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Sth Canterbury vs France programme


Souvenir programme for the rugby match between France and South Canterbury on 15 August 1961. 

Following a narrow 5–3 loss to the All Blacks, France defeated Otago and Southland before arriving at Fraser Park for the last provincial match of the tour. The French were favourites to win but with a crowd of more than 20,000 squeezed into Fraser Park an upset was on the cards. The match was a tight affair, with the French becoming increasingly desperate and physical. With minutes to go South Canterbury’s second five-eighth Eddie Smith took off down the grandstand touchline. He was stopped in his tracks by the fist of a Frenchman who added insult to injury by picking Smith up and dumping him down again. The crowd’s boos changed to roars of approval when 56 year old Hilda Madsen made her way onto the field with the aid of a walking stick. She thumped one of the offending Frenchman on the back with her fist before police moved in and ushered her away. South Canterbury hung on for an historic 17–14 victory.


New Zealand Rugby Museum
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