From the match programme:-
"THE FOURTH "WALLABIES" "
"Wales and England can put forward multifarious reasons claiming Monmouthshire for their own, but it can be generally accepted that it is right to say that our visitors from Australia arrived in "Wales" last Monday."
"We waited patiently many months to hear their party selection, and then followed them halfway across the world eagerly awaiting their arrival."
"Their Manager, Mr. T. H. McClenaughan, puts his faith in open play and R. A. Davidson, the skipper, insists on attractive football."
"They are not a huge side as compared with former tourists, so their forward tactics are not steam roller efforts, rather similar to the usual club methods."
"Their average age is under 24. The oldest players are two front row forwards. Their captain and N. Shehadie who are both 30 years old. The latter is the only one of the party to have had experience of British pitches."
"The youngest members are the two full backs, Terence Curley and James Lenehan, both aged 19."
"It was unfortunate that whilst on board R.M.S. "Strathmore," John Thornett (N.S.W.) forward, went down with jaundice and has yet to play his first game. Alan Morton (N.S.W.) wing has relations in Gwent, in fact his mother only left Cwm in the late 1920's, so now he has the opportunity to visit his kin. K. Donald (Queensland) has recorded 9.7 secs, for the 100 yards and has already proved that he has football brains to go with his track ability. R. Phelps was a tremendous success against the Springboks in 1956."
"They have been in Newport all this week, and after the necessary training have visited many places of interest. Although wearing the rugby mantle of their country with due seriousness they have proved a cheerful and friendly bunch of fellows. We trust that this their first visit to the West will be the brightest of many memories they take home with them."
"Thirty games were arranged, including the four home countries, commencing November 6th and with a finale against the Barbarians on February 22nd next. An arduous programme, squeezed into less than four months. They then cross the channel for a few games in France, including one international."
"It is a long way back to the First "Wallabies" but there must be many who saw this 1908-09 side under Dr. H. M. Moran. They played 31, Won 25, Drew 1, Lost 5; points for 438, points against 146. They lost to Wales 9 points to 6 points, but beat Newport by 1 goal to 1 try."
"The Second "Wallabies" (V. W. Wilson) arrival in 1939 coincided with the outbreak of war. No matches were played. It was rather a tragic exchange - football jerseys for battle-dress."
"The Third "Wallabies" (W. M. McLean), 1947-48, lost 5 of their 30 matches, scoring 429 points to 197 against. They lost to Wales, 6 points to nil. Newport were beaten 8 points to 4 points. The following turned out for Newport on that day, note that the right wing then is also on duty this afternoon ! - G. Jenkins (Capt.), K, Jones, H. Rowland, J. Evans, W. H. M. Baker, Tony Rees, M. Walsh, T. Sterry, I. Kelleher, W. G. Jones, P. Davies, D. Kelly, D. Dando, E. Coleman and R. T. Evans. The game was drawing to a close with Newport leading 4 points (drop goal by H. Rowland) to 3 points, when in an excess of zeal Newport went in to make the kill, all fifteen players in the "Wallabies" "25" when Tonkin on the wing for the tourists seized a dropped pass and raced right down the field to score. To add salt to the wound he promptly converted same for good measure."
"In 1927-28 a New South Wales "Waratahs" team under A. C. Wallace toured the British Isles and out of 28 games 2 were drawn and 4 were lost. They beat Wales 18 points to 8 points and Newport were included in their list of victims."
"Newport face today's challenge with a strong side, but the forwards must get possession to tip the scales to advantage."
"Leighton Jenkins led his team on to a spectacular revival last Saturday. The general improvement augurs well and on the other hand our guests tasted victory last Wednesday at Pontypool so they must feel that nothing succeeds like success."
"Their record to-date might not be as impressive as one would expect, but again it must be remembered that 30 players had to have match practice as soon as possible, which necessitated wholesale changes every game. They should be well acclimatised now to conditions and interpretation of the rules."
"A summary of games played reads:- Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Points For 61, Points Against 45, beating Southern Counties 29 points to 5 points, losing to Oxford University 12 points to 6 points, losing to Cambridge University 13 points to 3 points, drawing with London Counties 9 points each and beating combined Pontypool-Crosskeys XV by 14 points to 6 points."
