Hardmen Stories as submitted by the Punters...

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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

(m12) 1972 WORLD CUP FINAL - AUS -v- GB played in France - Langlands famous No Try

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

1972 WORLD CUP FINAL

MEMORABLE MATCHES #12

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY Australia -v- Great Britain (played in France) Langlands famous try that wasn't Australia were robbed



The controversial 1972 World Cup was held in France.

Australia won the right to play the "Poms" in the final after defeating France 31- 9, New Zealand 9-5, but lost to Great Britain by 27 - 12.

The final took place in Lyons before a very small crowd. The Roos and Lions slogged it out to be 10 all at full time so the game was sent into 20 minutes extra time.

With the scores still locked at the completion of extra time the game was awarded to Great Britain after having a better record in the preliminary matches.

The game will always be remembered for the try that never was.

(As quoted in the History of Australian Rugby League)

This final produced a wonerful "try that wasn't". In the first half, Langlands chased a clever kick by Australian half Dennis Ward that hovered high over the British line. When Ward put the ball in the air, Langlands appeared to have no chance of reaching it. Yet, as the ball neared the ground over the try line, Langlands dived through the air, caught the ball on the full at full stretch and crashed down for a touchdown. French referee Georges Jameau, who had been Australia's choice as referee for the match ruled that Langlands had been offside when Ward kicked the ball. Television replays later showed the try to have been scored fairly.

At the time the Roos were leading 5 nil.

It was rumoured that the ref disallowed the try at the time because he believed that no one could of been onside at the time of the kick and got to the ball before it hit the ground as quickly and spectacularly as Changa had, therefore he ruled him offside.

( I remember watching this try live on TV and I am still amazed at the talent and skills that Langlands possessed )

 
 

(m16) THE EARL PARK RIOT (Sydney 1928)

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

THE EARL PARK RIOT (Sydney 1928)

MEMORABLE MATCHES #16

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY: 1928 Earl Park Riot St George v Balmain Crowd attacks players, Players blue in Ambulance.




1928: Police intervene as Earl Park erupts!

Earl Park, 11 August 1928: Saints won a spiteful and controversial match 21-3 in front of 6000 people.

The often firey match between St George & Balmain ended with scenes of crowd violence.

St George players retaliated when team mate, George Carstairs was kicked about the head by a Balmain player. An all in brawl followed and spectators got involved. Police intervened using hand cuffs, batons and fists in an effort to quell what the press have dubbed, 'the Earl Park riot'.

This story was offered to EOTB by Steve Williams,
(and a great help to Era of the Biff)
visit Steve's brilliant website
SAINTS ON TV

It appears the source of the aggravation was Referee Brannaghan who lost control of the match when he sent off St George forward Harry Flower early in the 2nd half but allowed Balmain players to stay on the field despite further acts of thuggery.

The incident with Carstairs occurred five minutes from fulltime. Earlier, Carstairs had been kicked in the face while playing the ball but on this occasion he was knocked unconscious when kicked in the head by Balmain forward, Tony Russell. Incredibly, Brannaghan only cautioned Russell thus bringing strong reaction from the crowd.

St George coach, Frank Burgh and secretary, Reg Fusedale approached Brannaghan for an explanation following an on field brawl amongst the players.

The game continued but another incident at fulltime escalated the already volatile situation. With the match over, Balmain's George Bishop began chasing St George player, Arnold Traynor. This infuriated sections of the crowd and hundreds invaded the ground with the intention of seeking revenge on the Balmain players. St George supporters ripped off fence palings to be used as weapons and one witness reported seeing a man running around behind the grandstand with an axe.

Police arrived but not before Russell was badly beaten by the crowd. He suffered leg and head injuries and was put into the same ambulance as George Carstairs where it was reported that Russell attempted to assault Carstairs and ambulance officers had to intervene to restrain him.

Meanwhile police were making numerous arrests and order was eventually restored.

A week later, a NSWRL investigation blamed crowd violence and not the players for the disturbance.

