7:02am Wednesday 30th October 2013
IT was the instinctive moment that turned 15 men into Black and Amber immortals, writes Chris Kirwan.
On this day 50 years ago Wilson Whineray's All Blacks – hailed as one of the greatest New Zealand sides of all time – headed to Newport.
And at a packed Rodney Parade they were beaten 3-0 thanks to a drop goal by 21-year-old centre Dick Uzzell.
Newport have beaten South Africa and Australia but that magical Wednesday is undoubtedly the finest moment in the club's 139-year history.
The All Blacks played 36 games on that 1963 tour but the Black and Ambers – their third opponents – were their only conquerors.
It was Uzzell, with the aid of a pre-match schooner of sherry, who was the unlikely hero with that 17th-minute kick.
"I didn't think about it and I hadn't planned it – it was purely instinct," said Uzzell, who was then a student at St Luke's College in Exeter.
"Because it was a slippery ball I steadied myself and had to concentrate to make sure I gathered it, I saw three All Blacks coming towards me and I just dropped a goal.
"They flattened me and I didn't see where the ball was going... but the roar told me that it went over."
Uzzell was only playing thanks to the healing hands of physio Gerry Lewis, who helped him overcome a hamstring injury, but he never thought that it would turn out to be a life-changing game.
"To be honest we didn't think that we had a chance – we weren't having a particularly successful season and we just wanted to give it the best we could," he said. "Our aim was just to keep the score reasonable.
"The All Blacks had a big pack and we wanted to move them around and to put them into the corners."
It was a plan that worked to perfection and at half-time they started to believe that the biggest of scalps was within their grasp.
"Brian Price said that we only had one half and we would be immortal," said Uzzell. "It was only then that we felt we had a chance of winning.
"Everybody tackled their hearts out and the forwards were superb, they didn't allow the New Zealanders to dominate and we did it.
"The All Blacks were great afterwards, and of course as the tour went on we all became New Zealand supporters because we wanted to be the only side to beat them!"
Tonight Uzzell will join up with 12 of his teammates at a special anniversary dinner at Rodney Parade where they will be given the freedom of the city.
They will no doubt raise a glass to Glyn Davidge and Graham Bevan, the two members of the XV that have passed away.
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