From the match programme, including birthday greetings from the New Zealand Rugby Union:-
"WELCOME FROM BRIAN J. JONES, CHAIRMAN OF NEWPORT R.F.C."
"This afternoon it is my privilege as Chairman of Newport Rugby Football Club to extend a very warm and sincere welcome to the Team and Officials of the Tonga Rugby Union on their first visit to Rodney Parade."
"We are delighted that the Welsh Rugby Union granted us this visit as part of our Centenary Celebrations and are certain that this afternoon we will be thrilled by the exciting uninhibited play of our visitors as we were in 1964 when Fiji played Monmouthshire on this ground."
"Since their arrival early in September, and their magnificent victory over East Wales at Cardiff Arms Park, they have proved colourful both on and off the field. Their play may be unsophisticated and lacking in a certain amount of technique but their determination and delight to run with the ball in their hands and their infectious enthusiasm will endear them to the Newport crowd."
"This afternoon they are following in the footsteps of many great touring teams who have found the 'Black and Ambers' worthy opponents, and I am certain Geoff Evans and his team will maintain this tradition. May the game be worthy of the occasion, and full of happy and wonderful memories for our visitors to remember when they return to their South Sea Island."
"MESSAGE FROM THE MANAGER OF THE TONGA TOURING TEAM"
"Hello! My Dear Welsh friends. I am sure you will permit me the privilege of regarding you as my friends, because since our arrival at Heathrow where we were met by members of the Welsh Rugby Union, we have been showered by examples of Welsh hospitality."
"It is our ambition today to give you some idea of how we in Tonga like to play this great game of rugby. Win we may, then on the other hand Newport may win, but at the end it is our fervent wish that the game will win."
"Rugby in Tonga is keenly contested and players from four islands took part in a series of trial matches before the National side was selected for this tour. But this is Newport's day and we of Tonga are most grateful to the Welsh Rugby Union for making this tour possible. We are highly honoured to have been invited to join you in celebrating this momentous occasion. Your fame has reached our far distant islands and it was beyond our wildest dreams that we would one day be as close to you as we are today."
"It is therefore with great pride and sincerity that our team, the whole of Tonga and myself offer you our most hearty congratulations on this your 100th Anniversary. Good Luck, Best Wishes and may you soon achieve those four victories against you know who - "
"BIRTHDAY GREETINGS AND CONGRATULATIONS FROM NEW ZEALAND RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION"
"I am honoured to have been asked to write a Birthday Message for the Newport Rugby Football Club on the occasion of its Centennial Celebrations."
"I know I am speaking not only on behalf of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union but also the half-million players and supporters of the game in my country when I say that we respect and admire Welsh rugby."
"Rugby suits your way of life just as it does ours and it has become the national game in both our countries. We have had associations with you in the sport for almost a hundred years, as our first contact with Newport was when the 1888-89 New Zealand Native Team toured the British Isles. On that historic occasion. New Zealand just beat Newport 3-nil on 26th December, 1888."
"Since then, our All Black teams of 1905-06, 1924-25, 1935-36, 1953-54, 1963-64 and 1972-73 have all played against Newport. In all encounters the scores have been close and, of course, you scored your famous 3-nil victory over the All Blacks at Rodney Parade Ground on 30th October, 1963. I remember well, too, when my team, the New Zealand Army Team, better known as the Kiwis, was held to a 3-all draw by Newport. I am only sorry that the All Blacks did not play you in 1967, when I was manager of the New Zealand Team on that short tour, for Newport has always been a most worthy opponent."
"Rugby is the greatest game I know for developing character and for teaching and showing young men how to live a sensible, disciplined life. Lifelong friendships are made both on and off rugby fields, regardless of club, country, politics, religion or colour. It is an amateur game played for the game's sake - the beer is only incidental."
"Enjoy your fellowship (and your beer) during your Centennial Celebrations. Think of all those who have created your history for you over your first hundred years in Rugby and be both grateful and thankful for their contributions to your club. Now it becomes your duty to think of your responsibilities to the future of our game, to the future of the Newport Rugby Football Club, and to the future of Welsh Rugby."
"Congratulations from New Zealand and best wishes for a most successful Centennial Celebrations."
"C. K. Saxton"
"President of the N.Z.R.F.U."
"ONLY ONE CHANCE by IAN McJENNETT"
"(Coach to Newport R.F.C. from 1963-1973, including victories over N.Z. 1963, S.A. 1969, Club Championship 1968-69)"
"Any match against a touring team is an important, challenging occasion and today's game is no exception. From a playing and coaching stand-point there are problems peculiar to this type of football. Like 'cup rugby' they are 'one-off' affairs. There are no second chances. This 'sudden-death' situation inevitably produces tension and this in turn results in the atmosphere that is the belly of the game."
"In general terms the more pronounced the playing pattern of a touring side the easier it is to plan a tactical campaign that will produce odds favourable to winning. In this sense it was easier to plan for the 1963 All Black game than the 1969 Springbok one."