 

(m17) 2ND TEST AUSTRALIA -V- GREAT BRITAIN 1958 Brisbane Sports Ground

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

2ND TEST AUSTRALIA -V- GREAT BRITAIN 1958 Brisbane Sports Ground

MEMORABLE MATCHES #17

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Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY: G.B. retains ashes, Captain Prescott plays 77 minutes with serious broken arm, Vinty Karalius unable to walk at half time.



1958 - Great Britain defeat Australia 25-18 in the second test match at Brisbane with only eight fit players on the pitch. Australia had already won the first test by 25 points to 8.

This was the match where the British captain Alan Prescott broke his arm in the 3rd minute of the match and continued to play for the whole game.

In the 29th minute David Bolton the GB stand-off broke his clavicle and took no further part in the match and Vince Karalius moved from loose forward to stand off. Vince took quite a few dumpings but at half time Britain led 10 -2.


As described the in the History of Australian Rugby League.....

The next test in Brisbane was Rorke's Drift revisited. With pride of British rugby league very much at stake, Great Britain overcame pain of injuries, the worst of which was rescott's broken right forearm. Prescott broke his arm in the third minute, but stayed on the field through the match. His courage inspired his team and at no stage did Australia hit the lead.

The Aussies didn't score their first try until 15 minutes into the second half. Great Britain led 15 - 2 at the time and then 25 - 13 until Holman kicked and regathered to score a converted try four minutes from the end.

Great Britain had lost Dave Bolton with a broken collarbone after only 17 minutes, and Jim Challinor, Eric Fraser and Vince Karalius had each suffered injuries.

Yet the Test is remembered for Prescott's great courage. At halftime there was talk of an ambulance for Prescott, but manager, Jim Brough asked the captain to continue. He needed no coaxing. Although suffering intense pain, he became a valuable aid to his team mates. This was the match in which Brian McTigue, Vince Karalius and Dick Huddart made their test Debuts. Add them to Alex Murphy, Eric Asthon, Dave Bolton, and John Whiteley, among others, and you have a superb British team.

On the wave of spirit from the couragous 2nd test victory Great Britain went onto win the third test 40-17, and the Ashes. The result is still the record score in Anglo Australian Tests.

See Your Comments section for stories about this match, There is one brilliant story from Tom Mitchell who was the Manager of the 1958 GB Team Click Here to read it....(talk about tough men. )

Many thanks to Keith Tomlinson UK for suggesting this game

 

__________________________________________________________________

Battles of Brisbane

Article reproduced with the kind permission of Mike Colman, Courier Mail, Brisbane Australia

Mike Colman
November 17, 2006 11:00pm

IT was a moment frozen in time.

July 5, 1958: Australian rugby league captain-coach Brian Davies – the only Queenslander in the team – was about to lead his team on to the Brisbane Exhibition Ground to do battle with the touring Great Britain side. And a battle it would be, with no fewer than five Englishmen rushed to Brisbane General Hospital after fulltime.


FACE of determination . . . Brian Davies leads the Australian team into the first Battle of Brisbane, and league enthusiast Ray Thompson captured the emotion of the moment.


White-helmeted policemen cleared a path through the crowd as Davies, his face a mask of concentration, the ball grasped firmly between his hands, prepared to walk through the gate.

And out stepped Ray Thompson with his camera.

The then-29 year-old dental technician had been a rugby league fan all his life.

As a youngster he caught the express train from Childers to Brisbane and sat at the empty Exhibition Ground all day waiting for the game to start.

But nothing he had seen until then was as sensational as that game 48 years ago.

The photograph which he took of Davies, as well as the match program he bought for one shilling, remain treasured possessions among a lifetime of rugby league souvenirs proudly displayed at his Everton Park home.

"I was in the right place at the right time," he recalled. "I always dressed pretty well, in coat and tie and I guess the police thought I looked OK.

"I just stepped up and took the shot and it captured the moment."

Within minutes of Ray taking his photo, all hell had broken loose.

The match, won by Great Britain 25-18, would become known as "The Battle of Brisbane" and be the first of three sensational clashes between the two old enemies played in Queensland which would earn legendary status.

The scene for the incident-packed match had been set over the previous fortnight, with Australia easily winning the first Test 25-8.

With the touring press writing of problems behind the scenes over the omission of tough forwards Brian McTigue and Dick Huddart, British coach Jim Brough pleaded with team management to allow him to pick the side for the second international.

