On Saturday 28th September 1935 Swansea defeated New Zealand at St Helens by 11 points to 3.
Swansea’s win resulted in them becoming the 1st club side to defeat the Southern Hemisphere ‘big 3’, following victories over Australia (1908) and South Africa (1912) [See relevent pages in the ‘Club History’ above].
Swansea had also gained the distinction of being the 1st club side ever to defeat a full New Zealand touring team. Their 11 points coming from Claude Davey (2 tries), Dennis Hunt (try) and a Wilf Harris conversion.
Jack Manchester, the New Zealand captain, proclaimed “tell them back home we were beaten by all means, but please, not by a couple of school kids”, referring of course to the Gowerton grammar ‘schoolboy’ half-backs Haydn Tanner and Willie Davies.
Wales followed this success by defeating New Zealand by 13 points to 12 in a thrilling game on 21st december 1935. Five Swansea players represented Wales that day: Claude Davey, Idwal Rees, Haydn Tanner, Harry Payne and Don Tarr.
Club Captain : Eddie Long
Playing Record : P37, W22, D1, L14, Pts for 341, Pts against 196.
Leading Try Scorer : Not Known
Leading Points Scorer : Eddie Long 48
Capped v New Zealand : Claude Davey, Idwal Rees, Haydn Tanner (d), Harry Payne (d), Don Tarr (d)
Capped v England : Idwal Rees, Haydn Tanner, Eddie Long (d)
Capped v Scotland : Claude Davey, Idwal Rees, Haydn Tanner, Eddie Long
Capped v Ireland : Idwal Rees, Willie Davies (d), Haydn Tanner, Eddie Long
Played: 37, Won: 22, Lost: 14, Drawn: 1. Pts for: 341, Against: 196.
Back Row L to R: J E Watkins(Com), Granville Davies, T B Day, Rees Williams, Cliff Bancroft, James Hunt, Dennis Hunt, Harry Payne, G H Taylor, Dai White, E D Price, W H Roberts, W E Harris, R S Palmer(Com).
2nd Row L to R: Gwyn griffiths, Aubrey Rees, D B Jones(Com), Edgar Long(Captain), Trevor Davies(Com), Ronnie Williams, Edryd Jones.
Front Row L to R: Joe White, Bob Dowdle(Trainer), Glyn Samuel, Willie Davies, Haydn Tanner, ??, Lee Griffiths. (Club Archive)
The 1935-36 All Blacks train at their base in Newton Abbot…
The 1935-36 All Blacks at Newton Abbot. A signed photo, apparently covered in beer stains! (Club Archive)
Swansea (11) v New Zealand (3) at St Helens on 28th September 1935. Swansea by beating New Zealand this day become the first Club side in the world to have beaten all the ‘Big Three’ southern hemesphere countries, having beaten Australia (1908) and South Africa (1912).
(Above photo) The Swansea side that beat New Zealand
Back Row (L to R): J E Watkins, J White, H Payne, Tom Day, W Harris, D Hunt, G Taylor, D White, E Jones, Trevor Davies, R S Palmer.
2nd Row (P: to R): G Griffiths, R Williams, D B Jones, Edgar Long (captain), Ernest Davies, Claude Davey, Granville Davies.
Front Row (L to R): Bob Dowdle (Trainer), W H T Davies, H Tanner.
(Daily Mail Souvenir)
The teams line up. (Courtesy SWEP)
A match day programme and stand ticket form the great day (Club Archive)
A Lineout during Swansea’s historic win over New Zealand at St Helens. Granville Davies and D White look on with Wilf Harris (5) while Don Tarr, Harry Payne, george Taylor and Dennis Hunt challenge for the ball. (Courtesy SWEP)
Dennis Hunt scores at the Mumbles end. (Courtesy SWEP)
A 1935 Jack Jones original cartoon illustrating the Swansea v All Blacks match. (Club Archive)
Above, lock W R Collins’ All Blacks jersey from the game v Swansea (Club Archive)
Above: A commemorative carved plaque in the St Helens Lounge celebrates the famous win over New Zealand in 1935. (Club Archive).
All Blacks lose to Wales at Cardiff…