As Kiwis coach David Kidwell prepares his side for Friday’s Anzac Test in Canberra, Wind-back Wednesday relives arguably his most memorable moment in the international arena as a player.
The hard-hitting backrower/centre played 25 Tests for in the black-and-white jumper, but arguably his most famous moment in the Test arena when he KO’d the ever-controversial Willie Mason in an explosive 2006 Tri-Nations clash at Mt Smart Stadium.
Mason mouthed off during the Kiwis’ pre-match haka, setting the tone for a spiteful encounter.
At the 20-minute mark, a brawl erupted after Kangaroos winger Matt King was barrelled into the advertising boards, with Manu Vatuvei in the thick of the punch-up.
Mason got his comeuppance only a couple of minutes later when he took a hit-up – and was pole-axed by a Kidwell shoulder-charge.
Big Willie was left in a dazed state and sporting a black eye, learning a valuable lesson about disrespecting the hallowed haka.
Australia went on to win the match 30-18, however, and reclaimed the Four Nations after an epic golden-point final against the Kiwis in Sydney, prevailing 16-12 with Darren Lockyer scoring the winning try from a Johnathan Thurston break.