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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

(m03)1954 NSW v GB - GAME ABANDONED DUE TO VIOLENCE

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Friday, May 04, 2012

NEW SOUTH WALES -V- GREAT BRITAIN
GAME ABANDONED DUE TO ONGOING VIOLENCE

MEMORABLE MATCHES #03

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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 Sydney Cricket Ground July 1954 - Game Abandoned



Billy Boston one of the Legends of Rugby League gave www.narlvi.co.uk a 1.5 Hour interiew and this is a clip from that interview. In this snippet of the interview BB discusses the 1954 Abandoned Game between NSW and the touring GB team
To view just click the Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f4RJYbJfDA

History was made in 1954 when the match between the Touring Great Britain team and New South Wales was abandoned after Referee Aub Oxford walked off the Sydney Cricket Ground, unable to restore any of resemblance of order.

Never before in the history of the game had a major match been called off.

The match was played between the 2nd and 3rd test with the series tied at one all.

The Blues fielded a full strength side, but were concerned when it was learnt some days prior to the contest that the British were treating the game with contempt.


Killer Ken Kearney on the end of some rough house defense during the abandoned match of 1954

Their selectors had planned some ridiculous selections with props playing on the wing, a second rower at fullback. The selections were confirmed on the day of the match when hooker Tommy Harris played blindside prop, secondrower Gunney played fullback, and the two burly props Briggs and Wilkinson played on the wing.

Clive Churchill was credited as saying years later " Beyond any doubt the Englishmen did not take the field to play football." Leading League correspondent George Crawford wrote in a Sydney Newspaper, "Every player on the field at one time or another took part in vicious incidents. Boots, fists, stiff arm tackles, and strangleholds made the game an ugly farce"


The story of the England - NSW brawl in 1954 was so big that it made the front page of all major Sunday papers. This is how the Sun Herald showed the notorious day. From left to right, H Wells Aus, Touch Judge, D Greenall UK, Ref Oxford, Noel Pidding, J Henderson, A Burnell and Clive Churchill.

NSW led 15-3 at the break. Very early in the 2nd half Referee Oxford sent off british five eight Ray Price for abusing the linesman. The next 10 minutes saw a punch in every tackle.

An all in erupted when English half Burnett threw a punch that missed Churchill and collected with the back of aussie winger Pidding's head. The was the trigger for all hell to break loose and all players became involved.

With just over 20 minutes left on the clock referee Oxford walked from the SCG, giving up on the brawling players behind him. Over 27,000 spectators were shell-shocked as they realised that the game had been adandoned. The result of the game was officially regarded as a 'no contest'.

The crowd gathered around the GB dressing rooms hurling abuse and several british players had to be restrained from going out to face the crowd.

In the aftermath of the match, the NSW delegates were inferring that Oxford had abandoned the game to early, the three players were cautioned and the fiery meeting came to an end when the Great Britain Captain for the match, Charlie Pawsey offered an apology on behalf of his team. The League then dropped the matter.

It was reported that players from both sides attended the South Sydney's Annual Ball the night of the game, there they all had a good laugh about the game and were very apologetic.

It was the last game the Referee Aub Oxford officiated in as he quit rugby league for good.

FOOTNOTE: Keith Holman a participant in this game and later to become a first grade referee himself was quoted as saying about this match and referee Aub Oxford.
At the time he believed that the Referee Aub Oxford had done the right thing in abandoning the match. "They (the English) were out to get Churchill, Noel Pidding and me. But when I became a referee, I realised that the referee might have handled it better by sending three or four players off. That would have stopped it."

Information from the History of Australian Rugby League.


Posted by Quigs - found this link 11/5/2012
Billy Boston exert from lengthy interview BB discussing abandoned game NSW -v- Great Britain ... CLICK HERE
Received this Email from Charlie Pawsey Jnr on the 29/01/08
visit Charlie's Page

I have spoken to my father on many occasions in regard to his memories of games he has played, and it is not very often that a story I have read or heard matches that of my father.

For example,take the Great British Lions match against New South Wales in 1954,the Lions were badly hit with injuries to the backs and so had to field forwards in the backline,this included a prop forward on either wing.

In 1954 there was no such thing as the 4 or 6 tackle rule, so the team in possession basically kept the ball until dispossessed, and due to the fact that the Aussies had more backs on the field it became difficult for the forward laiden Brits to get possession of the ball.
My father said that this led to a certain amount of "Mickey taking" from the Aussies which I'm sure you can understand did'nt go down to well with the lions players.

This meant that when the Lions players got thier hands on an Aussie he was subjected to a "roughing up",ultimately this led to large brawl which resulted in a lot of 'Horizontal' Australians.My Dad as captain on the day was asked by the Lions management to formally apologise to the Australian board of control, which he did,but to this day he resents the fact that no representative from the NSW team was called to apologise for the part they played in the fisticuffs.I'm sure someone could have wheeled at least one of the hospital beds to the hearing?

Thank you Charlie jnr. - Quigs

 

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(Where you there, did you hear stories about this game.......we would love to hear about it)

 
 

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