It was a Saturday just like many others.
Both teams had looked forward to their match, and while there was little at stake, the players still wanted to play their best.
The match? An NRF Men’s Division 8 South fixture between bottom-placed side Pukekohe Barbarians and Manurewa’s Golden Eagles, a side perched in mid-table.
Come matchday, at the end of July, the teams discovered they had no referee.
The Eagles found a clubmate from an earlier game who could take the whistle to get the game started but he had to leave by half-time.
Pukekohe’s Tony Wisnewski explained later: “As neither team had any fit subs, or supporters who could do it, we decided to play the second half with no ref on a mutual understanding that we play fair.”
The second half kicked off with no referee.
“It was an amazing second half. No niggle, no arguments and probably only two fouls where we just stopped and said ‘ah, yup, that’s a foul’.”
After the game, Wisnewski’s observations — and praise for the Golden Eagles — was shared on Pukekohe AFC’s social media.
The social media post
The Golden Eagles recorded a 6-1 win.
The result left Pukekohe’s Barbarians at the foot of the Division 8 South table, still without a win this season.
But the spirit in which the game, especially the second half, was played, sent both teams home as winners.
Manurewa’s Memorial Day game
Manurewa will hold their annual Memorial Day match on Sunday August 21, 2022.
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