The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

The cover of the interport dinner menu

Shanghai on the way to Hong Kong (at Swatow) aboard the ss. Tai Sang with the ship's Captain Wally Balch

Match Report

The Teams (Shanghai in Black)

  This month we feature a copy of the match programme for the 12th interport fixture between Hong Kong and Shanghai played in Hong Kong on 18 February 1939. The programme belonged to William 'Bill' Hyslop Rigg and was presented to the modern Shanghai Rugby Football Club by his sons John and Tony Rigg in 2013. You can find out more about Bill Rigg hereThe programme is displayed in the club house of the modern club at Wai Gao Qiao, Pudong, Shanghai. 

Artifact of the Month Number 2 - April 2014

A seventy-sevenyear old rugby programme

Being presented the the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Geoffrey Northcote before the match 

 Shanghai's preparation for this game was worrying. With their losses to the Combined Service and the US Marines as well as lack of match practice, the Shanghai interport XV selected to travel to Hong Kong must have felt some trepidation as they sailed to Hong Kong. They had at least managed to have a training session in the appallingly wet weather at the Canidrome a few days before they traveled but they were not as battle hardened as they would have liked to be. The team left Shanghai on the ss. Tai Sneang from the Roosevelt Terminal.  
Two weeks before they met Shanghai, Hong Kong had hosted the All Malaya interport team. They managed a 19 all draw confirming their team’s strength. (Shanghai had hoped that Malaya could have been in Hong Kong at the same time as them for a triangular tournament but it was not to be.) 
The interport game was played on 18 February 1939. Shanghai scraped a 12:11 victory. The entire Shanghai side played like men possessed… the forwards were absolutely magnificent, every man displaying a brand of play that has not been seen by local supporters since the season commenced here in October… their deadly tackling and aggressiveness gradually wore the opposing pack down so that after the resumption “there was hardly a chirp left in the Hong Kong side”.  
​ The game was followed in the evening by the interport dance held at the Roof Garden of the Hong Kong Hotel. This was followed two days later by a game against the Hong Kong United Services which Shanghai lost 8:3. The following evening the teams attended the interport dinner once again held at the Roof Garden.
​ At the dinner the starter was a cream of Asparagus Soup, followed by Supreme of Pomfret Hoteliere and Potatoes Vapeur. The main course was Saute Bonne Femme served with Green Peas in Butter and Rissolees Potatoes.   The eating finished with a Bavarois au Chocolat and Cheese and Biscuits. Well fed and holding the Saker Cup, the triumphant Shanghai team returned home on the ss Wosang arriving in the treaty port on an early Sunday morning. 

Match action

Standing:  H.W.E. Heath, M.W. MacGrath, E.W. Stout, J. Redman, G.K. Chadwick, K.A. Watson, D.H. Stewart, R.P.J. Stewart, R.A.O. Mayne, R.U. Reynolds, L.F. Aucott, G. Reynolds, P.J.A. Innes, A.G. White, J.M. Hutchinson, J.W.M. Martin (Reserve).
Seated:  K.W. Salter, W.E. Grieve , A.F. Walkden, W.E. Peers, A.J.G. Taylor, H.D. Bidwell (Captain), A.M. Kennedy (Captain), R.H. Roe, W.D. Pearson, G.M. Mills, W.H.B. Rigg.
Front Row:  J.R. Henderson, J. Hutchinson The Ball R. Laird, J.F. Burford, J. Selby (Touch Judge)