Lancelot Machattie 'Mac' Smith

  • 1Caps
  • 71Wallaby Number
PositionCentre
Date Of BirthMarch 12, 1885
Place of BirthCudal, NSW
Other ClubNorth Sydney
SchoolAll Saints' College, Bathurst , St. Edward's School, Oxford, England & The King's School
ProvinceNSW
Debut ClubOur Boys (Orange)
Debut Test Match1905 Wallabies v New Zealand, Dunedin
DiedMarch 1, 1956

Biography

Mac Smith was a country centre who was born in Cudal, NSW, and went to All Saints College at Bathurst and The Kings School. He played for the Waratahs (Orange) and North Sydney. While at The Kings School he played centre with Francis Bede Smith. His first venture against other countries was for Western New South Wales against the Britain team in 1904. Smith lined up in the centres with his school partner, Bede Smith. The locals lost 6 to 21. The day was bitterly cold, and occasional showers made the ball difficult to handle. Mac Smith kicked a penalty in the loss, Ken Gavin, the uncle of the modern player, scoring a try. Mac Smith, Gregg, Gavin, Salmon, Anlezark and Read were the most prominent players. This would be his only match against the visitors.

New Zealand came to Australia in 1905, and both Smiths from western New South Wales were selected in the first match against them. They were both graziers. He was also selected in the return match, which was an eight-all draw. New Zealand unfortunately played no Tests on this tour. In 1905 Australia sent his its first fully representative side overseas, to New Zealand. There were 23 on the team, 14 from NSW and nine from Queensland. The captain was Stan Wickham and the vice-captain Harold Judd. Mac would only play three matches on this tour, whereas Frank Bede Smith would play in all seven. His first appearance was in the third match against Canterbury-South Canterbury. Chester and McMillan wrote, in The Visitors: that “no scoring occurred until late in the spell, when Penman sent Bede Smith away on a strong run. He then passed to Mac Smith, who scored in the corner.” It was the third straight loss for Australia, this time by 3 to 8. On the basis of his play he was selected, along with Bede Smith, for the sole Test of the tour. This time it was a 3-14 loss, and the game was played in miserable conditions.

A unique occurrence was that the match was switched at the last minute because of the weather from the Caledonian Ground, Dunedin, to the sandy Tahuna Park. The game was very close to being cancelled. This was Mac’s sole Test. Mac played in one other game on this tour, against Wanganui-Taranaki, Australia winning 18 to 13. It was considered the Australians’ best display on the tour. During his career he played 11 times for NSW, eight of them against Queensland. Pollard wrote, in Australian Players:“ He was chosen for the first Wallaby tour in 1909-09 but had to withdraw when he broke down in the final trial.”

Lancelot Machattie 'Mac' Smith
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