1909 New Zealand Māori rugby league tour of Australia
The 1909 New Zealand Māori rugby league tour of Australia was a tour made by a group of New Zealand Māori rugby footballers who played rugby league matches in Queensland and New South Wales. The tour followed on from another Māori tour of Australia the previous year and a tour by the New Zealand national side a month earlier. The Māori side played the Australian national side four times, winning one of the “test” matches.
Following the first “test”, won by the Māori 16-14, about 5,000 of the 30,000 crowd invaded the pitch, upset with the standard of refereeing. Only about a dozen police were present and it took them almost an hour to assist the referee from the ground.
Before the fourth “test” nine players from the tour were detained, after Robert Jack claimed he was owed money relating to the 1908 tour. The NSWRL paid Jack his claimed debt, rather than risk the match being called off.
The team were awarded the O T Punch Cup for their victories over Sydney teams. The cup had been damaged when the crowd invaded the pitch in the first “test”.
The 1909 side was the first to wear a kiwi emblem on their uniforms. The New Zealand national side is now called the Kiwis.
Only 19 players were involved in the squad, with a maximum of 18 available for selection at any one time. Seventeen travelled with the main party, however Nirai Chareure broke his collarbone after the first match. Tohe Herangi joined the touring party after the first match and Hone Tuki arrived in time for the first ‘test’ match.
Mākereti (Maggie) and Murai (Bella) Papakura and two Māori chiefs travelled with the side. NSW selector Denis Lutge was assigned to the team as an advisor.
|Maori name||English name||Position||Bio|
|Nirai Chareure||Ned McRae||Captain, broke his collarbone in the first match|
|Ariki Haira||Alex Stanaway||forward||From Auckland and originally from Northern Wairoa, later represented New Zealand, toured in 1908|
|Tohe Herangi||T Searanche|
|Pou Kopana||Paul Coban|
|Rewi Maniapoto||Sid Ellis|
|Hauauru Pakere||Frank Barclay||utility back||From Tauranga, later represented New Zealand, toured in 1908|
|Punga Pakere||Glen Barclay||forward||From Tauranga, brother of Frank, later played for the North Sydney Bears, toured in 1908|
|Te Keepa Pouwiuwhiu||Ernie Asher||three-quarters||From Tauranga, brother of Albert, later represented New Zealand, toured in 1908|
|Te Rira Pukere|
|Riki Papakura||utility back||From Manonui, later played for Australasia and Warrington, toured in 1908|
|Nikorima Ratete||Nikki Rogers||inside back||From Rotorua, also toured in 1908|
|Tutu Roera||Tutu Royal|
|Puhipi Rukutai||Jim Rukutai||forward||Later represented and coached New Zealand|
|Hone Taonui||John Hetet|
|Hone Tuki||three-quarters||from Northland, toured in 1908|
|Arapeta Paurini Wharepapa||Albert Asher||three-quarters||Former All Black who would later represent New Zealand and Australasia, toured in 1908|
|Tāmati Wikiriwhi||Tāmati Wilkinson|
|Te Kanawa Wi Neera|
Before the side left New Zealand they lost 14-21 to Auckland on 10 July 1909 at Victoria Park in front of 2-3,000 spectators.
|24 July||New South Wales||Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney||Win||24-21||28,000|||
|28 July||New South Wales||Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney||Win||14-11||6,000|||
|31 July||Australia||Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney||Win||16-14||30,000|||
|4 August||Newcastle||Newcastle Showgrounds, Newcastle||Loss||6-7||2,000|||
|7 August||Queensland||Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane||Loss||11-21||7,000|||
|11 August||Queensland||Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane||Win||36-25||6,000|||
|14 August||Australia||Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane||Loss||13-16||8,000|||
|21 August||Australia||Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney||Loss||16-23||11,000|||
|25 August||New South Wales||Wentworth Park, Sydney||Win||12-8||3,000|||
|28 August||Australia||Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney||Loss||13-20||7,500|||