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Title: ... p95 - Dennis Hartley on 70 World Cup Final inc (51)Reilly by Martin Lea

"no,we need to keep our composure and not get drawn into dirty play,there is too much at stake.


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Martin Lea,United Kingdom




I was at this match (1970 World Cup Final) as a 16 year old and it remains the hardest, roughest match I've seen.

I remember the night before the final, English Prop Dennis Hartley, from Castleford - The hardest player I've ever seen - being interviewed on TV.He was asked if he thought the match would be a dirty game,and he replied "no,we need to keep our composure and not get drawn into dirty play,there is too much at stake."

Very early on in the game something must have got to Dennis but rather than hit out he just took his aggression out on the ball.No doubt he remembered what he had said in the interview the previous night.

However, as the game went on it spilt into a blood - bath and Dennis decided to enjoy himself, sorting out the two Aussie props and anyone else that got in the way.

In one incident I remember an Aussie off - loading a ball as he fell down. Play went one way and Dennis came rushing in the other direction kicking the aussie guy right in the face.
(Quigs interrupting here-extract from article by 'History Of Australian Rugby League' :-The Australian props John O'Neill and Bob O'Rielly were bloodied and battered ......)

Malcolm Reilly was a Castleford team mate of Dennis's and my Dad knew Malcolm quite well. Malcolm once said to my Dad there was only one guy in the whole of Rugby that he was frightened to play against and that was Dennis Hartley, "thank God he is on my side" said Malcolm.

Dennis was, as I said, the hardest player I,ve ever seen yet one of the gentlest and nicest people you could wish to meet off the field.

Appears in the following pages ....P95_Dennis HARTLEY
Date of posting ... 19-May-2003
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