In 1964 Rodney Dreyer arrived in NYC from Pahiatua (Pahiatua is way out in the Booai known as the capital of Bush Southern Wairarapa. It’s the birth place of Brian Lahore, Murray Halberg and Rodney Dreyer).
Rodney was involved in a number of projects in NYC and was President of The New York Rugby Club when this happened in 1972.
ALL BLACKS HISTORIC NO NAME GAME
Not many rugby fans are aware that on October 21 1972 the Ian Kirkpatrick All Blacks, on their way to Britain for a three-month tour of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France, played a New York City Metropolitan Rugby Union (MRU) select side at Downing Stadium (now Icahn Stadium) on Randall’s Island (3 years later, June 14, 1975, soccer Icon Pele played his first game for the NY Cosmos there). The side was captained by Sid Going. It was the debut game for Joe Karam who replaced an injured Trevor Morris at full back and also the first game for winger Grant Batty. The New York team included a smattering of ex-pats but was mainly an American side. It was a fine day and attendance was over 3,000. New York Mayor John Lindsay declared October 21 Rugby Day New York and both sides were introduced to the Mayor prior to the game. New Zealand won 41 to 9. The All Blacks went on to win 32 of their 35 matches drawing 2 (Ireland & Munster) and losing to France. Another anomaly that occurred was the New York City Council, asking the Metropolitan Rugby Union not to use the name “All Blacks” on any of the advertisements and promotions. In the early 1970’s the US had been having a number of racially motivated riots causing substantial damage, injuries, and deaths. Specifically in nearby Camden New Jersey. Not wanting a repeat of the Harlem riots of the 60’s the NYPD were on high alert for any unrest and did everything they could to keep the city calm. Consequently, the game was announced as;
INTERNATIONAL RUGBY MATCH
NEW ZEALAND ALL STARS VS NEW YORK ALL STARS
This was the only game the All Blacks have ever played in New York City and certainly the only game where they were not addressed and listed as the All Blacks.