As rugby increased in popularity, it became more important to standardise the running of the game in the colony. Despite some opposition, a New Zealand Rugby Football Union was founded.
Although no New Zealanders were aboard the world’s largest passenger ship when it sank in the chilly North Atlantic with appalling loss of life due to a lack of lifeboats, the country followed the news closely.
In the retrial the defence case centred on a cartridge case that had been a key factor in Thomas’s original conviction. Despite questions about its relevance he was convicted for a second time.
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