He then called a meeting with the players, who vowed to start the tour afresh – and shocked league followers when he took them into camp on the Gold Coast.

If the Australians thought the visiting Englishmen had given up and gone on a beach holiday they were soon shown different.

Brough brought McTigue and Huddart into the side and rushed back renowned hardman Vince "Wild Bull" Karalius who had missed the first Test through suspension.

The Englishmen ripped into the Australians from the kick-off, but it was British captain Alan Prescott who reeled to the sideline in pain after just five minutes.

Saying he was just suffering a bruised arm, Prescott refused to be replaced and ran back into the action.

According to Ray Thompson, sitting among the crowd of 34,000, that proved the turning point of the match.

"You could see Prescott was badly hurt – it turned out he had broken his arm, of course – and the Australians were hanging off him," he said.

"They didn't want to hit him because he was hurt."

Great Britain went in at halftime ahead 5-2 on the scoreboard but down one man after five-eighth Dave Bolton broke his collarbone.

Despite trying to play on, Bolton had to leave the field and lock forward Karalius moved to five-eighth.

At the break Prescott pushed away the doctor who tried to make him quit and, telling Brough he would "play until I drop", led his team back on.

Prescott's determination not to leave his side with 11 men inspired his teammates, with McTigue and Huddart in particular lifting themselves to cover for their injured skipper.

Centre Jim Challinor (bruised shoulder), fullback Eric Fraser (burst blood vessel in elbow) and Karalius (bruised spine) all played on in great pain.

Halfback Alex Murphy started and scored the try which wrapped up the game for Great Britain, but it was the Wild Bull who showed great pace and skill to set it up.

Murphy made a darting run before sending Karalius away with the Australian cover defence in pursuit. As he was being dragged to ground Karalius slipped a superb pass for Murphy to race 30m to the tryline untouched.

Fraser, his elbow ballooning to three times normal size, landed a goal to put the game out of reach. Later he, Karalius, Challinor and Prescott joined Bolton in the emergency ward at Brisbane General.

Exactly 14 days later Prescott, dressed in civvies and with his arm in a sling, was chaired by his teammates from the SCG after they had beaten Australia 40-17 to win the Ashes.

Ray Thompson saw other Tests between Australia and Great Britain – in 1984 he took photographs of opposing captains Wally Lewis and current Great Britain coach Brian Noble which were strikingly similar to one he took of Davies– but he has never again seen anything like the first Battle of Brisbane.

 
 

(m18) Mid 1980's LEEDS -V- NEW ZEALAND

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

Mid 1980's LEEDS -V- NEW ZEALAND

MEMORABLE MATCHES #18

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY: Leeds to soften up the Kiwi Tourists prior to first test



The game took place in the mid 80's, and the coach in charge of Leeds at the time was former GB and Bradford coach, Peter Fox.

Leeds had been told by the Great Britain management to 'soften' up the Kiwis for the first ten minutes so that they would be carrying a few cracks into the upcoming test match with GB the next weekend.


Well, to be fair, Leeds actually started it and started it with some silly high shots. The problem was that New Zealands pack consisted of some VERY hard players, the likes of Sorenson, Tamati, Graeme West, et al.

Leeds were playing in their change strip, which was white, and not one player came off the field without blood on his shirt. Seven players were stretchered from the field that day, and Keith Rayne, Leeds ex GB prop suffered a broken nose and broken fingers, yet still refused to leave the field.

It was only when he recieved six broken ribs through knees in the tackle that he was forced from the field. Things got so bad that the Leeds directors made Peter Fox attempt to take his players from the field of play, and yet everyone refused. Leeds lost the game 14-11, if I remember correctly, and finished with 11 men.


This submission also appears in Your Stories section about this match.

Many thanks to "GHOUT" UK for submitting this game

FURTHER FROM GHOUT RE THIS GAME 15/12/2003

I've just seen the Leeds - New Zealand game on your website....
What a rough game that was QUIGS...!!!
Anyways.... I dug out the match details for you....
(Quigs - Thank you Ghout)

29th October 1985. Leeds 10 New Zealand 16 (HT 2-12) Att:4,829.