"In 80/90 minutes time this result will be added to the above - whichever way it goes, a game both pleasant and thrilling is all we ask."
"THE "WALLABIES" LINE-UP FOR TO-DAY"
"For those who saw the game at Pontypool on Wednesday against the combined Crosskeys and Pontypool side, it is interesting to note that eleven changes have been made in the selected side for to-day's game."
"The Australians rate this to be a stronger side for their stern test at Rodney Parade this afternoon and certainly the intensive training they are putting in, should bring them up to the high standard their Manager, Mr. T. H. McClenaughan, is trying to attain."
"Players included to-day are Rod Phelps, a Wing Three-quarter now on his fourth tour with the Australians and on the other wing, S. White, who has also had previous touring experience in South Africa. Arthur Summons, a school teacher, is the Australian's first choice for the outside half position."
"The front row of the "Wallabies" pack is particularly powerful, with three experienced Internationals including the Captain, Bob Davidson, Jim Brown and Nick Shehadie who has won 28 caps for Australia and incidentally, is the one player to make his second trip to the British Isles - he was here with the 1947 Tourists."
"Altogether, the selected "Wallabies" side to-day looks most interesting. This can be a key game for them at Newport, because their Tour is young yet and their aim must be to strike a successful combination for the International tests now not far ahead."
One of the most famous wins in Newport's illustrious history and their only one against the Australians was achieved on this date by a Newport side who completely outplayed their opponents. It was to be the highest defeat of the tour for the Wallabies and the only game in which they failed to register a point.
Observers at the time picked out Malcolm Thomas and his leadership qualities in organising the back line attack and defence as the major contributing factor towards the win but a tremendous all round team performance ensured that Newport won comfortably by two tries, a conversion and a dropped goal to nil. Jack Hurrell scored a try in the first half with a Leighton Jenkins effort in the second half being converted by Norman Morgan. Morgan also added a dropped goal from fully forty yards out.
Welsh international Leighton Jenkins, who later became an officer in the Royal Air Force, had captained Newport, and with his two back row colleagues, Brian Cresswell and Geoff Whitson, he foiled all the Wallabies' attempts to break for the line. In addition, his ability to exploit a gap earned him the try which Norman Morgan converted.
But Newport's back row were not the only ones to shine in that 1957 game, for Ian Ford dominated the lines-out, Norman Morgan, who also dropped a goal, was superb at full back, and Malcolm Thomas and Roy Burnett were master tacticians, the latter showing all his old flair. The try by Jack Hurrell completed the scoring to give Newport a well-earned victory.
The game was a hard fought affair and Newport sustained many injuries that would hamper them in the coming weeks.
o - o - o - o - O - O - O - o - o - o - o
The Times of 25th November 1957 reported the game as follows:-
"AUSTRALIANS FAIL TO SCORE AT NEWPORT"
"HALF-BACK FRAILTIES REVEALED"
"From Our Rugby Football Correspondent"
"Newport 11pts., Australia 0"
"After their victory in Wales last Wednesday the Rugby footballers from Australia had reason to believe that they were really emerging from the discouraging period - such sanguine players would never think of it as a slough of despond - which had hitherto beset them. But on Saturday, having gone a long way to overcoming what had seemed to be their most outstanding failing, they were in trouble once more when Newport revealed further frailties in beating them by a goal, a dropped goal, and a try to nothing."
"It must be really exasperating for them. By dint of hard practice and sheer determination they had turned their pack into a much more effective unit than heretofore, and a general impression afterwards that they had got more of the ball from scrummage and line-out was confirmed by a kindly and statistically minded neighbour. Yet in a blunt phrase it availed them nothing, for with all the opportunities that their backs had, the team failed to score for the first time on their tour."
"In a nutshell, they were not happy at half-back, and when the ball reached the three-quarters, nestling almost in each others' pockets, they had little idea what to do with it bar getting rid of it as soon as possible, and running themselves into the touch line in the process. There was too little flow about their moves, too little originality. Moreover, bunched as they were they offered the Newport defence, up in a twinkling with shattering tackling, too restricted a target. It was rather like catching a whole day's collection with one swoop of a butterfly net."
