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Title: ... p48 - George Piggens. (p51 inc) Extract from George's Great Book Never Say Die.

p48 - George Piggens.Extract from George's Great Book Never Say Die.


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Extract from George's Great Book Never Say Die.
It is a fantastic read, tells the Souths battle for readmittance into the NRL with General George at the fore.






Re the famous brawl with English Hardman Malcolm Reilly, then playing for Manly.........

George Piggens tell is like this,

"In the course of a career all players have stories to tell, of days that went very right and days that went very wrong. Most people would put the Reilly fight into the second category.

My brawl with Reilly took place at what was then football's 'home' the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground), on an afternoon in 1973 when Souths were playing there keenest rivals, Manly.

Malcolm was a very tough player, and a bloody good one. Manly paid a fortune to bring him from England, and he gave them value, despite hobbling on a crook knee for much of the time. Anyone who tries to tell you that Englishmen arn't tough ..... forget it. Reilly pretty much introduced the lethal elbow into football and boy, he did some damage in the seasons he played.

Anyhow we were playing Manly at the SCG in a second round game. These matches always had plenty of sting. Manly were our main challengers in that era and the defending champions that year, having won their first title in 1972. But there was no existing feud or anything like that between me and Reilly. What happened, just happened.

At a certain moment in the game, I tackled him head on, across in front to the Ladies Stand side of the ground. Reilly had kicked me in the mouth in an earlier tackle, damaging my jaw, and I had put a shot on him then. When they separated us, we had both been cautioned. This second time he came down on me and as he got up he virtually played the ball on top of me, and his boot crashed down onto my jaw, the sprigs raking my mouth, ripping and tearing flesh from around my teeth.

When that happend I thought, "You bludger, you did that on purpose" and I whacked him. We grabbed each other and there were a couple of headbutts and punches thrown. Meanwhile the game went on. Laurie Bruyers, a sergeant major style of fer who officiated with his collar stiffly startched, ran past. "Cut it out!" he yelled. "If you keep going, I'II send you off". We had hold of each other at that point and I said to Reilly, "If we carry it on, we'll be off the paddock." Yeah", he said.

I relaxed my hold and next thing he let me have it - a big Liverpool Kiss. Then it was really on. I grabbed him and came up hard with my head in close. I had a bit of strength and I was able to fling him to the ground and lob on top of him. I'm trying to give it to him, and hes' trying to get me off andget back to his feet. In that sort of situation, I am a street fighter. It's win at all costs. Anyhow, it got a lot worse when he shoved a finger in my eye - I don't know whether it was deliberate or not, it could have been accidental. But I saw red. "Oh, you want to gouge, you bastard!" I yelled at him. I went straight for one of his eyes, and I'll swear I had it out in my hand. Ray Branighan, an ex-team mate with Souths who had joined Manly, ran in at exactly that moment and pushed me, and Reilly's right eye popped back in.

Then referee Bruyeres, who had followed the play, was back on the scene and sent both us off.

Anyhow a couple of nights later when Reilly and I fronted the judiciary, his eye was badly inflamed. And my jaw was swollen to buggery. At the NSW Leagues Club in Phillip Street before the hearing, hesaid to me, "Who did that to you?" And I said, "You did, you bludger", Anyway Reilly asked me if I was going to have a drink. I said, fine, and he bought me a schooner of lemonade. Then we went upstairs and faced the judiciary and were suspended for three weeks. The charge was head butting.

"What went on wasn't good for the game," said judiciary chairman Dick Dunn. I could only agree with him. "It was good for nobody" I told the media blokes. After that incident I never had any problems with Malcolm. "

Quigs recommends this book - it is a great read - especially covers the Battle to have the mighty South Sydney reinstated to the NRL ---- Onya George.

Appears in the following pages ....P48_George PIGGINS, P51_Malcolm REILLY
Date of posting ... 16-Dec-2003
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