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Time to come clean on role in ‘midgets’ match-fix conspiracy

I’ve got a confession to make. Yes, I know I’ve recently related how I dined out for years on my “greatest sporting conquest” – beating an Australian Open tennis men’s singles finalist … on a golf course. But this is serious.

I’ve been a willing participant in match fixing.

Let me explain … This is going back a few years (OK, my second season of junior rugby in Lower Hutt, New Zealand – I’ll leave it to you to do the rough maths but, yes, comfortably outside the statute of limitations).

As I remember it, my best mate (a fellow member of Marist’s then “mighty midgets”) had developed quite an interest in boxing at the time and an uncle of his had promised to buy him a set of boxing gloves — if he scored the team’s first try that coming Saturday morning.

I’ll spare you the sordid details of the conspiracy that unfolded. But suffice to say, we engineered it brilliantly and my mate, and his uncle, duly delivered.

It helped, it must be said, that my mate was probably the outstanding player in the side (certainly our most prolific try scorer). But, anyway, there you have it.

Given the current sporting “climate”, I’ve got to say it’s nice to get that off my chest.

As for my mate (I don’t think his uncle ever did time for bribery), he went on to play in an All Black-studded University backline in the Wellington competition. And, as it happens, became a spectacularly ordinary golfer.

To this day, I reckon his 67 at a short, elevated par-three hole has to be some sort of record.

But, hey, that’s another story for another time.

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Now this is going to really date me … This Saturday marks the 30-year anniversary of my first Sportsword. It appeared in the Brisbane’s long-defunct Daily Sun newspaper on February 16, 1983.

If you’re interested, there’s a bit of a backgrounder on our ABOUT US page.

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Holiday update:  Yes, I reckon I’ve earned myself a bit of a break (currently enjoying WA’s south-west), but  you’ll find fresh new crosswords magically appearing on here at regular intervals during my absence. And, of course, there’s no rest for YT as all the football codes hit the ground running for 2013. Have a good one.

— Peter Thomson


2 Responses to Time to come clean on role in ‘midgets’ match-fix conspiracy

  • Ambrose says:


    Congratulations on 30 years of Sportsword. That’s quite an achievement. Facinating to read also that your sportsword appeared on the then Power Brewing Company beer coasters. 30 years ago was an extremely volatile time in the brewing industry in Queensland. It’s a wonder that there was enough stability for a brewing company to print a beer coaster … Alan Bond buying out Castlemaine Perkins (then the biggest takeover in Australian corporate history) … Bernie Power setting up the Powers Brewing Company only to go under because he tried to go national too quickly and couldn’t supply sufficient beer to satisfy the market that he had captured (Was Bernie Power a foundation member of the Broncos?) …. Bondy being bought out by Lion Nathan or had Carlton Brewery got into the act in the meantime?…. ownership of brewers all over Australia changing and re-changing. And through all these times your sportsword sustained. Great work

    Your sportsblog is a very contemporary tale … ‘match fixing’ .. rugby players with ambitions to get into boxing. What’s that old saying? ‘the more things change the more they stay the same’ Thanks for another great read Peter.

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