"In 1963 the New Zealanders had a unique style with very little variation and as Dr. Dannie Craven has said so often: "When you break the pattern the All Black loses." In 1969, however, the problem was much more complex since the South African game ranges over a far greater area. I have always believed that the '69 side could have been one of the great touring sides but for the rather special circumstances surrounding the tour. To those that say they were easy to beat I would reply that a famous rugby club not a million miles from Newport couldn't do it and neither could Wales."
"The Newport record against touring sides is outstanding and, of course, includes a famous club double over the two major world rugby powers. New Zealand and South Africa but as I said earlier each game is a 'one-off' affair and today is no different."
"The results of the Tongan team to date may suggest to some that they are not a difficult side to beat but this I believe to be dangerous thinking."
"The East-Wales side was selected from the most densely populated rugby playing area in the world but lack of preparation and an off-hand attitude cost them the game. On the other hand the well-drilled North of England side were outscored three tries to two by adopting the wrong tactical plan. In that game it was wrongly assumed that the North's team could win plenty of ball from the set piece, run Phillips the Orrell centre against them to create the ruck, win the ball again and set up scoring opportunities. In the event, the Tongans won a great deal of first-phase possession and, in addition, a plentyful supply of possession in the loose."
"The unnecessarily involved tactics of the North of England side meant the Gosforth forward Robinson, brought in to captain the team, spent most of the afternoon as an additional three-quarter with the inevitable result that the ball had to pass through too many pairs of hands to reach the wings. The result - three tries to two in favour of Tonga."
"The great danger for Newport in today's game is not only the Tongan's ability to rally during the last quarter of the match but also their faculty for running in for tries in situations normally regarded as defensive. The sweep and pace of their long range attacks is enormous and to be certain of victory Newport must be at least three scores ahead twenty minutes from no-side. If they are not we will see a game to remember and, perhaps, a second Tongan victory."
"THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY"
"by BRIAN WALL (South Wales Echo)"
"Hedley Rowland, who was called "The Poacher" for quite the wrong reasons, once summed up the risks of going for the interception with a piece of typically pungent philosophy." "The interception is fraught with danger," he said. "If it comes off, it's good old Hedley. But if it fails, it's what's the silly bugger doing now!"
"I mention this because I have been asked to write about touring team games at Rodney Parade - and the first picture that came to my mind was of Hedley dropping a goal."
"That was against the Australians in 1947. A drop shot was worth four points in those days - but Australia's two tries and a conversion added up to eight."
"I stood behind the posts at the cricket field end, biased as only a 12 year-old Pill boy could be when the honour of the Black-and-Ambers was at stake."
"The sight of Hedley's drop kick soaring between the posts is still tucked away in a corner of my mind - but I can't remember a thing about the Australian tries."
"Since then, twenty-three years of sports writing (most of them for a Cardiff newspaper) have taught me the virtue of impartiality. I now pay equal attention to the performance of both sides."
"This enables me to recall clearly that Australia failed to score against Newport in 1957; that New Zealand failed to score against Newport in 1963; and that South Africa were damned lucky to beat Newport in 1960."
"The 1960 match was the one that got away. Had Brian Jones' team won that day, Newport would have achieved a unique hat-trick of victories over successive touring sides from the major rugby countries."
"Still, they made up for it by beating the Springboks nine years later - and their record against overseas opposition between 1957 and 1969 is good enough to silence even a Scarlets supporter."
"During that twelve-year period Newport played a total of five games against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. They won three, drew one and lost the other 3-0."
"Fred Cox could recite the details of that remarkable run right down to the amount of resin used by the players, but for those with less retentive memories I give the full record:â€” 1957 Newport 11 Australia 0; 1960 Newport 0 South Africa 3; 1963 Newport 3 New Zealand 0; 1966 Newport 3 Australia 3; 1969 Newport 11 South Africa 6."
"Since 1888, when the Maoris appeared at Rodney Parade, the Black-and-Ambers have played 17 games against major touring sides from overseas - and there has never been more than twelve points between the teams."
"As someone who has just edged past the halfway mark in the long slog towards a state pension, my memories of touring team matches do not go back further than 1947."
"But seeing Newport come within three points of an unbeaten run of five games against All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies is ample compensation for missing Morley and Ralph."
"And even that 1960 defeat did produce one marvellous story. It concerned the Newport supporter who drowned his sorrows after the match and tried to side-step a lamp post. When he arrived home his wife said: "George, you've qot a black eye." Leering into the mirror, he replied: "You're right - and the other one's amber. . ."
The match itself:-
Unfortunately this game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Newport full-back Jeff Hazard was laid out by a punch from the Tongan second row Fa'alco Tupi. A huge brawl erupted and after referee Denzil Lloyd had restored order, Tupi was sent from the field of play.
The game had been a close affair until this nasty incident ten minutes before time but once the Tongans were down to fourteen men Newport capitalised and it was Hazard himself who slipped through the defence to score a crucial try. Hazard also managed to kick two penalties during the game but could not convert either his own or Ken Davies try.