Leeds: Paul Gill, Norman Francis, David Creasser, Mark Wilson (sorry AG), Tony Currie:
Cliff Lyons, Mark Conway: Keith Rayne, David Ward, Brendan Hill, Roy Powell, Terry Webb, David Heron.
Subs: Trevor Clark, Gary Moorby.

Scorers: Try: Lyons. Goals: Creasser (3)

New Zealand: Darrel Williams, Mark Bournville, Dean Bell, Mark Elia, Shane Horo:
Olsen Filipaina, Clayton Friend: Ricky Cowan, Howie Tamati, Adrian Shelford, Graeme West, Owen Wright, Sam Stewart.
Subs: Shane Cooper, Ron O'Regan.

Scorers: Tries: Friend, Horo, Stewart. Goals: Filipaina (2)

Mark Bourneville was sent off, and returned thinking that he had been sin-binned. The referee got confused and sent off Graeme West, who then refused to leave the field to another all in melee. Bournville was then taken off the field by the NZ management....

(From "ghout" at 1:08 am on Dec. 16, 2003)

 

(m19) 3RD TEST AUSTRALIA -V- GREAT BRITAIN 1966 SCG

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

3RD TEST AUSTRALIA -V- GREAT BRITAIN 1966 Sydney Cricket Ground

MEMORABLE MATCHES #19

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY: Half Game Artie introduced to international R.L. - Aust win Ashes



(from the History of Australian Rugby League)

The 1966 Ashes victory resulted on who won the third test after Australia had won the controversial 2nd test match in Brisbane by 6 points to 4.

The G.B. side had won the first test handsomely 17 -13. three tries to one.

In the third test , a tourist was again sent off. This time fiery prop Cliff Watson was ordered off six minutes after halftime, charged with kicking Australian Centre, Peter Diamond.

The test was famous for unveiling the giant Australian Forward Arthur Beetson, who earned his nickname "half a game Artie" for setting the Australians on the way to victory and then being replaced by a freshed Dick Thornett at halftime.

The replacement rule operated for the first time since 1924. Australia's captain-coach Ian Walsh replaced Beetson because he felt he was not fit enough to last 80 minutes. But Beetson had done the early damage. Stealing the ball from a British forward, he ran to set up a try for Ken Irvine. The try was Irvine's tenth against Great Britain, breaking the record he shared with Gasnier and Billy Boston. Irvine scored two more in the match to take his tally to 12. Beetson was again the catalyst for the second try, scored on the opposite wing, when he kicked from halfway towards the hill corner. Johnny King, forever in position, won the race for the ball. Johns converted and Australia led 8 - 0. Walsh was the only forward in the Third test pack to have played in the First test.

Kelly, Wittenberg, Veivers, Beetson and Lynch, as well as Thornett did not play in that loss. Thornett had been left out of the 15 for the Third test, but the Australian Rugby League refused to accept the team until he was added.

Even with Watson off the field, it required a highly contentious try to edge Australia to a 19 -14 Ashes winning victory. Referee Col Pearce had ruled that a pass from Johns midway through the second half, which hit Irving on the shoulder, had gone backwards. The British, and many in the crowd, felt it was knocked forward.

Johns helped seal the victory four minutes from the end when he sliced through again and gave Irvine his third try. Irvine's three try effort in the Test is still the only time an Australian has scored three tries in a test against Great Britain on home soil.

(From the History of Austrailian Rugby League.)

 

(m21) GALLANT CRONULLA'S FINEST HOUR 1st match at SCG

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

(m21) GALLANT CRONULLA'S FINEST HOUR 1st match at SCG

MEMORABLE MATCHES #21

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY Easter Monday, April 1971.......Cronulla's First ever game at the SCG



FROM RUBGY LEAGUE NEWS April 17 1971 by Tom Goodman.

GALLANT CRONULLA'S FINEST HOUR

Match of the Day against the Might of South Sydney.
(Premiers 1967,68,70 and 71, runners up 1970)


Last Saturday at the Cricket Ground will be remembered as Cronulla-Sutherland's day -- even though South Sydney won the match 16 - 15.

Not only was it Cronulla's first ever match at the famous Cricket Ground.



