The first New Zealand Marist team was fielded at the Masterton Golden Games (Golden Shears) in 1963 as the feature rugby game of the various sports catered for during the Games. The game was played against ALBERT PRYOR'S Invitation XV at the Solway Showground. The opposition was virtually a third All Black team.
Players such as Blair Furlong and Neil Thimblebyrepresenting NZ Marist against the likes of Fergie McCormick, Bill Birtwistle, Roger Urban, Snow White, Terry O'Sullivan and of course Alby Prior.
The result was a 38 - 37 win to the Alby Prior XV.
The 1964 season saw the N Z Marist team play Wellington on Athletic Park on Sunday July 19th, with proceeds going to the injured player's fund. A splendid game resulted in a win for Wellington by 14 - 6.
The NZ Marist team fielded the likes of Ian MacRae, Des Connor and Neil Thimbleby.
This was followed in 1965 with NZ Marist's return to the Masterton Golden Games to play the feature game against a Brian Lochore's Invitation XV.
NZ Marist led at half time by 14 - 6 but subsequently lost the game by 18 - 14 with the Brian Lochore's Invitation XV team scoring the only second half points.
1976 saw NZ Marist play two further 15's games against Wellington and Manawatu.
The Wellington XV won the game 33 - 20. Players involved included All Blacks (or soon to be All Blacks) Clive Currie, Greg Kane, Mark Sayers, Ian Stevens, Graham Williams, John Fleming, Andy Leslie and Murray Mexted (who were bracketed for the No.8 position) and Stu Wilson in the reserves for Wellington. NZ Marist had Bernie Fraser on the wing, Vance Stewart at blind side and captaining the team was Frank Oliver at lock.
The Manawatu game included Fraser, Oliver, John Flemingfor NZ Marist with Manawatu including All Blacks (past, future and current) Murray Watts, Duncan Hales, Geoff Old, Kevin Eveleigh, John Loveday, Sam Strahan and Gary Knight.
The Alan Boyd Benefit Match on 20th July 1986 resulted in NZ Marist losing by 35 to 13 against a Wellington Centurion XV with players of note in the NZ Marist team being All BlacksBernie MCCahill, Mark Shaw, Marty Brooke, brotherZinzan Brooke, Brian McGrattan and current All Black Assistant Coach, Steve Hansen.
1998 saw the NZ Marist XV play against the newly formed Central Vikings Provincial team who were a merger of the Hawkes Bay and Manawatu Rugby Unions. The result was a 31 -29 loss but the interest was not the players in the teams but those Marist players who were unable to play because of other commitments.
Those unable to be considered due to prior commitments with the All Blacks, NZ 'A', NZ Academy, NZ Colts, Central Vikings and other representative teams and injuries were:
Robin Brooke (Auckland Marist)
Taine Randell (Dunedin RFC)
Mark Hammett (Marist Albion, Chch.)
Kevin Nepia (Marist Albion, Chch)
Xavier Rush (Auckland Marist)
Reece Robinson (Napier O B Marist)
Paul Henderson (Invercargill Marist)
Jeremy Winders (Invercargill Marist)
Angus Gardiner (Marist Albion, Chch)
Steve Lancaster (Marist Albion, Chch)
Tabai Matson (Marist Albion, Chch)
Ryan Wheeler (Hamilton Marist)
Dean Angalsea (Hamilton Marist)
Matthew Cooper (Hamilton Marist)
Paul Martin (Hamilton Marist)
Karl Williams (Palmerston North Marist)
Paul Smidt-Uili (Palmerston North Marist)
Dion Waller (Palmerston North Marist)
Tony Coughlin (North Harbour Marist)
Jeff Karika (Hastings Sports & Rugby)
Lee Waller (Palmerston North Marist)
Elton Moncrieff (MSP Wellington)
Brett Sinkinson (Whakatane Marist)
Barton Haggard (Auckland Marist)
Scott Adams (Dunedin RFC)
Colin Wycherly (Hamilton Marist)
Those able to play included notable future All Blacks inAndrew Hore (age 19), Marty Holah (age18) and 18 year oldBen Blair. The Manawatu's 'Evening Standard' reporter Michael Lampp wrote:
"Where the1998 Vikings had rolled past Wellington so impressively a week ago, Wednesday night they were forced to watch 18 year old Christchurch fullback Ben Blair, a New Zealand under-19 reserve, scrape a penalty just past the left upright in the last minute."
These three players went on to become All Blacks within four years. For These players this game was a second chance as they had all missed out on their NPC squads that year.
In 2003 NZ Marist played the New Zealand Defence Forces in Upper Hutt for a 38 to 27 win with notable NZ 7's CoachGordon Tietjens coaching a very young NZ Marist team that included a number of NZ Marist Colts players. Eleven of the NZM players selected went on to secure NPC contracts within the next three years. NZ Marist also has an annual NZ Marist Colts Tour which first began in 1974 when they played the Wellington representative Second Grade team. The inaugural 1974 Colts team included one Gordon Tietjens at No. 8 and shows how the links through the years continue with Marist rugby players and supporters.