There was the sixth consecutive game of the tour that the South Sea Islanders had lost following an earlier success against East Wales.
o - o - o - o - O - O - O - o - o - o - o
The Times reported the game as follows on Thursday, 10th October 1974:-
"Fine Tongan effort marred as lock forward is sent off at the end"
"by Peter West Rugby Correspondent"
"Newport 14 Tongans 6"
"Fa'aleo, the Tongan lock forward was sent off the field in the closing stages at Rodney Parade yesterday for punching Hazzard, the home side's fullback, and then for prolonging a violent onslaught after the whistle had gone. Newport retaliated in spirited strength, and for a while punches were traded wholesale and in all directions. Having produced order again, the referee, Mr Lloyd, who is newly appointed to the Welsh International panel, was left with no option but to send Fa'aleo packing. Such was the drastic climax to a niggling period of tension and fraying tempers."
"So a thoroughly unhappy incident marred what would otherwise have been a satisfying occasion for the touring side. Here they were in Newport's centenary season, badly needing at least a good score after a run of six successive defeats. In the end, they got one, Newport winning by two penalty goals and two tries to a goal, but it might have been a lot closer than that."
"The total domination of Newport in the tight scrummages was not translated into a clear superiority at line out, ruck or maul, and they were leading by only 10 - 6, midway through the second half when, first, Valita, the Tongan fullback, made a hash of a penalty attempt from short range and, second, when the captain, Sione Mafi was all but over from a tapped penalty."
"That is not to forget that Hazzard, for whom for a long time little had gone right, had himself missed two kickable penalties for Newport either side of the interval. However, he came up trumps in the end. First he stretched a 7—6 lead with another penalty goal. Then he stifled another likely Tongan thrust with an excellent fall. And finally, after Fa'aleo's dismissal, he sealed the result by coming up on the short side of a scrummage to score a fine try. By now the rain was driving down out of a steely sky."
"Before he departed, Fa'aleo at number four and his captain, standing at number two, certainly had won their side more line-out balls than they are accustomed to acquire. To what extent their increased success in ruck and maul was due to their own improvement is debatable. In this department the Newport performance was slap-happy, and the carelessness spread to the open spaces where sundry critical mistakes were made."
"The Tongans at least had ihe satisfaction of supplying the day's outstanding performer, Ha'unga, at scrum half. He had a magnificent first half. Darting here, darting there, chipping ahead and irrepressibly prompting every move. Nothing was better all afternoon than the try he sparked off after Hazzard had given Newport the lead with an early penalty goal. That score was for off-side after an explosive Newport shove had jerked the opposing front row skywards."
"Ha'unga made the try with a dashing open side break from a ruck, with telling support from Sione Mafi and Supi. Jenkins's cover tackle seemed to have scotched this attack but the Tongans won another ruck - how much easier it is when going forward - and a switch left resulted in Malakai going through like the wind. Valita converted, and not long afterwards Malakai had switched places with Hala to revert to his proper place at stand off."
"This trv was obtained when Newport briefly were reduced to 14 players. Their captain, Geoffrey Evans, injured a knee and was replaced by Watts. Midway through the second half Martin, for some time shaken up by a fierce tackle, gave way to Edwards."
"Newport recaptured the lead well before half time when, from a scrummage, Jenkins missed out one of his centres, Hazzard came in, and the burly Davies cut powerfully inside to the line. Hazzard then missed another not difficult kick."
"Newport had several other promising movements, once, following an interception by Martin in the centre, when the lock, Barnard, went with him but was unable to take a difficult pass, and again when their loose forwards launched a thrust from a scrummage and Poole drove almost clear, only to drop the ball. This incidentally, was Poole's 401st appearance for his cIub. He has played against every Touring side since the 1963-64 All Blacks (when Uzzell's dropped goal produced a famous victory)."
"It is sad indeed that in successive seasons we have now seen two touring players dismissed from the field. Gradin, the Argentina scrum half, was sent off in the Ulster match last year. Before him, in the Scottish international in 1967, there was the great All Black, Colin Meads. I recall Colin Windon, of Australia, being given marching orders, in Wales, in 1947-48. Another, of course, was back in 1924-25, Cyril Brownlie, the New Zealand forward, was sent off by the Welsh referee, Albert Freethv, in the England international at Twickenham."
"NEWPORT: J. Hazzard: K. Davles, D Burcher, J. Martin (replacement N. Edwards), M. L Shore: C. Jenkins. A. Evans: C. Smart, D. Ford, J. Dale. J. Watklns. I. Barnard. G. Evans, captain (replacement P. Watts), J. Jeffery, K. Poole."
"TONGANS: Valita: Supi, Malakai, Sami, Isikeli: Hala, Ha'unga: Pahulu, Molou, Salo Fillta, Fa'aleo, Pitimi, Kimipu, Sione Mafi, Saimone."
"Referee: D. Lloyd (Nantyfyllon)."