It was their stout hearted performance against the Premiers in a stirring match, which League President, Mr W.G.Buckley, said when congratulating Tommy Bishop and his team, had been a 'tonic' to League.

Cronulla - a team of "character," with its mixture of proven experience and raw-boned newcomers tothe big time - had thoroughly deserved the applause from all around the arena as they trooped off at half time leading 7 -4.

They were deeply moved by the standing ovation accorded themby the ground Members when they came wearily back after a gruelling contest, having failed to achieve the miracle of a touch line conversion of a dramatic try in the closing minutes.

It was a great struggle- a match of sustained pressure. Souths trying everything they knew to break down the Sharks' plucky defence; Cronulla counter attacking and for some time in the second half having Souths penned in their 25 yard area.

Souths' defence stood up to the hammering.


The Sharks strong young shearer from Warren, Greg Allen, who had a hearty tussle with Souths' John Sattler in the Scrums, is tackled by lock Paul Sait. Sattler is behind Allen. No 10 is second rower John Macguire.



That was one of the most welcome features of this "tonic" match. The unflinching defence of both sides - a change from some of the games in which the art of scoring tries had been devalued by sloppy "tackling".

A such is was a six tackle success.

When I asked Souths Coach Clive Churchill what he thought of Cronulla's effort, the "Little Master" of other days, momentaritly shedding his smile of elation, said seriously, "Wonderful." He repeated, "Wonderful"

Churchill would have appreciated as much as anyone did, the work of present day "Little Wizard", stocky, red haired Tommy Bishop.

Bishop was the unforgettable master of ceremonies in this match, is such manner did he dictate his team's play, so that all their hopes seemed to rest on his sturdy shoulders.

There he was, dodging and sprinting, or throwing himself into the tackle.

At times fiery and indignent, at the crisis early in the second half when Souths had rushed on two converted tries, to lead 14-7, encouraging and cajolling. And his own work so creative - essentially creative and with a degree of deception.

He showed he was human, someone said, by dropping two successive balls in the second half, when Cronulla had the screws on Souths.



Ray Corcoran


But he came to light with those two magical passes, whipped out to right winger Ray Corcoran, which brought two shock tries, the second right "at the death" after Corcoran's electrifying dash of 80 yards in which he beat two men and held of Bobby Grants attempt to cover.

SEE STORIES ABOUT THIS MATCH -- Believe it or not, Quigs has a story about this game.
CLICK HERE

 

(m23) Battle of the Boulevard - Hull 1951--Other Nationalities -v- French

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

(m23) Battle of the Boulevard - Hull 1951.
Other Nationalities -v- French

MEMORABLE MATCHES #23

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from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY A brutal match which saw Ponsinet drop Clues as the kickoff was being taken



THE BATTLE OF THE BOULEVARD

FRANCE -V- THE OTHER NATIONALITIES
PLAYED AT HULL 1951

Click to visit Hull site


Bill Dalton, a good Hull Man.

Team Era would like to thank Bill Dalton, The Hull F.C. Club Historian, for his efforts in sourcing this story and articles about the Battle of the Boulevard. Along with other stories Bill also sent us a copy of the original game program. ...... Thanks again Bill.

Quote from Bill....
"From reading the account of the Third Test in Australia (21 July 1951 it does appear the Elie Brousse had had a battering and was intent on revenge at the Boulevard - obviously any Aussie would do! I have spoken to Ben Greaves (ex Hull KR Director) who was at the match and he assures me that far from Clues "leaving the field", he was carried off spark out on a stretcher with his arms hanging each side."

ROUGH HOUSE RUGBY NOT GOOD FOR LEAGUE

COMMENT IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, MONDAY 5th November 1951

Few matches at Hull Boulevard have been publicised more than was Saturdays international between France and the Other Nationalities. But it must go on record that many games on that ground have eclipsed it in quality. There was spectacle, but too much of the wrong sort, and most of the credit in an unsavoury game must go to Other Nationalities, whose 17 - 14 win was their first ever against the Frenchmen.

Battered, bruised and short handed for almost the entire game, Other Nationalities made light of their casualties to gain a resounding victory against less particular opponents, who were disposed to mix it.

