With St Peter’s College ‘kicking off’ in 1969, it stands to reason the first year the school was able to field a full strength First Fifteen rugby side, complete with seventh formers, was 1973.
That was my first year at the College. We admired the big boys in the 1st XV, that year captained by Murray “Moose” Munro (who I these days play golf with in Dunedin). David Black, a small but combative hooker, captained the side for the following two seasons.
I was lucky enough to be one five fifth formers selected in the 1975 side, superbly coached by John Petre and captained by Black. We had the distinction of being the first St Peter’s 1st XV to beat Gore High School (11- nil).
The write-up in the paper of the day, the Mataura Ensign, most probably penned by our team manager Greg Tourelle, said flanker Ken Devery was the outstanding forward on the field and the young inside back combination of Peter Barlow and John Williams starred (Barlow later went on to play for Wellington and was selected for an All Blacks trial). Tries were scored by winger Des Dillon and Williams. Yours truly added a penalty.
The vice-captain was the well preformed second five-eighth Tony Brazier and other standout senior players included Tony “Guinness” Casey, Markham “Jock” McMullen and Basil “Baz” Chamberlain. Basil’s younger brother Paul “Pup” captained the side in 1976 and I was given the honour in 1977.
Gore High was a very powerful side at the time (beating Southland Boys in 1977) and the first clash in 1975 was my only success in six attempts, spanning three years, in the 1st XV.
They were wonderful days, even though our haircuts left a lot to be desired!
Written by Jamie Mackay