1953 New Zealand rugby

The 1953 New Zealand rugby team had an ace sidestepper but against Wales were beaten by a Welsh sidestepper.

I first came across the name of Ron Jarden in the excellent book
New Zealand Rugby Skills & Tactics (Lansdowne Press, 1982).

The book contains a section headed "Beating the Man". This section was based on Ron Jarden`s book Rugby on Attack (Whitcombe & Tombs, 1961).

In the books, Jarden describes in detail how to beat opponents "by agility", mentioning both the sidestep (he describes two versions) and the swerve.

You can find out more about Ron Jarden on the All Blacks site. A direct link appears not to work correctly.

Follow the link below, then follow the menu item "All Blacks A to Z" to get to Ron Jarden`s All Blacks rugby career details.

It mentions two occasions when Jarden scored 6 tries in a single match.

It also tells how Jarden was an automatic choice for the All Blacks between 1951 and 1956.

In his first-class career of 134 games he scored 145 tries - quite a feat!

"Sidestep" is not mentioned in his allblacks.com entry and I have seen no video clip of Jarden sidestepping - yet from the way he descibes how to sidestep and from his prolific scoring I suggest he was an expert.

In the 1953 Wales v New Zealand game Ken Jones for Wales collects the ball after a cross kick and a fortuitous bounce, sidesteps a cover defender and scores the winning try.

For a fuller descrition, see Welsh sidesteps.

Ron Jarden was the cover defender!

Jarden was a winger so I`m not quite sure why he was wearing the number 2 shirt, but it would seem it was him.

Jarden described the try in his book, "Rugby on Attack", page xii of the introduction.


  • Jarden, a sidestep expert (my suggestion)
  • is sidestepped by Jones, another sidestep expert

  • it`s recorded on film
  • it`s described by the defender, Jarden

I find this fascinating...

... because Jarden describes how Jones used a swerve!

It just goes to show - what constitutes a sidestep is open to debate.

Sidesteps are amazing...

... they affect games, perhaps they also affect your memory!

Or perhaps "rugby sidesteps" was not a popular term, as it is today.