Old - Time Rugby Stalwarts In Town
PORTER AND MOFFITT Skipper of 1924 AH Blacks and Member of Last War Army Team Visitors to Auckland this week were Cliff Porter, captain of the invincible 1924 All Black touring team and Jim Moffitt, stalwart forward of the New Zealand army team which won the King's Cup and toured South Africa after World War No. 1.
Porter first hit the Rugby lime light when, on switching over from back to forward play he gained a place in the 1923 New Zealand side, which played a New South Wales combination. His brilliantly unorthodox play in the straight out wing-forward position saw Cliff included in the first sixteen "certainties" when the 1924-25 All Black side was selected to tour Great Britain. Because he did not figure in the Test matches in England it has been generally believed that Porter failed to reveal his true form on the tour. While there may have been some element of truth in that, several members of the team have expressed the opinion that in standing down in favour of Jim Parker, the Canterbury flyer, Porter revealed fine generalship. Cliff who,, as captain, was one of the selectors, was a straight out wing-forwai-d of the old school, and as such incurred the displeasure of English referees and officials. Parker's remarkable speed, on the other hand, allowed him to appear more in the role of a standoff half and at the same time carry on with his winging game. No matter what happened, however, Porter certainly showed fine sportsmanship 'in standing out of the Tests.
In all Porter gained All Black honoufs for seven years, a record equalled only by one other player —Mark Nicholls, also of Wellington.
Jim Moffitt, now mine host of a well-know Wellington hostelry, has been described by Dick Fogarty as a "perfect lock." Dick should know as he was with the one and only Moke Bellis, the 1921 All Black, in the back of the scrum which Moffitt locked in practically all the big Army games in England and later in South Africa. Moffitt later played for New Zealand in 1920 and 1921. Merv Devine Home
"Assisting" Moffitt to sort out the right ones at Ellerslie on Monday was Captain Merv. Devine, back home from service in the Pacific. After playing sound Rugby for the Wairarapa representatives for some years, Devine came to Auckland, where he switched over to the League code. A brother, Ron, was killed in the 1941 Lybian campaign while serving with a New Zealand artillery unit.
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Old – Time Rugby Stalwarts In Town, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 29, 3 February 1945, Supplement
Old – Time Rugby Stalwarts In Town Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 29, 3 February 1945, Supplement
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