This rough house business is not a good advertisement for the codae, and from world rugby champions one was entitled to expect something more in keeping with that exalted rank.

ORDERS TO QUIT.

It would be an injustice to indict the French team as a whole, for the play most of them was above reproach, but it was obvious that in due course drastic action would have to be taken if cautions were of no avail. Fouls could not continue indefinitely, and so an inglorius climax came 11 minutes from the end when second row forward Poncinet, of Carassonne, got orders to quit.

INJURIES

The game had scarcely started when Clues, Leeds second row man, had to be carried off with a badly cut eye. Next, off half Henderson, of Huddersfield, spent 20 minutes in the dressingroom nursing a head injury, and finally second row forward Burke, of Leigh, sustained a broken nose. It was natural that all these incidents should tend to throw Other Nationalities out of gear, yet they stuck manfully to their guns, and out-generalling the Frenchmen in most departments. Other Nationalities had a pronounced forward superiority, gaining psossession 26 -14 in the scrums and revealing a greater virility in open play. Loose forward Valentine, of Huddersfield was untiring, but even greatere distinction came to his clubmates, Cooper and Devery.

SPEED AND CRAFT

Cooper's pace and craft brought the winners three tries - the last a touch-line beauty - while Devery accounted for four goals.
There was grand work, too, by Mudge and Paskins of Workington. Bevan (Warrington) had little opportunity, but the side as a whole showed a good team spirit.
France were well seerved by their halves and full back, Puig Aubert, although their backs rarely escaped a stranglehold in advanced positions.

THE ROUGH STUFF

yet, overshadowing what might have been a classic had the performers been so disposed to make it so, hung a cloud of regrettable incidents. Apart from major casualties referred to other players on both sides were in the wars to lesser degrees. Scars which come from hard knocks are sometimes inescapable, but it is unwarranted roughness to which exception must be taken, and the sooner it is eliminated the sooner the game will profit.

INTERNATIONAL MATCH AT THE BOULEVARD

FROM AN ARTICLE BY ALLAN CAVE (Sun Sports Writer)
TAKEN FROM THE HULL FC CENTENARY BROCHURE 1963


Whenever Aussies are mentioned on Humberside the memory almost invariably goes back to one early November day in 1951, when at the Boulevard a great Other Nationalities XIII, crippled by injuries, won a glorious 17 -14 victory over France in their prime in what was a veritable blood bath. It was the last international to be played in Hull.

At the time when the Empire side were two men down France pulled up from 4 - 9 to nine all, then the courage of such men as Lionel Cooper, Huddersfield's heavywieght Aussie left winger, who was team-captain, Scotsman Dave Valentine, presend Huddersfield coach, Pat Devery, classy Huddersfield Aussie Centre, Huddersfield and New Zealand winger Peter Henderson playing stand-off half, Workingtons Australian centre Tony Paskins and Leigh forward Geoff Burke surmounted all obstacles.

Cooper shattered the French Barricade for three wonderful tries - on of the greatest performances against the odds I have ever witnessed. The head bandaged Henderson strove gallantly to get through the middle. Burke broke his nose, went off, but came back to the 'battlefield'.

Jack Murray, Hull's trainer in those days was in charge of the Empire side's wlfare and I remember him telling me at the time "Not seen anything like it since Jutland" Valentines verdict was "We won by four knock-outs to three". Dave played the game of his life that day.

It was such a match, he-man stuff from start to finish with the mixed side displaying guts that win wars. It was an unforgettable game for it started with a crack that put that great Leeds Aussie forward Arthur Clues flat out in the second minute, which is all Arthur remembers of that game to this day. He was carried off and stayed off. The man who considered responsible for the K.O. French Forward Edouard Ponsinet was ordered off near the end. He is on of the new members of the French Selection Committee.

It was a French side in their pomp, full of fire and whenever I think of that heroic show by the Empire men I long for a revival of the Other Nationalities team, then dominated by the Australians. I never hope to see a better back three forwards then Clues, Harry Bath and valentine. They were an immense trio.
Clues nowadays is on the Leeds Committee, Valentine, as I have stated , coaches the club for whom he played so well and long, and Bath has been back in Sydney where he is a leading coach for seven years.

