FLASHBACK: April 1974

Former Kiwi Test prop, Robin Orchard arm wrestles his son, Robert Jnr

Former Kiwi Test prop, Robin Orchard arm wrestles his son, Robert Jnr

There was huge drama at bayside club, Redcliffe, beaten grand finalists in 1973.

First their skipper, Ron Raper was banned for three weeks following a wild Lang Park brawl in which Norths’ captain-coach, Tommy Bishop was targeted.
Referee, Bernie Pramberg dismissed Raper seven minutes from halftime after Englishman, Bishop was left with a head cut, which required eight stitches.
The incident happened at the scrum base with Brian Winney and Tony Obst the first men into the tackle followed by Raper.
Ten days later Kiwi Test prop, Robin Orchard asked for a release following a late night incident at the Dolphins’ leagues club, which back then was located at the showgrounds.
Orchard was banned from the leagues club for three months, but he was having none of that. Such was the furore, QRL chairman, Ron McAuliffe intervened, and the ban was ultimately lifted.
A veteran of 19 Tests for the Kiwis, Orchard had played for Queensland in 1973 after being lured to Queensland by the sponsorship of Moreton Bay Hotel manager, George Stone.
To finish a miserable month, Redcliffe were thrashed 31-0 by Brothers, who were starting to make people sit up and take notice under the coaching of former St George stalwart, Paul Broughton.
Broughton brought with him outstanding young St George lower grade halfback, Tony White, a product of Walgett in country NSW.
White took the BRL by storm, winning two Courier-Mail $25 best and fairest awards in April.
Great Britain were to tour Australia later that year and there was much anticipation surrounding dual internationals, David Watkins; John Bevan and John Gray. Watkins (Salford) and Bevan (Warrington) were products of Welsh rugby, while Gray (Wigan) played union for England from Coventry, where he was also a first class cricketer.

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