Anthony Michael Charles Moore

  • 83Age
PositionFly Half
Date Of Birth6 October 1938
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolWaverley College
Debut ClubRandwick
ProvinceNSW

Biography

Tony Moore was a product of Waverley College, an institution which had an important relationship with rugby. Noted coach and theoretician Arthur Hennessey came from there. He would play four games for NSW between 1901 and 1904 before turning to rugby league. He was instrumental in convincing two young lads he coached at Waverley College, Randwick’s Wally Meagher and Cyril Towers, and they became Hennessey’s disciples in the cause of no-kick, running rugby.

There have been many from the College who would play for Australia:   Brad Burke (1988), Matt Burke (1984-87), Michael Cleary (1961), Owen Finegan (1996-99, 2001-03), Steve Finnane (1975-76, 1978), before going on to Vaucluse High School, John Francis (1967), before transferring to Kempsey High School, Adam Freier (2002-03, 2005-06), Stephen Hoiles (2004, 2006), Troy Jacques (2000), Peter Jones (1963), Tim Kava (1989, 1993), Wally Meagher (1923-28), Tony Moore (1966-67), John O’Connor (1928), John Potts (1957-59), Murray Tate (1951-54),  and Morgan Turinui (2003-06).

As did the majority of these players, he played for Randwick , and early on he demonstrated his versatility. Small and solid, his principal position was fly half, but he was equally adept at centre and wing, and he played halfback once on his Wallaby tour. As John Brewer and Max Howell put it in their unpublished history of the Randwick Club, he “played 171 club games from 1958 to 1968, scoring 73 tries and six penalty goals [237 points]. He appeared in 132 first grade games, scoring 49 tries and five penalty goals [162 points].   In 1967 he was the club’s leading try scorer in first grade with 14. He played in three first grade premiership winning sides [1965 to 1967], and one losing grand final side [1962] and in the 1960 and 1964 reserve grade grand final losing sides. He shared the first grade captaincy in 1962 with Ken Catchpole.”

He played two games for NSW in 1966. Like many others before or since, Tony Moore’s international representation was limited because of the virtual legends who occupied his position at the higher level, and chief among these were Phil Hawthorne, John Ballesty and Rupert Rosenblum.

The highlight of his career was being selected for one of the world’s great sporting tours, the 1966-67 Wallaby tour to the UK, France and North America.   He would play in fourteen of the games, against Oxford University (11-9), Ebbw Vale and Abertillery (25-6), Cambridge University (6-5), Glasgow and Edinburgh (18-11, a try), South of Scotland (lost 0-13), Pontypool and Cross Keys (lost 3-12), Leinster (9-3), Ulster (drew 6-6), North West Counties (lost 3-8), South West Counties (11-6), Western Counties (lost 0-9), Munster (lost 8-11), South-West France (11-9) and the University of British Columbia (11-6). It was not an overly successful tour, but captain John Thornett and his team did their best despite massive injuries on tour, and Ross Cullen being sent home for biting.

In the internationals, Australia beat Wales (14-11), Scotland (11-5), England (23-11), but lost to Ireland (8-15) and France (14-20).  The mercurial Hawthorne was in only but one Test, Victoria’s Paul Gibbs going up against Scotland.

Peter Johnson, in A Rugby Memoir ,had this to say about Moore in the South West France  game, where he played halfback: “Everybody was surprised at the halfback skills shown by Tony Moore. Not me for I considered ability to be understated, mostly by Tony himself.”

It is an interesting comment, for when the author met him and said what an outstanding player he was, knowing his Randwick record. He immediately deflected the question, changing the subject. He perhaps had undue modesty, as he was an excellent, versatile player.

Anthony Michael Charles Moore