All Golds Tour Souvenir

The All Golds initially arrived in Marseilles, France then travelled by train to Boulogne. They reached Folkstone, England on 30th September 1907 and were met by the officials of the Northern Union. The All Golds stayed over night in London where the Northern Union officials introduced the side to the press close to the headquarters of the English Rugby Union. The next day they travelled north to Leeds and were met at the station by a hysterical crowd of about 6000 who were all eager to catch a glimpse of the players. The crowd went wild when The All Golds performed a haka at Leeds Railway Station.

After their arrival, the All Golds had two weeks to prepare for their first game. They were based in Leeds and spent the time training and adapting to both the Northern Union rules and the colder climate. They enjoyed watching Leeds play Hunslet in a local derby game as it was their first opportunity to see the Northern Union rules in operation.

​The first match took place on 9th October 1907 against Bramley and approximately 8000 spectators packed McLaren Field to see The All Golds win 25–6. It was their first game using the Northern Union rules. 

The tourists were obviously keen to introduce as many players as possible to the new rules. For their second match, against Huddersfield, they chose a team made up mostly of players who were not involved in the first match. They still won 19–8 with Lance Todd playing a key role in the game played before a crowd of over 10000.

After the first two matches, the tourists met with the Northern Union officials to discuss progress to date and they received their first payment, a cheque for about £450.

The tour moved to Lancashire where The All Golds played Widnes at Naughton Park before record crowd and won 26–11.

Two days later the tourists played Broughton Rangers who, at the time, were considered to be one of the strongest teams in the Northern Union. In torrential rain, a large crowd of about 24000 came to watch The All Golds who successfully came through their first big test and withstanded a strong Broughton Rangers comeback to win 20-14.

Bramley v The All Golds
Plaque to commemorate Bramley v All Golds

The tourists played a combined Dewsbury and Batley side and won 18–8 in good conditions and followed this up with wins against Swinton 11–2 and Rochdale Hornets 19–0.

Bradford upset The All Golds by defeating them 7–2 in driving rain and gale force winds. This was followed by another loss, 9-4 to the League Champions Halifax.

The first All Golds match against against a representative side was against Yorkshire and they won 23–4.

Next up were the current Challenge Cup holders, Warrington and

10000 spectators watched the home side beat The All Golds 8–7.

The tourists spent Christmas Day in Manchester before travelling to Leeds to play Hunslet on Boxing Day. The All Golds were leading 9–0 at half time and were leading 11–8 in the second half when Hunslet had a player sent off, the first of the tour. Surprisingly, Hunslet still managed another score and the final result was an 11-11 draw.

Two days later the tourists played Salford and won 9–2 in front of 12000 spectators.

​The All Golds then travelled to Wakefield to play Wakefield Trinity and rested several key players. They badly underestimated their opponents, fell behind early on and only just managed to scrape a 5-5 draw.

With wounded pride, The All Golds selected their best team to take on Leeds and won 8–2 despite winning only one out of every five scrums. 

After this match the tourists received their second cheque for about £1040 and it was already  becoming very clear that the tour was going to record a healthy profit. During this second meeting with the Northern Union, the tourists requested that two more test matches should be added to the itinerary to make it into a three match test series. The Northern Union were initially talking to Crystal Palace FC but negotiations fell through and the second test was instead scheduled to take place at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC. The third match was scheduled for Whaddon Road in Cheltenham which was the same ground The Originals had played on in 1905. For the Northern Union, this test series was a chance to expand their game into areas of England dominated by Rugby Union and Association Football.

With an increasing list of injuries, The All Golds decided to move their base from Leeds to Ilkley, a spa town in Yorkshire.

​​The next match was in St Helens which resulted in a 24–5 win. The All Golds then moved on to Wales to play Merthyr Tydfil who had only recently joined the Northern Union. They won 27–9 but returned to Ilkley with a number of injuries.

Their next match was on Bonfire Night against Keighley who were one of the top teams in the league and Smith, Messenger, Bill Wynyard, Cross and Gilchrist were all injured. Another record crowd of 8000 turned up to see Keighley lead at half time but The All Golds fought back and won 9–7 to remain unbeaten after two months of football.

Next up were Wigan and they were already one of the giants of the game. A huge crowd of 30000 supporters attended to watch their local team take on The All Golds who fielded their strongest available side. Despite missing several key players and with others playing out of position The All Golds performed well but lost 12–8 to Wigan to record their first loss of the tour after fourteen matches.

The next game was in Cumberland against Barrow and the tourists arrived late due to a delayed train. The weather was appalling and Barrow were able to frustrate The All Golds who couldn't play their usual expansive rugby due to the conditions. The All Golds lost 6-3 which was their second loss in a row. 

They then had to travel to Kingston upon Hull to take on Hull FC. It was a relatively high scoring match and the tourists won 18–13.

For their next game, against Leigh, the weather was again very poor and The All Golds were again beaten in the rain losing 15–9. They lost again as 15000 spectators watched Oldham win 8–7 in terrible first half rain and a second half snowstorm. 

A pattern was emerging. In good weather, The All Golds could beat anybody but in wet weather their backs were not able to handle the ball and matches were a much closer affairs. The following Wednesday, The All Golds were again beaten in the rain, 9-0 by Runcorn and their dominant forwards.

After a series of defeats in poor weather, The All Golds management decided to relocate and the team moved to Manchester. 

Yorkshire and Lancashire were hotbeds of rugby and had been starved of international competition for many, many years. As a result, the arrival of The All Golds touring party was greatly anticipated. Most supporters remembered The Originals and their thrilling style of play while reports of three victories in Australia only increased the excitement.

T​he All Golds travelled to Great Britain on the R.M.S. Ortona and tried to maintain their fitness by training on deck during the long sea voyage from Australia. During a brief stop over in Ceylon, they were challenged by the Ceylon Rugby Union side and The All Golds won the match 33–8. As a result of this, the New Zealand Rugby Union side later refused to play Ceylon on the return leg of a subsequent tour on the grounds that Ceylon had forfeited their amateur status.