Hornby back Marty Crequer was a teenaged Kiwi Test debutant before taking his rugby league talents to Auckland and Sydney.
A New Zealand Schoolboys (1979) and New Zealand Under-17s (1981) rep, Crequer enjoyed an extraordinary rise in 1983 – his first year in senior football. The fair-haired flyer debuted for Canterbury and South Island, turned out for Junior Kiwis against BARLA and scored a try in Hornby’s Grand Final win over Sydenham.
The 19-year-old capped a phenomenal breakout season with a call-up to the New Zealand Test team on the wing, scoring a try in a 60-20 victory over Papua New Guinea at Carlaw Park. Crequer was the only one of the five debutants to extend their international career beyond that match.
The likes of Dean Bell, James Leuluai, Fred Ah Kuoi, Gary Prohm and Dane O’Hara kept Crequer out of the memorable series against Great Britain in 1984 and Australia in ’85, but he won another premiership with Hornby and represented a strong New Zealand XIII against a stacked Queensland line-up in 1984.
A broken jaw initially ruled Crequer out of contention for the Kiwis’ 1985 trip to Britain and France, but he later joined the tourists as a replacement for the injured Joe Ropati and played three matches.
Crequer moved to Auckland in 1986, joining Northcote Tigers and representing his new province before earning selection in the Kiwis’ squad to tour Australia and Papua New Guinea. The 22-year-old scored three tries in five minor games and featured in both Tests against the Kumuls – off the bench as the tourist won the opening Test in Goroka and on the wing following Mark Elia’s injury withdrawal in the infamous second-Test loss in Port Moresby.
He helped Northcote win Fox Memorial Grand Finals and National Championships in 1987 and ’89, as well as playing in Auckland’s defeat of Great Britain in 1988.
In 1990 Crequer linked with Newcastle Knights, who utilised his goalkicking talents – he slotted 25 goals in 11 appearances for the club before joining Canterbury-Bankstown. He booted seven goals in three first-grade outings for the Bulldogs in 1991.
Crequer returned to Hornby in 1993, playing fullback in the club’s Grand Final loss to Halswell, and donned the red-and-black of Canterbury for the first time in eight years. He played all eight games in the its watershed campaign and four scored tries – including one in the iconic 36-12 First Division Grand Final thrashing of Auckland in Christchurch.
The veteran top-scored for Christchurch City Shiners in the inaugural Lion Red Cup in 1994 and played both matches of Canterbury’s brief schedule, boosting his career tallies for his home province to 22 matches, 13 tries and 70 points.
Player-coach for the Panthers in 1995, Crequer made a solitary Lion Red Cup appearance for Canterbury Country Cardinals before hanging up the boots.
NEW ZEALAND (1983, 1985-86)
3 Tests – 1 try (4 points)
11 tour matches – 6 tries, 1 goal (26 points)
-1985 Kiwis tour of Britain and France
-1986 Kiwis tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea