CLASSY STAND-OFF Alan Hardisty achieved a notable first when Leeds beat New Zealand 44 years ago.
The famous moment was an early drop goal, which – until 1974 – was worth two points in club matches.
In his Yorkshire Evening Post match report, Arthur Haddock explained: “Hardisty gained his club’s first score with a 40-yard dropped goal, and since in this class of football a successful drop is only worth one point the scoreboard for a time read one-nil.
“That is something to go down in the club’s history book.”
The Kiwis provided defending English champions Leeds’ first opposition after a two-week break for the World Cup, which was won by a Great Britain squad including the Loiners’ John Atkinson, David Jeanes, Terry Clawson, and John Holmes.
On November 15 – just four days after featuring in the final, which the Lions drew 10-10 with Australia, therefore winning the tournament because of their better record in the group stage – Homes and Jeanes starred for their club in a thrilling win over New Zealand at Headingley.
It was Leeds’ seventh successive victory in all matches and their 18th in 19 games since the start of the 1972-73 season.
Holmes kicked two goals and try scorers were Alan Smith and Hardisty, who – as well as the club’s first-ever one-pointer – ran the show with a masterful performance.
Haddock reported: “Leeds won 11-6, but they had to pull out all the stops.
“There is no doubt the Kiwis, once again, are an improving side. They have come here determined to show that, given time, they could again become a force.”
Haddock added: “This game was full of entertainment, with both sides moving the ball and producing much good running and determined tackling.
“Perhaps the factor which determined the issue was the incisive running of ’off-half Hardisty, who had the ability to make that bit of extra space which counts.
“His try, from Ramsey’s splendidly-timed pass, was one of his ‘specials’ and when he moves like this there is not much that can stop him.”
(Tries Hardisty, Smith. Goals Holmes 2. Drop goal Hardisty)
New Zealand 6 (Tries Williams, Mann)
tour match november 15, 1972
Leeds: Holmes, Smith, Hynes, Dyl, Parker, Hardisty, Barham, Ramsey, Ward, Jeanes, Eccles, Cookson, Batten. Subs Pickup, Langley.
New Zealand: Whittaker, P Orchard, Williams, Christian, Brereton, Cooksley, Tracey, Mann, Mohi, Gailey, Eade, Coll, Walker. Subs Collicoat, Burgoyne.
Referee: R Jackson.