Story: Sport and society

Re-enacted rugby game in Nelson

Re-enacted rugby game in Nelson

It is believed that the first game of football played in New Zealand according to rugby rules was that between Nelson club and Nelson College on 14 May 1870. During the Rugby World Cup in September 2011 a re-enactment of the game was played using the rules then existing, and with players wearing uniforms appropriate to the period. Points were scored, not by tries, but by kicking goals after a touchdown which provided the opportunity to 'try' for a goal.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Greg Ryan, 'Sport and society - Growth, 1860s and 1870s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 January 2022)

Story by Greg Ryan, published 5 Sep 2013