From the match programme:-
"To: Mr. A. J. TANCRED"
"(Manager of the Australian Touring Side)."
"Dear Mr. Tancred,"
"The visit of your Australian Party to Newport to-day is a pleasure that has been deferred for eight long years. We recall that despairing trip to England in 1939 - when you landed just a few days before the outbreak of War - and we understand the only time your team wore their football boots on that "tour" was to be photographed at Torquay! Then followed some filling of sand bags until your passage home, to play your part - and a great one too - in the struggle for existence which followed. And now you are in England again, as Manager of your Touring side, and to you, Mr. Tancred, and to the grand players and sportsmen who comprise your party - a warm welcome and greetings from the Newport Athletic Club."
"Despite current fortunes, you know, we are going to extend your team thoroughly this afternoon. The Newport Ground has been the scene of many a stirring struggle with Colonial Touring sides, as we fondly imagine you are aware, and although we had to admit a very heavy defeat by that fine Waratah side from New South Wales in 1927 - of which you, yourself, were a member - we shall endeavour to counter that lapse - even with interest, if we can!"
"We are sincerely sorry that such misfortune should have befallen your skipper - that grand forward, W. McLean. Will you extend to him the sympathies of the Newport Club on his severe injury, and tell him that perhaps the warmth of the welcome he and his team will receive in Wales, and everywhere else for that matter, may compensate, in part, his inability to lead them on the field."
"We know of the great strength and prowess of your side, and it has been said, with much truth we think, that as your Tour develops so will that prowess be more thoroughly revealed. Admittedly Cardiff have defeated you. You didn't have the best of luck there - although you won't cavil at that; and anyway, Cardiff are undoubtedly a great Club team. But we know you will have a really successful Tour; a happy Tour; a Tour in which there will be witnessed much great rugby and much grand sportsmanship. Firm friendships will be made and happy memories stored for transhipment to your Country, where they will be "broadcast" and the "scripts" retained by you all for all times."
"Anyway, Mr. Tancred, we want you to know that these are the most sincere wishes that can come from your hosts to-day"
"THE NEWPORT ATHLETIC CLUB."
The match itself:-
This was an exciting game against the touring Wallabies that slipped away from Newport. After taking the lead with a four point drop goal from Hedley Rowland, the home side competed competitively up front and gave as good as they got. Problems with the lineout were exposed by the Australians but at half time the visitors trailed by a point after A. K. Walker scored a three point try.
Late in the game the world class Australian winger and prolific try scorer Charles Eastes broke his arm and was to play no further part in the tour. However, despite being a man down, Eastes partner from the right wing, A.E.J. Tonkin, crossed for a try that was converted by full back B. Piper.
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The Times of 24th October 1947 carried the following report on the game:-
"AUSTRALIANS WIN A CLOSE GAME"
"FROM OUR RUGBY FOOTBALL CORRESPONDENT"
"The second visit of the Australians to Wales brought them a narrow victory at Newport yesterday by one goal and one try (8 points) to one dropped goal (4 points)."
"Twenty thousand people witnessed a close and exciting struggle which promised Newport a surprising success until the closing minutes. Although the turf was nicely green after some badly needed rain the conditions still were all in favour of fast and open Rugby. All the more, therefore, depended upon the Newport pack and Welsh opportunism and stamina generally, for the home backs as a whole were yards slower than the Australians. Even the sprinter-international; K. Jones, was no match in the open for the redoubtable Eastes, who three times running in the first half shook him off. If the Australian backing up in attack had been as good as Newport's covering in defence, each of these incidents might well have brought a score. Towards the end Eastes badly hurt an arm in tackling Jones low in full stride and left the field, to the general regret. Instead of this leading to disaster – and Newport were attacking hard for most of the second half – a sudden breakaway by Broad, with Tonkin at his right elbow, brought the Australians a timely and decisive try at the posts."
"Fortunately for Newport, up to the last fatal few minutes, their forwards were more than ample match for their heavier opponents, both in the tight and the loose. Once more the Australians were not happy in dealing with close foot-rushes supported by the cleanest marking and tackling. Both sides set up a number of passing movements, especially in the first half, and if Newport failed from a lack of speed, the Australians in formal attack were obvious in the extreme. Eastes and Tonkin on the wings were only dangerous as individuals. In mid field Walker showed quality and initiative as the "outside centre" but, as in all of their closer matches, the Australians were strangely lacking in constructive skill. Their forwards, too, were seldom able to break loose, though as scrummagers and in the lines-out they got plenty of the ball."
"The first line-out, as it happened, might have cost the touring side penalty points, and, although three breaks-away by Eastes were still more alarming for their opponents, the Newport pack went even nearer to scoring in one of their periodic close rushes. All the passing movements came to nothing. It was a careless Newport fly-kick into the hands of Broad which brought about the first score. Broad passed to Walker, who cut splendidly and reached the goal-line almost untouched. The kick at goal failed, and although another run by Walker, supported this time by a cross punt, nearly sent Fuller in for a second try, it was Newport who changed ends in the lead."
"in the second half Newport had much the better of the play, and but for their want of speed in mid field must have scored several times. Eastes was off the field when at last the Australians shook off their determined opponents and pulled a nearly lost match out of the fire. Broad then completed a sudden breakaway by giving Tonkin a clear run in for Piper to add the goal points."
"The teams were:-"
"NEWPORT. – G. Jenkins; W. H. N. Baker, A. H. Rowlands, M. Walsh, K. Jones; J. Evans, T. Rees; J. Kelleher, E. Coleman, T. Sterry, W. G. Jones, D. Kelly, D. Dando, P. Davies, R. T. Evans."
"AUSTRALIANS. – B. Piper; C. C. Eastes, A. K. Walker, E. C. Broad, A. E. J. Tonkin; J. Cremin, R. M. Casey; E. H. Davis, W. Dawson, D. H. Keler, N. Shehadie, P. A. Hardcastle, A. J. Buchan, J. G. Fuller, J. Stenmark."
"REFEREE. – T. J. Morgan"