Saturday 20th Jul
Mt Smart Stadium
Throw Back Thursday – The Better Team Drew
Each week, thanks to Cryo, we look back at a significant moment in our rich history. Today we remember a truly unique score in premiership history.
THE BETTER TEAM DREW
Those were the immortal words of former Newtown coach Warren Ryan who had just seen his team draw nil-all with Canterbury in the premiership’s first (and so far, only) scoreless fixture.
Fittingly, the game was played in gloomy conditions with rain lashing Henson Park throughout. However, despite the barren score line, there were plenty of exciting moments to savour with both teams coming within a whisker of breaking the deadlock.
Newtown had the first genuine chance of the game when in the 22nd minute when centre, Allan McMahon set sail for the goal line. However, the former international was stopped just short thanks to a flying tackle from Steve Folkes. The Jets looked to be in again three minutes later when Mick Ryan was put into the clear by Phil Sigsworth, but unfortunately the latter’s pass was ruled forward. Then right on the stroke of halftime, Newtown skipper Ken Wilson lined up a penalty shot, but surprisingly the usually acurate kicker missed.
Much to the chagrin of the 6,716 strong crowd, the missed chances continued during the second stanza. Five minutes after the resumption, Canterbury winger Tony Armstrong’s penalty attempt was waved away, while Steve Mortimer’s shot at drop goal in the 61st minute also missed.
Then came the most controversial moment of the match. With six minutes left on the clock, referee Barry Goldsworthy ordered a scrum just 10 metres out from the Canterbury line. A fight erupted during which towering Newtown prop Steve Bowden was felled by an opposition forward. After consulting both touch judges who were in disagreement as to whom instigated the fight. Goldsworthy ordered that the scrum be re-packed, much to disgust of the Henson Park faithful who were adamant that the flattening of Bowden necessitated a penalty.
The game will go down in the annals of history as a missed opportunity for Newtown who had enjoyed the majority of the field position, however, both teams were praised by the press for their sterling defence. Jets forward Col Murphy was particularly impressive, racking up 32 tackles.
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