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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

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

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

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



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.


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