The first Test was also the first Rugby League international involving Australia and the first between the two countries. As expected, Sydney produced good weather and 20000 spectators turned up at the Royal Agricultural Showground.
AUSTRALIA: Charlie Hedley, Frank Cheadle, Jim Devereux, Dally Messenger, Doug McLean, Albert Rosenfeld, Mick Dore, Ash Hennessy (C), Jersey O'Malley, Bob Tubman, Dinny Lutge, Robert Graves,Johnny Rosewell. Bench: Lou Jones.
NEW ZEALAND: Jum Turtill (C), Bill Wynyard, John Barber, Harold Rowe, Bert Baskerville, William Tyler, Dick Wynyard, Bumper Wright, Conrad Byrne, William Trevarthan, William Mackrell, Charles Pearce, Dan Gilchrist.
9th May 1908
Australia 10–11 New Zealand
Tries: Lutge, Rosenfeld
Goals: Messenger (2)
Tries: Dick Wynyard (2), Baskerville
Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney
New Zealand took control from the start, despite having Massa Johnston wrongly sent off early on. By half time it was 11–2 to the All Golds. The second half was dominated by Australia and they scored twice to make it 11–10. As full-time approached, the normally very reliable Dally Messenger missed with two attempted penalty kicks and The All Golds held on to win the first ever test match between the two sides 11–10. Messenger's goal kicking was unusually poor throughout the game and he only kicked two goals from fourteen attempts. Bert Baskerville played in his first test match and was rightly praised for his performance and try.
The tourists travelled north to Brisbane for a series of matches leading up to the second test. These matches were the first games of Rugby League played in Queensland and the visit did much to help start the game there.
Bert Baskerville became ill on the sea voyage up to Brisbane and he was admitted to hospital.
The first match in Brisbane was held on 16th May 1908 against Queensland and The All Golds won 34–12 in a match that impressed the attending press and spectators. A midweek match against a Brisbane Metropolitan side resulted in another All Golds victory, 43–10.
The players were devastated and those remaining players had to prepare for two more test matches. They subsequently drew 12-12 with the same Queensland side that they had earlier beaten easily, 34–12.
The second test match against Australia was played in Brisbane and 6000 spectators turned up to watch the first test match to be held in Queensland. The All Golds were still grieving after the sudden death of Bert Baskerville and they could only field a skeleton team. They did not perform a pre match haka.
AUSTRALIA: Edward Baird, George Watson, Dally Messenger, Jim Devereux, Frank Cheadle, Albert Rosenfeld, Mick Dore, Dinny Lutge, Jim Davis, Bill Hardcastle, Ash Hennessy (C), Sandy Pearce, Robert Graves.
NEW ZEALAND: Edward Tyne, Harold Rowe, Bill Wynyard, John Barber, William Tyler, Edgar Wrigley, Dick Wynyard, Conrad Byrne (C), Charles Pearce, William Trevarthan, Angry Cross, Massa Johnston, Adam Lile.
30th May 1908
Australia 12–24 New Zealand
Tries: Hardcastle, Lutge
Goals: Messenger (3)
Tries: Rowe (2), Cross, Dick Wynyard
Goals: Wrigley (6)
Brisbane Exhibition Ground, Brisbane
Following the same pattern as the first test, The All Golds dominated from the start with Harold Rowe scoring a try early on. By half time they led 15–2 and it didn't get any easier for the Australian team in the second half. The All Golds won convincingly, 24–12 in one of the most impressive test match performances ever from a New Zealand side.
The tourists travelled back to Sydney to prepare for the final match. While they were in Brisbane, the first New Zealand Māori Rugby League arrived in Sydney for their own tour. The side was led by Opai Asher and was another boost to Rugby League in New South Wales which soon became the most popular winter sport.
The crowd of 14000 at the Showgrounds for the third test included the touring New Zealand Māori Rugby League team.
AUSTRALIA: Charlie Hedley, Jim Devereux, Dally Messenger, Frank Cheadle, Tommy Anderson, Albert Rosenfeld, Arthur Halloway, Bill Hardcastle, Sandy Pearce, Billy Cann, Lou Jones, Robert Graves, Dinny Lutge (C).
NEW ZEALAND: Edward Tyne, Harold Rowe, John Barber, Bill Wynyard, William Tyler, Edgar Wrigley, Dick Wynyard, Dan Gilchrist, Angry Cross, William Trevarthan, Charles Pearce (C), Massa Johnston, Adam Lile.
6th June 1908
Australia 14–9 New Zealand
Tries: Anderson, Graves, Jones, Messenger
Goals: Messenger (1)
Tries: Dick Wynyard
Goals: Wrigley (3)
Royal Agricultural Society Showground, Sydney
The game developed into a tight, low scoring contest, The All Golds were ahead 6–0 at half time and they extended their lead to 9–3 before Australia fought back to win 14–9. It was Australia's first test match victory in the last match of the tour.
The remaining All Golds returned home after a very long tour.
The All Golds arrived in Australia on 9th April 1908 and were severely lacking match fitness after the long sea voyage. They were also short of backs because several had stayed in Great Britain and Dally Messenger would obviously be playing for New South Wales and Australia. The All Golds called up John Barber, a provincial scrum half and utility player from Wellington as a replacement. Eight New South Wales Rugby League clubs now existed and were preparing for the 1908 season which would be their first. The All Golds acted as advisers on the new rules and stayed in Sydney long enough to watch the first round of matches on Easter Monday.
The tourists travelled north to Newcastle and played a Newcastle side at Rugby Union winning 53–6. The All Golds then played a "Northern Districts" selection and defeated them 37–8 in the first ever game of Rugby League played in Newcastle. The visit boosted the profile of Rugby League in Newcastle, playing numbers surged and a separate Newcastle Rugby League competition began in 1910.
The All Golds returned to Sydney for two matches against New South Wales. The first game was played on 2nd May 1908 in very warm weather which very much suited the new rules. New South Wales were ahead 14–7 at half time and went on to win the match 18–10. The crowd were very impressed by the new code and remained behind after the match to applaud the two teams. The second game was just as open and the New South Wales side again managed to win 13–10 although The All Golds were denied a try on full-time by a linesman's call.