Legendary Valley Halfback Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we report the passing earlier this week of one the Union's greatest players, Ron Kerby. Thames Valley Historian, Kelly Plummer has  compiled a fitting tribute as follows.

Tribute to Ronald Charles (Ron) Kerby

Thames Valley Rugby Representative

All Black Trialist

Ron Kerby passed away at Te Aroha on the 22nd June 2015 aged 83 years. In a first class rugby career which lasted from 1951 until 1964 he made 101 appearances, 85 of which were for Thames Valley. He gained an excellent grounding in rugby as a member of the strong Thames High School 1st XV of the late 1940s under the coaching of the well, respected Mr L. Lewis. By 1951 he had graduated to the senior ranks of the Thames High School Old Boys Club and the Thames representative team. Following a Poland Cup match against Paeroa an eye witness selected Ron as a Player of the Week and wrote:

 Thames can thank R. Kerby for winning the match for them with his line-kicking tactics right up to the Paeroa goal line and then feeding his backs for his namesake to break through and score. His passes were all of copy book pattern and his dive passes were beautiful to watch and as accurate as could be.

In 1951 the Thames Sub Union cut its ties with Auckland and rejoined Thames Valley. Ron was the first choice halfback for the enlarged Union and tasted success in his debut match when the Valley defeated Fiji 16-6. He then played in Thames Valley’s first ever Ranfurly Shield challenge which was against North Auckland. His good form also enabled him to be selected as a reserve for the North Island Colts. The following season he relocated to Whangarei and represented North Auckland against both Thames Valley and Auckland scoring a try in each match.

Ron returned to Thames Valley for the 1953 season and was a key player in the emergence of Thames Valley as a much stronger force in New Zealand provincial rugby. From August 1953 until September 1954 Thames Valley were undefeated in 12 consecutive games. Victories were recorded over such teams as Hawkes Bay, Waikato, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and two against Auckland. Ron played in every game and his form was recognised by being selected for two All Black trials in 1953. In 1954 he captained the Valley but the following year he transferred to Auckland to try his hand at Rugby League. He found the going tough and returned to Thames in 1956 having linked up with Thames United.

Back in Valley colours enabled Ron to be selected for the Bay of Plenty, Counties, Thames Valley team which played against the Springboks. T.P. McLean described his game as follows:

 Kerby was certainly one of the shrewdest and most versatile players to play against the Springboks.

High praise indeed from the respected journalist who reported on all the tour matches.

A major highlight in Ron’s career came in 1957 when he led Thames Valley to a thrilling 17-16 victory over Auckland at Eden Park to win the Coronation Shield for the first and only time in the Union’s history. Valley only lost three of their ten games that year and they had another good season in 1958 only losing three out of nine matches played. 1959 was not so successful but R. C. Kerby was the captain of the Bay of Plenty/Thames Valley team which  lost to the British Lions by only 2 points in the most exciting match of the tour. In his ninth season of rep. rugby Ron was still playing well enough to be selected for an All Black trial. In 1958 he had transferred to Te Aroha. After one season for the United Club Ron joined the Waihou club. He appeared in 6 matches in 1960 but did not appear for the Valley in 1961. He was back on board in 1962 playing in all matches including the famous victory over Australia. Thames Valley played virtually all of the game with fourteen men and in a remarkable display of team spirit and effort they defeated the Aussies by 16 points to 14. That spirit lives on and is always evident at team reunions. (See photo at left of Ron at the 50th Anniversary in 2012).

 Suffice to say that Ron played a huge part in that wonderful game. He  continued playing representative rugby for two more seasons, reaching his century of first class games against Waikato at Hamilton on 8th August 1964. His retirement followed after playing Counties at Papakura two weeks later.

R C  Kerby made a huge contribution to Thames Valley rugby, captaining the team on 38 occasions and serving as vice- captain in many others. He was a skilful player who led by example and was a master tactician. Ron was especially adept in blindside play often using his natural left boot to good advantage. He was also able to act as a fill in goal kicker when required. As was typical of half backs of that era he was not a big man but he was very robust and his 12 seasons of rugby for the Valley prove just how durable he was. He was also a prominent player in Peace Cup matches having had much success in this competition with both Thames and Te Aroha.

Ron was inspiration to players and fans alike. He was a modest man who never bragged and who let his performances on the rugby field speak for themselves. A true icon of Thames Valley rugby who has now joined many of his team mates in that great playing field in the sky.


Kelly Plummer

TVRFU Historian

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Primary Schools Rippa Rugby Gearing Up for Triangular Challenge.

After the completion of the Thames Valley Finals day on the 13th May, four year 5/6 teams and four year 7/8 teams are gearing up for the challenge of facing up against the best from King Country and Waikato at the annual triangular finals day in Hamilton on the 24th June.
The teams are:
Year 5/6
Te Puru
Waihi East
Hikutaia
St Joseph's Waihi

Year 7/8
Miller Ave
Paeroa Central
Hikuai
Parawai

Additionally it has been confirmed that there will once again be a national Year 5/6 tournament in September. As a result of this - Te Puru - as winners of the Thames Valley finals - will represent us in a one off game against the King Country winners on Wednesday to see who will take pride of place for the 2 provinces at the National Tournament. 

--------------------------------------------------------
Secondary Schools & Junior Rugby Draws

All results and current points tables from last weekend can be found by clicking on one of the tabs on the left.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








News

  • Swampfox 7's Northern Region's Squad Swampfox 7's Northern Region's  Squad namedAfter 3 intense weeks of preparations, Reon Graham has named his final 12 for the Swampfox 7's team to play at ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2014, 12:08 PM by Thames Valley Rugby Football Union Inc
  • Thames Valley Club 7's Championships Results Thames Valley Club 7's ChampionshipsSaturday 15 NovemberResults                                               Pool A  - Round 1 10.00am  Thames     0        v            Invitation      4010.20am  Waihi        14       v            Waihou        17 Pool B ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2014, 12:07 PM by Thames Valley Rugby Football Union Inc
  • Young Fox wins Major Award Thames High School student Nico Fox has been recognised for his hard work and dedication by claiming one of the Major awards at the recent Waikato Secondary Schools Sports Awards ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2014, 12:06 PM by Thames Valley Rugby Football Union Inc
  • Waihi Sevens Tournament Gets Programme Underway The Thames Valley Rugby Union is holding two Seven a Side Rugby tournaments this month as part of its programme for this form of the game. The first of these ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2014, 12:05 PM by Thames Valley Rugby Football Union Inc
  • Waihi to Host Sevens Invitation Tournament as Season Opener Planning is well underway for the Waihi tournament where the event will see a maximum of ten teams competing for the Waihi title. To date , six of the twelve local ...
    Posted Dec 23, 2014, 12:04 PM by Thames Valley Rugby Football Union Inc
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 183. View more »

Swampfoxes Facebook
____________________


Click Here for a full Representative Team Summary

_____________________

---------------------------------

 
Kiwi Rugby
TVRFU Apparel Supplier
 

Official rugby ball supplier to Thames Valley
Rugby Union
_____________________