Story: Sports and leisure

The national game (1st of 3)

The national game

Rugby football was first played in Nelson in 1870. What distinguished rugby from other football games was partly that players were permitted to run with the ball, and partly the very physical nature of the game, with ‘scrimmages’ (now called scrums) and ‘mauls’ – as illustrated here in the New Zealand Graphic of 1890.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0126-1890-001

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Sports and leisure - Organised sports', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/2284/the-national-game (accessed 26 August 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, updated 1 Sep 2015