That 1951 Epic was Hull's first international since the twenties, when the Boulevard had two tests - 1921 versus Australia and 1926 against New Zealand.

 

(m04) BATTLE OF LEEDS 1970 WORLD CUP FINAL

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

THE BATTLE OF LEEDS
1970 WORLD CUP FINAL

MEMORABLE MATCHES #01

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Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARYHeadingley. England



The 1970 World Cup Final will go down in history as one of the most savage and ferocious finals ever contested.

Australia had thrashed the Kiwis, but lost narrowly to Great Britain and France, but manage to scrape into the final with a better average.

Great Britain had not lost one of their three preliminary games and were hot favourites to win the final against the Ron Coote led Roos.

The Aussies were behind the eight ball during the match losing the scrums at a ratio of 2 to 1 and copped a flogging in the penalties by19 - 7.

The Poms had adopted the rough stuff and kept it up to the Aussies.


Eric Simms and John Aitkenson after a nasty incident after the whistle during the "Battle of Leeds". The Poms forehead had come into contact with Ekka's

Australia held a narrow half time lead of 5 points to 4. after a try by the footballing Priest, Father John Cootes. Early in the 2nd half the Roos stretched their lead when Simms converted a try from the sideline.

 


John Aitkenson scores in the corner for GB in the 1970 World Cup Final
source - BBC RLWC 2000 website

As quoted in the History of Australian Rugby League, From then on the match really turned sour. The Australian props John O'Neill and Bob O'Rielly were bloodied and battered ...... but not beaten. Coote urged his players not to retaliate against the strongarm British Tactics. McCarthy had on of his finest games with many rating his defensive performance as the toughest and best of his career.


Big Cliff Watson in pursuit of Billy Smith, with Aussie Captain Ron Coote looking on - in the background Tony Fischer can be seen throwing a right cross as unknown GB player moves in to the brawl.

The brawling continued, watched by millions on Brittish and Australian Television. England's Syd Hynes and Australian half Billy Smith were sent off minutes from the end. Fights broke out near fulltime, and in one incident after the fulltime hooter sounded British winger John Atkinson headbutted Aussie fullback Eric Simms and tempers flared. It took referee Fred Lindop, his touch judges and the English police to stop the brawling.


Big Bob O'Rielly had a top 1970 World Cup Final - pictured here with Garry Stevens in support

By match's end, Australia had won the final 12 -7. Back in the dressing room after the match, the triumphant Australians licked their wounds. Seven of the 13 players were badly knocked around. Some would not play again on tour.

Ron Coote celebrates winning the 1970 World Cup as Eric Simms looks on, other players from L to R; (Believed to be) Lionel Williamson, Bob Fulton, Mark Harris, Ray Brannigan
source - BBC RLWC 2000 website


October 21: Australia 47 - 11 New Zealand (Central Park, Wigan)
October 24: Great Britain 11 - 4 Australia (Headingley, Leeds)
October 25: France 15 - 16 New Zealand (The Boulevard, Hull)
October 28: Great Britain 6 - 0 France (Wheldon Road, Castleford)
October 31: Great Britain 27 - 17 New Zealand (Station Road, Swinton)
November 1: Australia 15 - 17 France (Odsal Stadium, Bradford)

( I can remember watching this game on TV as a 15 year old.........it was an awesome game......do you have any memories you would like to share --- email me about it)

05/12/2003. See story from Martin Lea UK, who as a 16 year old was at this game. (Thanks Martin)

 
 
 

(m02) THE SWINTON MASSACRE (1963)

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

THE SWINTON MASSACRE (1963)
2nd TEST AUSTRALIA -V- GREAT BRITAIN

MEMORABLE MATCHES #01

RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE..

Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY Roo's first series win in England
Possibly the great Johnny Rapers finest game.



The Aussie had won the first test 28 - 2 and there were concerns in Mother England that these visitors were good enough to win the Ashes and become the first all-Australian side to win the Ashes in England.

The second test would become known as the Swinton Massacre when Australia completely dominated the match, scoring 12 tries in their demolition of the Pride of England to the tune of 50 to 12.

