Colin Dudley Suttor
- 129Wallaby Number
Dudley Suttor had that great attribute that all top-class wingers need – speed – and he could use his extreme pace to fashion scoring chances where none seemed to exist. A contemporary of flyhalf Bill Tasker, Suttor made his New South Wales debut in the same match but missed selection for the 1912 Australian team that toured America. Perhaps that was no bad thing, as the tour was little short of a debacle, and by the time 1913 rolled around Suttor was both fresh and hungry for success. Although he continued to play in the country, Suttor’s abilities were well known in town. When South Sydney wing RD Fusedale did not have a particularly good match in the first contest against the visiting New Zealand Maori team, Suttor was called up with immediate and impressive results.
His first real chance came from a slick move worked by Fred Wood and Tasker, which gave the speedy Bathurst man a modicum of space. It was all he needed, as he burst clear of the defence and scored after a 50-yard run that had the crowd on its feet. In the second spell he again made a classy finishing run after good work by the inside backs had created space and his defence also won acclaim on many occasions. Praised on all sides as the star turn of a hard-fought match, Suttor was always going to be chosen for the New Zealand trip. In New Zealand Suttor played all the main matches and, with Ernie Carr playing every match, Queensland winger Lou Meibusch did not get a look in.
Suttor did little early on, as most of the play tended to run Carr’s way, but he made a mark in the second Test. Finally given a chance to show off his great pace, Suttor scored one of Australia’s three tries that day after receiving the ball from his centres and being given half a yard to move in. Once again, that was all he needed as he raced off to score. He scored again after coming on as a replacement at Timaru – the injury finishing any hopes Meibusch may have entertained of winning a Test spot – and Suttor had a stand-out game at Christchurch. He scored two fine tries, once after getting an overlap and the other after receiving a cut-out pass from Larry Wogan, and both times he was too quick for the chasers or the cover.
Australia claimed an historic 16-5 win, its first over the All Blacks in New Zealand, and was value for every point. The tour finished with a match against a moderate Marlborough side at Blenheim, where Suttor and Carr enjoyed both the firm ground and the space created by the centres to register hat-tricks. Naturally the two wingers were the day’s star turns and both were given a fine reception by the crowd. The 1913 Australians were nowhere near as strong as the first-string All Black side, but this combination left for California after winning the first Test 30-5 in terrible conditions. The Wallabies were an even match for the next best, however, and won many friends through their attacking mindset and the willingness they showed to give the ball air.
Naturally a speedy winger like Suttor was one of the chief beneficiaries and he returned home with a greatly enhanced reputation. Whatever his reputation after the New Zealand tour, Suttor had a less impressive home season in 1914. He was a member of the New South Wales side that faced the All Blacks in the tour opener and then played for Central-Western in the second tour match. This was a disaster as far as Suttor was concerned; he spent most of the afternoon trying to combat two or three attackers and the home side, completely outclassed, lost by 10-59. The All Blacks scored 15 tries – 12 by the three-quarters – and Suttor’s marker, Henry Taylor, scored five times.
Even though his defence had been a feature in New Zealand, Suttor was condemned on this showing and Queensland fullback Eric Francis was promoted to the Test wing spot. Suttor was also left out of the New South Wales side for the return match, although he did keep his place for the Queensland game. Like almost all his contemporaries, Suttor signed up almost as soon as war was declared. He was more fortunate than many former team-mates, getting through the war without suffering too many wounds, and he returned to big –time rugby with the AIF team in 1919. He only appeared in the first two matches, scoring two tries against New South Wales and starting on the wing in the first of a three-match series against Australia, but after that match he withdrew from the tour and returned to his orchards.