RIP Doug Rollerson



  • Always remembered for the "it was flat and wonky Keith but it is three points! ! !" drop goal on the back end of the greatest game of footy ever played when Mordt and Botha were tracking down our lead (and before Hewie stepped up).

    I think he may have had some issues running North Harbour which may taint his legacy but was a favourite of mine being from Manawatu in the 70s & 80s and because of that match in 81.





  • That Manawatu side he played for was bloody good wasn't it? They had a hell of a forward pack from memory.



  • RIP Doug, very good five eight/fullback.

    Yes Manawatu did have a handy forward pack, Gary Knight, Bruce Hemara, Frank Oliver, Mark Shaw, Geoff Old, a few handy backs at the time too, Mark Donaldson, Lachie Cameron, Rollerson.



  • @jegga said in RIP Doug Rollerson:

    That Manawatu side he played for was bloody good wasn't it? They had a hell of a forward pack from memory.

    Shit yeah!
    There was a short period in NZ where two of the best were Manawatu and Counties and there was a great rivalry.
    Manawatu boasted Frank Oliver, Gary Knight, Cowboy Shaw, and Rollerson among a great team while Counties had the Speirs, Dalton, Ketels front row and a bunch of run it from everywhere backs.
    My rellies lived in Palmy and I used to spend school holidays down there and get taken to the games by my grandfather.



  • Kevin Everleigh was part of that wasn't he? I don't remember it the era but my old mans talked about it a bit, Axle Knight worked for Waikanae transport and some of the older tradies used to tell me what a strong mofo he was.
    What sort of five eight was Rollerson ? A Carlos or a Wilkinson or something in between?



  • I don't remember him very well, but a lot more Wilkinson that Carlos. He was really a utility back and probably more a fullback than a first five, but he got pressed into service at first five for the 1981 Springbok tour and - looking at his AB profile - a few tests either side. I think "very solid" would be a good description - kicked, tackled, passed, ran - not flashy but didn't make mistakes. Definitely helped win the '81 series.

    I think we had a bit of a gap between Doug Bruce and Wayne Smith where Rollerson, Murray Taylor and Nicky Allen among others all played at 1st five.



  • Fair description, Chris B. Solid, tough, good skills.

    Rollerson started all three tests against the Springboks in 1981.

    Blast from the past you can watch the first test here.

    Rollerson try at about 31 minutes.

    Some good skill by Rollerson just after 49 minutes here.

    Graham Thorne on commentary I think.



  • @Chris-B. Sounds a bit like Simon Culhane, stepped up when we needed him.



  • A bit more history here.

    Above: The Wellington Lions team photo in 1981. In beating a strong Manawatu side 28-10 they went a long way to clinching the NPC title.

    Gone are the days when the All Blacks backed up for their provinces after playing in a Test match the previous day. But on 13 September 1981, that is exactly what a group of them did in this memorable Wellington - Manawatu match at Athletic Park, won 28-10 by Wellington.

    This was not just the day after any regular Test match, but one of the most noted of all time - the third and deciding Test against the Springboks in their controversial 1981 series. Less than 24 hours earlier, the All Blacks, featuring several Wellington and Manawatu players, had just beaten of a flour bomb attack from the air and defeated the Springboks 25-22 on the park to clinch their volatile series.

    No fewer than nine players - Allan Hewson, Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser and Murray Mexted for Wellington and Lachie Cameron, Doug Rollerson, Mark Donaldson, Geoff Old and Gary Knight for Manawatu - had played against the Springboks. Manawatu tighthead prop Gary Knight had both scored a try and been nailed on the head in a direct hit by a flour bomb dropped from a low circling Cessna plane, while Wellington wing Wilson had also scored a try and fullback Hewson had kicked the match and series winning penalty.

    These players could have been excused for not playing for their respective provinces when they kicked off at Athletic Park on the Sunday afternoon after the Test. But there was everything riding on this match. Both Wellington and Manawatu were the two leading provinves of the time and in the days before the playoff system was introduced (1992) this was a virtual NPC Final in view of the results each had achieved earlier in the season.