The kangaroos smashed record after record in this game. At the time some of the records were highest winning score, biggest winning margin, Gasnier became Australia's leading tryscorer in a series agains G.B.


Australian Hard man Noel Kelly
scoring a three pointer during the
Swinton Massacre. It was his only try against Great Britain.

Ken Irvine equalled Carlsons tryscoring record, Langlands 20 points in the test, then a record.

The match will be remembered as one of the best games the great Johnny Raper ever played. He was involved in 9 of the 12 tries, and absolutely devestating in defence.

Noel Kelly hits it up with Ken Day in Support.

As quoted in the History of Australian Rugby League "Emotions ran deep as the players understood the magnitude of their victory. Eric Ashton called the Kangaroos the best Australian team he had seen.
Stuart Hadfield the former British Tour Manager was quoted as saying that he had been watching tests since 1910 and if he were a millionaire he would not hesitate to buy the Australian Team lock, stock and barrel.

SOME SAY IT WAS THE DAY AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE CAME OF AGE.........

(Do you have a memory of this game. Where you there? Drop us a line and tell us about it)

 

(m31) 2nd Test, Lang Park, July 16, 1966 Battle of Brisbane #2

Posted by quigs eraofthebiff - Friday, May 04, 2012

(m31)Second Test, Lang Park, July 16, 1966
Battle of Brisbane No2,

MEMORABLE MATCHES #31

RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE..

Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY Article reproduced with the kind permission of Mike Colman, Courier Mail, Brisbane Australia.



 

Battle of Brisbane No2, 1966

Article reproduced with the kind permission of Mike Colman, Courier Mail, Brisbane Australia

Mike Colman
November 17, 2006 11:00pm

Second Test, Lang Park, July 16, 1966


Rival Props Cliff Watson and Jim Morgan exchange blows in the first test Brisbane 1970, a game that was to be called the Battle of Brisbane, Mal Reilly is involved also, with Artie Beetson about to enter the fray.

For the first time in 33 years an Australia-Great Britain Test ended tryless. But alhough the second Test of the 1966 tour lacked free-flowing football, the blood at least flowed freely on the Lang Park turf.

The match, won 6-4 by Australia, was one of the most violent in rugby league history, with one player needing 33 stitches after being kicked in the head, another knocked senseless by a punch in the opening minutes and a spectator running on to the field to take a swing at British fullback Arthur Keegan.

After a fast, open first Test won 17-13 by Great Britain, more than 45,000 flocked to Lang Park to see the return bout. "Bout" proved to be the perfect description.

Prop John Wittenburg, playing in his first Test, was flattened by British front-rower Brian Edgar early in the match, Australian centre Graeme Langlands laid out little English halfback Tommy Bishop with a copybook "coat-hanger", Dick Thornett and Billy Smith tag-teamed on British forward Jim Mantle, and former Queenslander Noel "Ned" Kelly and fearsome Englishman Cliff Watson fought a running battle.

But it was the sight of British forward Bill Ramsay kicking Australian Mick Veivers in the head as he lay on the ground that almost caused a riot.

Referee Col Pearce sent Ramsay from the field. As Veivers said years later: "They reckon he was limping when he left because he'd hurt his foot on my head."

First Test, Lang Park, July 6, 1970

Sydney garbo Jim Morgan scored twice in the first Test of the 1970 tour but it is not for the tries that he is most remembered.



BATTERED hero . . . Jim Morgan after the second Battle of Brisbane. He enjoyed scoring two tries.


It is the photo of him after the match, his face covered in blood and his nose a flattened pulp after he was head-butted by Great Britain forward Cliff Watson.

The match was the second to earn the title "The Battle of Brisbane" and this time Australia won the game, 37-15, although the Englishmen could be said to have won the fight.

The set-to between Morgan and Watson broke out late in the first half. After an all-in brawl had subsided the two stood holding each other's jerseys.

Morgan attempted a head-butt and Watson replied with interest.

When Watson stayed in Australia after a stint with Cronulla in the early 1970s the two men became close friends but Morgan, who died while swimming at the Gold Coast last year, always felt he had the last laugh.

As he said after the match: "They can break my nose in any Test as long as I can still score two tries."

 

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