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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

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

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

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

MEMORABLE MATCHES #31

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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 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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