Prolific tryscoring winger Maurice ‘Mocky’ Brereton made his New Zealand debut from West Coast in 1969 before embarking a record-breaking decade on the Canterbury Rugby League scene and setting a record for consecutive Tests for the Kiwis.
A teenaged West Coast rep in 1966, the Greymouth Marist product featured in both Tests against the Australian tourists three years later – playing on the wing in the 20-10 first-Test loss and at centre in the 18-14 win in the second clash.
Brereton transferred to Canterbury with Marist-Western Suburbs the following season. He went on to score 46 tries in 53 matches for Canterbury – both records – while his 156 touchdowns for Marist-Western Suburbs from 1970-80 shattered the mark for most tries in the CRL premiership.
The determined flyer was a constant presence on the flank for the Kiwis in the home series against Great Britain and the World Cup campaign in 1970 – scoring a try in the win over France at Hull – and all seven Tests of the watershed 1971 campaign. He dotted down in the stunning 24-3 upset of Australia at Carlaw Park, while he scored 11 tries in 20 games on the tour of Britain and France, with the Kiwis carving out memorable Test series victories in both countries.
Brereton featured in the Tests on the tour of Australia and the France-hosted World Cup in 1972 (where he played two matches in the centres), and the 1974 series against the touring Lions. The 28-year-old played in the first match of the 1975 World Championship – his 24th Test in succession from his debut, a record eventually broken by Dennis Williams – but was dropped after New Zealand lost the match 36-8 to Australia.
Marist-Western Suburbs lost four Grand Finals during Brereton’s tenure at the club (1970, 1972-73, 1979), scoring a double in the 22-17 loss to Papanui in 1973 and crossing again in a 26-13 defeat to Eastern Suburbs in 1979. Brereton’s Canterbury tenure included captaining the province to Rugby League Cup success in 1974 and featuring in the famous away defeat of Auckland the following season.
Coach of Marist-Western Suburbs in 1977, Brereton served as club president from 1985-91.
He was inducted into the NZRL Legends of League in 2013.
NEW ZEALAND (1969-75)
24 Tests – 3 tries (9 points)
26 tour matches – 22 tries (66 points)
-1970 Kiwis World Cup tour
-1971 Kiwis tour of Britain and France
-1972 Kiwis tour of Australia
-1975 Kiwis World Championship squad