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New Zealand v Australia 1980
By Tracy Holmes


Official Test Match
NZ V Australia
February 23, 1980
Western Springs.


It's a grey old Saturday afternoon but the atmosphere is hot as hell. The 'gloves off' Trans-Tasman clash will see the arch rivals going head to head, quoting Wally Loak,

"No quarter asked, no quarter given. That's our sport speedway loidies and gentlemen, the sport of the shaleways thaarr, thick, faaast and furious!"

The Diggers are however, on the backfoot. Mick McKeon has not arrived due to a missed plane connection. With Phil Crump and Phil Herne unavailable, the Kangaroos were three star hops behind already. Then John Titman had motor gremlins attack before the tapes went up.

"Stone the flamin crows!"

'World Team Champions', the Kiwis however were at full strength. World Champion and Kiwi Captain, Ivan Mauger was suffering with illness and had even been in hospital. On some occasions, this would hamper his performance, naturally, but on others, he was able to sparkle brightly. Would this be one of those nights?

To the delight of the Auckland faithful, it was. His 16 points to top score for the home team was a magnificent performance and a fine way to bow out of Test Match action.

All his team-mates did what was expected of them to complete a triumphal occasion.

Australian Captain Billy Sanders did the business with superb backing from Mike Farrell. John Titman did his best under the trying circumstances but he could not overcome the mechanical issues. It would have been "Qantastic" if there had have been a rematch, in Oz but sadly, the carnival was over.



New Zealand 68
Ivan Mauger 3 3 3 2 2 3 16
Larry Ross 3 3 3 3 2 1 15
Mitch Shirra 3 2 1 3 2 3 14
John Goodall 2 1 2 2 1 2 10
Wayne Brown 0 1 1 1 3 2 8
David Bargh 1 1 1 1 ef 1 5
Res Mike Fullerton dnr
Team Manager Colin Tucker

Australia 40
Billy Sanders 2 3 2 3 3 3 16
Mike Farrell 2 2 3 2 3 ef 12
John Titman 1 2 2 ef 1 2 8
Steve Koppe 1 0 0 0 1 1 3
Res Keith Wright 0 0 0 1 0 xt 1
Glen McDonald 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mick McKeon selected dnr
Team Manager Mike Mealand


Heat 1 Mauger, Sanders, Bargh, McDonald
Heat 2 Ross, Farrell, Koppe, Brown
Heat 3 Shirra, Goodall, Titman, Wright
Heat 4 Mauger, Farrell, Bargh, Koppe
Heat 5 Ross, Titman, Brown, Wright
Heat 6 Sanders, Shirra, Goodall, McDonald
Heat 7 Mauger, Titman, Bargh, Wright
Heat 8 Ross, Sanders, Brown, McDonald
Heat 9 Farrell, Goodall, Shirra, Koppe
Heat 10 Sanders, Mauger, Bargh, McDonald
Heat 11 Ross, Farrell, Brown, Koppe
Heat 12 Shirra, Goodall, Wright. Titman ef
Heat 13 Farrell, Mauger, Koppe. Bargh ef
Heat 14 Brown, Ross, Titman, Wright
Heat 15 Sanders, Shirra, Goodall, McDonald
Heat 16 Mauger, Titman, Bargh. Wright ex tapes
Heat 17 Sanders, Brown, Ross, McDonald
Heat 18 Shirra, Goodall, Koppe. Farrell ef


This article was first published on 31st March 2024

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