FLASHBACK: JUNE 1949

A 17-all draw with Newcastle was Queensland’s best result on their testing tour of New South Wales, with critics left to question the direction in which the game was heading in the ‘sunshine state’.
The Maroons were thrashed 19-3 and 33-3 by NSW in two matches at the SCG, and also suffered the ignominy of being beaten 18-6 by NSW Country in Wollongong.
Coached by Fred Neumann, Queensland had headed south full of optimism, particularly as the pack included hard men of the ilk of Duncan Hall, Mick Crocker, Bill Tyquin and Alan Thompson.
The SCG was a quagmire for the first match, and giant NSW winger, Ron Roberts revelled in the heavy going, scoring three tries, while co-winger, Johnny Graves crossed twice. (Roberts’ son, Graham played for Brothers in the 1974 BRL grand final).
Qld’s only try was scored by winger, Des Flannery following good lead-up work by the Pegg brothers, Reg and Len.
The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon wrote that it was almost impossible to distinguish the majority of players given their mud caked state.
Reardon also was critical of the Qld selectors for their last minute decision to play Des McGovern on the wing instead of Len Kenny.
“Reasons given for Kenny’s replacement were that, in the heavy conditions he would be at a disadvantage with his sidestep and swerve against Roberts,” Reardon wrote. “It was poor logic as Kenny has just returned from two seasons in England where today’s conditions prevail for almost half the season.”
Kenny played in the match against Country and proved a crowd pleaser, but the bush boys, with lock, Noel Mulligan and five eighth, Wally O’Connell in outstanding form, proved too good.
In the return inter-state match, NSW scored seven tries to one in a 33-3 humiliation of the Maroons with big forward, Jack Rayner scoring twice for the Blues.
Qld’s star forward, Duncan Hall was a late scratching because of a cauliflower ear, with Charlie Woods from the Hornets club in Ayr, the replacement.
Newcastle scored five tries to three in their 17-all draw with the Maroons at the conclusion of the tour, the result doing nothing to appease calls for an overhaul of coaching methods in Qld.
The Courier-Mail’s L H Kearney claimed players were being forced to play “like automatons to suit the particular brain waves of the team’s coaches.”
As they say. Everything old is new again.

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