All Blacks 1972 

Midland Counties (West) 16 New Zealand 8. 

The Reddings 6th December 1972.

The day Moseley (and friends) beat the All Blacks!

"Ian Kirkpatrick playing perhaps his finest game of the tour, inspired his pack to a desperate second half rally, but it was not enough to prevent New Zealand from losing." Peter West, The Times.

Moseley (plus Coventry & Trevor) v All Blacks.

After unearthing a match day programme from the above game, one of our long distance, lifelong supporters, Rob Clynes (now based in the Isle of Man, but formerly of Wheelers Lane) e-mailed us asking "why don't we go on about it endlessly in the same way that the likes of Munster do about their legendary victories."

Good point Rob-and we will! Rob was looking for a match report. Within hours of his e-mail arriving he had a reply from the Midlands' loosehead prop on that famous day, ex-Moseley prop, Trevor Corless, whose voice, as our match day announcer, will be well known to many of you. Here, Trevor tells us some of his memories:

"I was fortunate enough to represent Midland Counties West on that famous day. I was loose head; John Gray (Coventry) was hooker with Keith Fairbrother (Coventry) at tighthead. Duckham was captain, Spratty (otherwise known as Moseley past president Jan Webster) was scrumhalf and the side was coached by Dick Greenwood of Loughborough Colleges fame.

"I was due to prop against their monster tighthead Keith Murdoch, but fortunately he was sent home the week before after decking a doorman in Cardiff! Such was the public outcry caused in New Zealand that it took him four years to get home. As you can see on the team sheet, I was playing for Birmingham at the time. I joined Moseley in '76." Trevor Corless.   


Team PhotoMatch Programme 


All Blacks Team

Midland Counties Team

Neil Botten remembers.

 After a plea in Moseley Matters, Neil Botten contacted us...........

"I was there and still remember Martin Cooper hoofing up the left wing to score in front of me. I have a report on the match in a book called 'All Blacks in the Lion's Den', two pages with photographs.

The match was certainly a sell out, I'd come up from Bristol, where I lived then, and it was a surprise that so many folk had managed to get the day off on a Wednesday.

The anticipation in the press beforehand was that the All Blacks would have a tough game, but would win, for some reason the national press hadn't realised quite how good the pool of players was for Midland Counties West-Keith Fielding couldn't even get in the team. I could never understand why Keith Fielding failed to make the team, he was near his peak then, but Martin Cooper kept him out. What a set of backs they had to choose from!

This report won't completely settle the scoring issue, it mentions Martin Cooper's try and has a photograph of the same, but it mentions that Fielding scored the second try in the text, and he wasn't playing, the summary tells us Duckham scored it.

For once the All Blacks hadn't done their homework for, with Moseley and Coventry to the fore in those days, they should have anticipated a tough match and selected accordingly, and then they compounded the problem by choosing to play up the slope and into the wind.

I couldn't agree more about the lack of prominence the victory received. Llanelli and North West Counties beat them and much play was made of this, even years later, but Midland Counties West had the biggest margin of victory and no-one ever mentions that outcome. The only other game the All Blacks lost on the tour was to the Baa-Baas, so they couldn't have been too bad a squad. All this coincided with England's terrible run of defeats, which they managed to equal last week, maybe England should have chosen the Midland Counties West team en bloc, except that Malcolm Swain probably didn't qualify, I think he'd captained Wales 'A' by then.

I've also got the programmes from the Llanelli/Moseley game which Moseley won at Stradey Park in 1972 and from the centenary games against the Baa-Baas and Fiji. When I came to The Reddings for a club match in that era, I could watch some of the very best players of the era produce their magic, almost always win in style, and then could have a pint with them afterwards! Was I lucky. The pleasure I had from watching Moseley then was unbounded.

Like a recent correspondent, I live on the South Coast and haven't been to Billesley, but it's wonderful to keep getting the news on the web. Many thanks for all your hard work, much appreciated.

Best wishes Neil Botten

The report from Neil's book is reproduced here.
Thanks to Bob Bannister for the matchday programme