Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

100 Greatest All Blacks: Bob Scott

Meeting Bob Scott was a treasured occasion. It made you reflect that in this mad-paced world of ours, Scott had the time and manners for everyone. He was a gentleman and one heck of a fullback.

He chose to retire to the warmth and community spirit at Whangamata yet he always seemed busy, travelling to functions, helping others or playing his beloved bowls. Scott loved a chat and his warm face and lively eyes glowed through conversations.

The All Blacks shone too when Scott was playing. He was their security blanket on defence as he claimed kicks or herded opponents into his defensive nets while his attack was equally classy.

Barefoot Bob reckoned he could place or dropkick better without boots after learning to create an impact zone with his big toe and the next.

It was his lack of kicking success on the '49 tour to South Africa which hurt Scott the most even though he felt he played the best rugby in his career. Scott and the All Blacks reversed those results against the Lions the next year and then he retired.

He was back though in '53-'54 when he answered a national cry for help on the tour to Europe. He went out of a sense of duty in the way he conducted himself throughout his life.

The triumphant All Blacks were described as "a great pack - and Scott."

He played his last test against France in Paris as a 33-year-old, revelling in the physical challenges before embracing the camaraderie afterwards. That was Bob Scott to his very square toes.

Date of birth: 6 February 1921
Position: Fullback
Test debut: 14 September 1946 v Australia at Dunedin
Last test: 27 February 1954 v France at Paris
Matches: 52
Tests: 17
Province: Auckland
Test tries: 0
Test points: 74

- NZ Herald

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