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Title: ... p64 - reg Gasnier faces off against Harry Wells for the first time - by Bobby B

was matching up in the Centre for Saints against Big Harry - then for the first time.

01

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Year of story

Date of Submission

 

Bobby B (Reproduced with permission from the Saints Immortals website)

Saints

1970

23/12/2003



Reproduced with permission from the Saints Immortals website)

How great was Gaz

Westerns Suburbs had a block busting Test Centre Harry Wells. The year 1959 - and Saints young tyro Reg Gasnier, after only a handful of games in the top grade, was matching up in the Centre for Saints against Big Harry - then for the first time.

This match for some reason was played at Henson Park on a Sunday - although Henson was the home ground of the Newtown Club. I think Wests had been playing out of Pratten Park Ashfield in the past but for some reason this Ground was not available to them in that '59 Season so their home games were spread around to other venues.

The game received a good deal of media publicity in the main because of the then Test incumbent centre Harry Wells - and Saints rising star Gaz and their impending confrontation. Also both Saints and Wests were top class sides and finals contenders down the track.

Subsequently a crowd in excess of 30000 packed into old Henson and it was standing room only at kickoff. I recall the encounter as a torrid affair in the early stages but ultimately The Saints got on top as was their habit and ran out handsome winners.

As for Reg he finished up scoring four tries as his personal contribution . A truly outstanding display against quality and experienced opposition . Clear signs of things to come Mate. I also recall that day that Saints introduced a young half into First Grade. A young bloke called Johnny Stathers who was also a St. George local boy and a pretty handy footballer. He also had a good game and went onto play several years with the Saints in several positions if memory serves me correct. Harry Bath was Saints goal kicker and Harry used to place the ball ' upright ' and kick 'em over from any distance. There was no sand buckets or stuff back in those days - just rake up a bit of dirt for a mound, place the ball and kick it.

Bobby. B. [name supplied]


Appears in the following pages ....P64_Reg GASNIER
Date of posting ... 23-Dec-2003
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