From the match programme:-
"Message of Welcome from Bryn V. Williams Chairman of Newport R.F.C."
"Most Welshman believe that the ultimate yardstick by which their Club teams, and indeed their National team will be measured, is by their performance against a major Touring Team."
"If that is so, the Newport's moment of truth has arrived, for who would doubt that today they will be required to realise their fullest potential? A real welcome then to the 1980 All-Blacks, heavyweights of the Tourist scene in all respects, to play against whom is an experience not easily forgotten. It affords us some pleasure to mention that there are a few Kiwis here today who will not easily forget a previous visit to Newport either!"
"However, our young side will know well that the harmless, timid creatures which are the national emblems of the Springboks, Wallabies and Kiwis have little in common with the players who wear them on their jerseys. The latter we know will have strength and courage "up front", and speed and judgment behind them, qualities we in Wales value and search for more diligently than for coal."
"Today, we will have much need of all of them in order to challenge the New Zealanders, most welcome and most formidable of Tourists."
"I Sincerely hope that eventually their players and supporters will leave Rodney Parade with a remembrance of real pleasure in terms of welcome and of rugby. If that becomes so, we will all be a little richer."
"Message of Welcome from Cliff Jones M.A. President of The Welsh Rugby Union."
"What a wonderful privilege and pleasure it is for me, as President of the Welsh Rugby Union in our Centenary Year, to welcome the All-Blacks once again to Wales and, on this particular occasion, to Rodney Parade."
"Without hesitation, our sporting friends and traditional rivals down under accepted our special centenary invitation to come on a short tour of Wales and so ensure that their encounters (4 at Club and one at national level) would be irresistible attractions for our rugby loving countrymen in this unique year in Welsh rugby history."
"Who will ever forget that fateful day on the 30th October 1963 when the "Black and Ambers" gained their only success against the famous "Men in Black" by that "UZZELL" dropped goal to NIL. As one who was fortunate enough to have been there on that occasion, I will always remember the herculean efforts in defence of the whole Newport team that damp winters afternoon. How they managed, time and time again, to prevent the tourists from scoring was nothing short of miraculous! It was, truly, a gigantic struggle from beginning to end and must surely be one of the finest (if not the finest) achievement in the long and colourful history of the Newport R.F.C. I wonder if the club can rise to the challenge again today. As a former player for Cardiff, I have the utmost respect for Newport's ability to accept such a challenge and know only too well that they are most dangerous opponents when the odds are stacked heavily against them."
"Whatever be the end result this afternoon may the occasion be a happy and memorable one for both players and spectators alike."
The match itself:-
The Newport side was given little hope of success in this fixture following a poor run of results in the two months of the season prior to the game. The All Blacks were unbeaten and had already seen-off Cardiff, Llanelli and Swansea on the Welsh leg of the tour. To make matters worse, Newport were without their star trio of Colin Smart, Gareth Evans and Robert Ackerman.
Geoff Evans had other plans though and led his troops gallantly from the front. In front of 20,000 spectators at a rain lashed Rodney Parade the 'Black & Ambers' put up a very spirited performance and if a few of the kicks at goal had been more accurate then an upset might have been achieved.
The Newport forwards put in a huge amount of effort and managed to get the better of their international opponents in the scrums, whilst Roger Powell and Alun Billinghurst had plenty of attacking options and were often used to carry the ball forward.
In the second half the All Blacks applied concerted pressure and were rewarded with tries scored by Mark Shaw and Stu Wilson. Peter Bolland was successful with one penalty kick at goal for Newport but it was the four chances that he missed that were to prove costly.
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From The Times 29th October 1980:-
"All Blacks are buffeted but unbowed"
"by Gerald Davies"
"Newport 3 All Blacks 14"
"A rousing full blooded second half performance by Newport was not sufficient to contain the New Zealanders, who now go to the international match with Wales on Saturday with an unbeaten record. The drizzling rain and slippery surface conditions did not make for a skilful game. For the most part it was an untidy match but not one for the fainthearted."
"It turned out to be an uncompromising battle up front which, on this occasion, the All Blacks did not find to their liking. The many changes in their team affected their overall performance. They had an uncomfortable time in the scrummage where they were frequently forced to go backwards. In the lineout, too, it proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Oliver and Haden who did not exercise their customary dominance."
"However, in the crucial area of the maul and ruck, where the All Blacks invariably arrived first, the ball popped out with almost monotonous regularity on their side."
"In the first half Newport, incapable of controlling their enthusiasm, committed a couple of crucial indiscretions within the 22 metre line. In the eight minute, Waters, a Newport centre, was caught offside; in the 21st minute Dale was penalized for going over the top at a maul and Codlin turned these opportunities into points. In between Bolland failed with two penalties for Newport from eminently kickable positions. These were vital chances."
"During this period the Newport backs chose to run the ball, unwisely in the heavy conditions. But with Osborne and Rollerson so tight in defence they played into the visitors' hands."
"Within five minutes of the restart, New Zealand were awarded what seemed a fortuitous try. Robinson had his kick charged down; Shaw gave chase and dived for the ball, which seemed to roll out of play, but after a moment's indecision Mr. Welsby awarded the try. Soon after, Shaw had to go off with strained ligaments."
"There followed the most purposeful and constructive period for Newport. At a time when all seemed lost they played with great heart and spirit. They exerted such pressure that the New Zealanders were forced into desperate defence, but held out. Bolland finally kicked a penalty which seemed little consolation for all Newport's fearless efforts."
"In typical fashion the New Zealanders responded with a well constructed try. Despite their discomfiture in the scrum they managed to control it sufficiently for Donaldson to come away on the blind side and link up with Codlin. He gave the final pass to Wilson who steered clear of the defence to score in the corner."
"NEWPORT: A. Watkins; J. Churchill, P. Waters, P. Bolland, N. Webb; J. Robinson, A. Billinghurst; J. Dale, S. O'Donoghue, R. Morgan, G. Fynn, D. Waters, G. Evans (captain), K. Williams, R. Powell."
"NEW ZEALANDERS: B. Codlin; S. Wilson, D. Rollerson, B. Osborne, F. Woodman; M. Taylor, M. Donaldson; J. Ashworth, A. Dalton, J. Spiers, F. Oliver, A. Haden, G. Hines, G. Old, M. Shaw (replacement, M. Moxted)."
"Referee: A. Welsby (England)."