykt: The censor does not permit a repetition of what thy i to their respective sons as they went past.

Apia in 1951, a shock occurred. We were again beaten, this time by Masterton. The game was played on a field that was not firm. At times, along the southern touch, the mud came over the tops of the boots. Later on, Martinborough drew with us and the stage was set for an upset championship loss. In the final match at Martinborough, a large crowd gathered. Carterton was practically deserted. A very good first half saw the score at half time llfl a.ll_ Early in the second half, Brian Butcher scored from I it-Olll. and soon Carterton had run up nineteen points, Iii further tries by Jim Berry, Brian Desmond) Keith Palm-. a field goal by Brian Desmond and two conversions by Ilzx benihan. Martinborough replied late in the game with a penalty, to which Rex Lenihan replied to make the final score 22—3 and another championship.

As Martinborough was second in the chamPi0Tl5l’llP- they had the right to challenge for the Redmond Cup whiCl‘l they duly did, the fixture being set for l5)th August. The following Thursday, the Carterton Club was used as a base for the Scoullar’s Furniture advertisement in the ‘Dominion’. ‘Can we be relied on? Will we do what is right?’ As Carterton said to the Rugby Union. ‘Too right we can’ The reference came about in this way. Martinborough was due to play Carterton at 2 p.m. By L40, all the Carterton players were out doing their warm up. This was very Two necessary as a cold, wet southerly was blowing 0’clock no opposition. 2.15, Carterton players hudclhng in kc to the shelter. 2.30 No opposition. Cartcrton spo referee, claimed the game, and went to change. Before long the air in the changing room became so heated no one had any excuse to be cold.

‘ ‘ ” ” h d The Martmborough team, proud of its success a arranged to have its photo taken on this day, at Carterton. ‘ th This was necessary as the Saturday was the only day e team could all be together. The only time available was just after two o’clock, so the Martinborough club advised the Rugby Union. For some reason, the Union kept this information Io itself, and when Ctirterton refused to go out to lav at 2.45, tempers became frayed. Some Carterton P . players invited various members of the Union to takc off cl for their coats, step outside and settle the matter once an ull. Finally reason prevailed.

The upshot was that the match was re—clrawn for two weeks later, and a large crowd of hostile visitors took to the fences. Referee Geof. Foote coming in the gate, was greeted with, ‘So you’re the poor b-— who’s got this game You’re in for a hard time‘. The match was relatively peaceful till the Carterton forwards started a dribbling rush. The Martinborough full back jumped back then lurched forward straight onto a kicking boot.

He lay prostrate. Not so the spectators. With wild howls they leapt the fence and rushed to the touch-line. The Carterton team was lined up five yards infield ready for anything. Fortunately, the crowd kept beyond the touchline and gradually simmered down. As the full back was carried off, much sympathetic applause greeted him. Shortly after, a Carterton player stopped three hits in the nose and had to leave the field with a broken nose. As he left the field his sympathetic applause was, ‘Served you b— well right!’ Carterton won the game.