The game of rugby reportedly began in Hawke's Bay on 26 June 1875, with a match played at Clive Square between "the Banks" and the Napier Football Club (formed on 11 June 1875).

We are unsure who "the Banks" were but one possibility is that they were a team made up of employees from various banks.

Enthusiastic spectators, including women suitably attired against the cold, surrounded the edges of the roughly formed rugby ground cheering players on.

To provide a sense of occasion the Napier ladies offered a handsome smoking cap to the player who got the first touchdown.