"It is true that Summons, at five-eighths, had scored a glorious try at Twickenham the week before, and also that there seemed to be some guesswork on both sides in the adjustment of Logan's service to him. But when the ball did reach him conveniently, it was perhaps that Twickenham memory which so frequently spurred Summons straight into the ruck, to be swallowed in the welcoming Newport maw while other expectant hands remained idle."
"There was a fierce tussle up forward, with quarter neither given nor expected, and doubtless some black-and-blue torsos in the changing room afterwards. Newport were well equipped physically for this type of game, and no forwards did better than Ford, Jenkins, who scored a try, and Meredith, who with a flash of inspiration and sleight of hand made one possible. Hughes played a grand, persistent game for the Australians, but it was noticeable that though the visitors' wing forwards guarded the blind side at scrummages near the touchline they did not generally seem to pay so much attention as home ones do when operations are in midfield."
"Things were thus made easier for the Newport backs, who were more imaginative than their opponents. Scrivens played a plucky game at scrum-half, though in a match of many minor casualties he was as much in the wars as most. His was a nice blend of the individual and the concerted, and Thomas his partner, was not slow to respond. It was in midfield, in fact , where Newport had the whip hand. Their evasive penetration had the Australians in doubt, and they always remembered also that a 30 yards touch was of more value than the visitors' stabbing passing attacks, through half a dozen hands, to gain 10 yards."
"Such was roughly the pattern of a first half in which the Australians had most of the game, yet found themselves a try to the bad. Their backs saw plenty of the ball, with main responsibility at the lineout resting with the hefty and agile Shehadie, and Hughes also playing his part. Yet it was run, run, almost for the sake of running, and with all their speed and liveliness this undoubtedly derives from the Australians' own kicking laws. Newport soon settled to such a state of affairs, and under the shrewd generalship of Thomas took appropriate counter-action."
"Scrivens and Davidge were off wounded for short periods, but still the Australians could not use the advantage that their forwards were giving them, and at length Newport worked themselves well into the visitors' half. Here Meredith got the ball in the loose, feinted for an immediate pass, but instead drew upon himself the attentions of four Australians. Somehow he managed to slip the ball to the giant Ford, whose bullocking run immobilized three more Australians before Thomas came up for his pass and sent Hurrell through a now grievously tangled defence for a try which was quickly conceived and thoroughly deserved."
"At the start of the second half Newport played like a team which had toppled Cambridge off their pedestal a week before. The ball ran more to Burnett's wing than to Jones's, but in his long and illustrious career he has become used to this. Burnett put in two runs and cross-kicks, and after the second Newport heeled against the head in the Australians' 25. Thomas was held up, but got in a pass to Jenkins, who threw himself over for a try which Morgan converted."
"Rushes by the Australian pack brought relief for a few minutes, but once again Newport got down to it, and Phelp's speed and covering were several times invaluable before Morgan, whose display was a splendid one in every way, fielded a miskick and dropped a goal from 40 yards out."
"In such adversity the Australians showed their real spirit. Indeed, in their determination to justify themselves they appeared to try almost too hard, with consequent untidiness. They were up against a defence unwavering in its concentration, and the Newport pack found enough to hold their rampaging forwards, from whom Hughes had to be withdrawn when White was reduced to a hobble by a leg injury. Once Phelps was stopped at the very corner flag, another time Newport just got a thankful touch-down from a fleet follow up, and twice it at least looked from the stand that they might perhaps have been awarded penalties for not playing the ball. But at this stage these would not have been of any use. It was a storming, great hearted effort, but it lacked that touch of polish needed to outwit a defence sitting on a hard won lead."
"NEWPORT ? N. Morgan; K. J. Jones, B. Jones, J. Hurrell, R. Burnett; M. C. Thomas, B. Scrivens; B. V. Meredith, J. Phillips, D. Greenslade, I. Ford, G. Davidge, B. Cresswell, L. H. Jenkins (captain), G. Whitson."
"AUSTRALIANS ? T. Curley; A. R. Motton, G. D. Bailey, S. W. White, R. Phelps; A. Summons, D. Logan; R. A. L. Davidson (captain), J. V. Brown, N. Shehadie, A. S. Cameron, K. J. Ryan, K. Yanz, N. M. Hughes, P. Fenwicke."
"REFEREE ? G. Walters (Gowerton)"