Dick Glover On His Farwell: “It appeared that I was becoming something of a fixture as coach of the 1st XV – that players were starting to hang on my words rather than working things out for themselves. I remember deliberately suggesting a completely unworkable move at one stage, to test weather one of the more intelligent team members would display his awareness by debating the suggestion. To my chagrin the whole team brought it. It was time to go!”
Dick Glover ended his second and longest tenure with the Gisborne Boys’ High School 1st XV in 1976. What a farewell it would be!
Captain: Dave Edwards
Players: Stephen Jones, Alan Jones, Ben Reedy, Victor Simpson, David Ngatai, Chris Mita, Michael Hearne, Paul Seymour, Gary Muir, Pere Ngerengere, Lloyd Reedy, Kerry McGuffog, Phil Mackie, Parekura Brown, Henry Maxwell, Titirangi Whitewood, William Waihi, Grant Wilsher, Alan Thompson.
Best Back: David Ngatai
Best Forward: Dave Edwards
Most Promising Player: Alan Jones
Points For: 706
Points Against: 49
Tries Conceded: 3
Average Score: 37-3
Top Try Scorers: Chris Mita, 34, Michael Hearne 26.
- The side took part in the first round of the Poverty Bay under 21 competition and won every game. Some massive totals were posted in the victories over: Old Boys Under 21′s, 40-0, Ngatapa Under 21′s, 36-0, Lytton Pirates Under 21′s, 78-0 and Old Boys, 48-0.
- The first interschool match of the season was an inaugural fixture with Otago Boys’ High School. Otago, on a North Island tour, was regarded as a formidable opposition having accounted for Napier Boys’ High School and drawn with a strong Wellington College side. A combination of Otago fatigue and Gisborne brilliance saw the home side record a 23-9 victory. Flanker Dave Edwards scored two tries. David Ngatai, who “tormented” his opponent, was regarded as the player of the match.
- The Percy Edmondson Cup was at stake in the game against Lytton High School, Edmondson was a Boys’ High coach from 1915-1941. Gisborne, in a curtain raiser at Rugby Park, won by 43-3. David Ngatai was the star of the game scoring three tires, Chris Mita collected two and Stephen Jones, Michael Hearne and William Waihi added one each. Believe it or not the Gisborne Herald reporter of the game suggested: “I felt given more ball, the very fast Lytton backs could have given the game a different complexion.” Evidently the return match was far more competitive, Gisborne winning, 16-0.
- Dick Glover was awarded the Gisborne Sports Administrator of the Year Award in 1976 but was unable to collect his prize because he was in Napier with the 1st XV. Playing into the wind, Gisborne held an 8-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, a stronger scrum, taller lineout, and 15 points by fullback Gary Muir resulted in a 31-0 win, their largest against Napier since a 28-0 triumph in 1965. In an annual exchange involving several teams, the 2nd XV won by 42-4, future 1st XV winger Mark Jamieson scored five tries!
- Whakatane High School was humiliated by 75-4 and refused to play Gisborne after 1976.
- Sacred Heart College had been annual rivals since 1939 and provided much tougher opposition for Gisborne, who despite frequent mistakes, led 8-0 at the interval. Gisborne was more polished in the second half, against the determined Sacred Heart team, and pulled away to win, 21-0. Usual suspects David Ngatai, Michael Hearne and Chris Mita scored tries.
- The bi-annual fixture against Wanganui Collegiate was played in the river city as a curtain raiser to the Wanganui vs. King Country match. Chris Mita, Michael Hearne, David Ngatai, Dave Edwards and Alan Jones scored Gisborne’s tries in a 27-9 victory.
- Otumoetai College was hammered 47-3 and Tauranga Boys’ College beaten 25-6 to leave Gisborne just two games short of a perfect season.
- Hastings Boys’ High School had beaten Te Aute, 60-0 and Wanganui Boys’, 40-0 in a strong season. The game with Gisborne was expected to be a beauty and lived up to the hype. Tied 6-6 at halftime, Gisborne led 10-9 with ten minutes left after Dave Edwards had scored a try to overtake the three penalties kicked by Hastings Wayne Gray. Gary Muir then kicked a penalty, before Edwards scored a brilliant try from a “scissor move” to make it 17-9. Hastings resolve was broken and Michael Hearne scored on fulltime to give Gisborne a somewhat flattering, but well-deserved 21-9 win.
- Hamilton Boys’ High School arrived to the Rectory with a big reputation. A taller and heavier side contained several representative players and was the last side to beat Gisborne in an interschool fixture in 1975. Somebody forgot to tell David Ngatai! The second-five, who Glover rated more highly than future All Black Victor Simpson, produced a stunning display. He scored two tries and broke repeatably in a memorable 22-12 victory that saw Lloyd Reedy, Dave Edwards and Chris Mita also add tries for Gisborne. For Hamilton fullback Dean Ross kicked four penalties, including one from 60 meters!
- Fourteen Gisborne players featured in the Poverty Bay Under 18′s team which was unbeaten, accounting for East Coast, 63-0, Wellington, 30-8, Manawatu, 25-7, Wairarapa Bush, 30-10 and the Olympians Selection, featuring some of the best players in the North Island, 21-19. David Ngatai scored what Glover called one of the best tries he had even seen in the Olympians match, Lytton’s Laurie Holmes scored a late winner to!
- Alan Thompson became a successful canoeist winning two gold medals in the K-1 1000 and K-4 1000 at the 1984 Los Angles Olympics.
- Dick Glover finished his second, longest, and most successful tenure with the 1st XV in 1976. After leaving Auckland Grammar at the end of 1969 he became Gisborne’s coach again in 1970 and in the seven seasons from 1970 to 1976 only lost 11 of 155 matches. Glover reflected in the school magazine. ”And what of the coach? Above all, when the haka’s have died down, the touch flags have been stored and another unbeaten season has been negotiated there are reflections, the pride in the achievements of the players he has abused so long. The coach has seen and forgotten a lot of Gisborne Boys High rugby yet, despite the grumpy exterior, he will take satisfaction in the fact that his team has undefeated in 82 out of 89 inter-school games over a period of years, and he will never forget the respect and loyalty the players game him.”
Glover would be back!
Acknowledgments: Dick Glover who thankfully recorded in great detail the amazing achievements of his teams.