    Manawatu, who were the defending NPC champions and recent Ranfurly Shield holders, had won their first eight matches of 1981, including an 18-3 win over the Queensland Reds and Championship wins over Counties, Auckland and Waikato. Close losses included 19-31 to the touring South Africans after scores had been locked up a 19-19 at one point. Manawatu were coming into this match having just thrashed Southland (51-9) and Otago (55-19).

    The Lions, who had finished second to Manawatu in 1980 after winning the NPC for the first time in 1978, had beaten the touring Scotland side 19-15, lost to the same Queensland side 17-18 (in Brisbane), and were coming off four straight NPC wins to open their season. In August they had beaten Hawke's Bay 31-14 and Bay of Plenty 39-13 and in the past fortnight had accounted for Southland (34-9) and Otago (26-6) at home. In these latter two matches, Test wings Wilson and Fraser had scored six of 10 tries.

    So the stage was set when the crowd of about 25,000, the largest crowd at an inter -provincial match at Athletic Park for over 25 years (and the first of several Athletic Park bumpers over the next few years) assembled to see their teams do battle in the likely Championship decider.

    The ground was buzzing, as were the heads of the game's All Blacks who had celebrated long into the previous evening following victory over the Springboks.

    The run of play was tight until well into the second half as the Wellington forwards got stuck into the vaunted Manawatu pack,that also included Frank Oliver who had played in the second Test against the Springboks at this ground. Wellington had led 10-7 at halftime, courtesy of a pushover try to No 8 Mexted. But a Rollerson penalty for Manawatu locked it all up at 10-10 early in the second half.

    The Lions broke the game open 15 minutes into the second spell when prop Brian McGratten surged up field from a lineout and passed to wing Fraser. Fraser carried play on and scored in "Bernie's Corner", this try also being his 19th try of the season which broke Ron Jarden's previous season record for Wellington set in 1953.

    Hewson's conversion made it 16-10, and this was followed soon after by a try to Wilson under the bar, followed by a fourth and match sealing try to second five-eighth Dan Fouhy five minutes from time.

    After the match Manawatu and All Black halfback Donaldson praised Wellington's pack: "All New Zealand underestimates your forwards, they tend to think only of your three-quarters...you have an uncompromising pack. We took a hell of a hiding today," Donaldson told the Dominion.

    For Wellington, Their second NPC title wasn't in the bag just yet. That came three matches later when they beat Canterbury 31-6 in Christchurch. A fantastic season got even better four days after that when they travelled to Hamilton and beat Waikato 22-4 to bring the Ranfurly Shield back to its rightful home.

    This article was first published here in August 2014.

    http://www.clubrugby.co.nz/wellington/story.php?id=2185



  • @infidel said in RIP Doug Rollerson:

    A bit more history here.

    Gone are the days when the All Blacks backed up for their provinces after playing in a Test match the previous day. But on 13 September 1981, that is exactly what a group of them did in this memorable Wellington - Manawatu match at Athletic Park, won 28-10 by Wellington.

    This was not just the day after any regular Test match, but one of the most noted of all time - the third and deciding Test against the Springboks in their controversial 1981 series. Less than 24 hours earlier, the All Blacks, featuring several Wellington and Manawatu players, had just beaten of a flour bomb attack from the air and defeated the Springboks 25-22 on the park to clinch their volatile series.

    No fewer than nine players - Allan Hewson, Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser and Murray Mexted for Wellington and Lachie Cameron, Doug Rollerson, Mark Donaldson, Geoff Old and Gary Knight for Manawatu - had played against the Springboks. Manawatu tighthead prop Gary Knight had both scored a try and been nailed on the head in a direct hit by a flour bomb dropped from a low circling Cessna plane, while Wellington wing Wilson had also scored a try and fullback Hewson had kicked the match and series winning penalty.

    A the BIL fans are talking about a tough schedule? Take a concrete pill the lot of ya!

    (Mind you, I think Gary Knight was actually made of concrete so a pill wasn't needed in his case.)

    As for Rollerson, I seem to remember him having a decent boot on him. Especially so in the days of the wet leather ball.


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