1875 – Wanganui Club vs Wellington

Rugby was now again definitely back into its own in Wellington. No more was heard of the suggestion that Wellington Club should change its Code.

A match against Wanganui Club followed. Played 14 a-side, at the Basin Reserve, on July 24, this game also was drawn.  Pollen secured a field goal (a goal direct from a ” speculator”) for Wellington Club, and Montgomery scored a dropped goal for the visitors; Wanganui Club also gained a try, but goals only counted. Appearing in The New Zealand Times (Wellington), Monday, July 26, was:- “James just before the close of this half-hour’s play was sent high and dry up in the air by one of the northern giants, and instead the falling on his feet, chose the alternative, and alighted fairly on the top of his head, clearly proving, in the most unmistakable manner, that he was not born to have his neck broken. . during this division of the game a most amusing touch down was gained by Williamson for Wanganui. It happened this way. The ball was past the line of the Wellingtonians, and Park safely had it in his power to touch it down, had it not gone under a staging. Unfortunately for Wellington, Park, quick of thought, jumped over to the other side, thinking it would go through, but not so the Wanganui hero, who went in true ferret fashion and secured a touch down by crawling in after the ball on all fours. Now was the exciting time for both teams, as the touch down thus gained granted a place-kick at the Wellington goal. Whether it was the unearthly yell and charge of the Wellingtonians, or some inequality of the ground, which put off Pratt from scoring a goal, is not quite clear.. . . It was remarked by some one of the lookers-on that to play a game of this description it must be necessary to have a good temper five miles long. We agree with him”

The Evening Post (Wellington), Monday, July 26, recorded:-
“The Football Match, Wellington v. Wanganui, came off at the Basin Reserve on Saturday afternoon. There was a large attendance, including a numerous sprinkling of ladies. His Excellency the Governor was present. The only thing wanting was victory, which fell to neither side, the game resulting in a ‘tie.’ “