FLASHBACK: August 1974

Greg Oliphant in his Redcliffe days

Greg Oliphant in his Redcliffe days

IN his recently released biography, John Sattler called Russell Hughes a ‘young punk’.
Back in ’74, that ‘punk’ baited Sattler in a match at Purtell Park, and the result was one of the most explosive incidents in Queensland Rugby League history.
Sattler scored an early try from a strong blindside burst, and the Panthers led 12-2 when a scrum exploded into an all-in brawl, with referee, Bill McKenny dismissing Sattler and Hughes.
It was an amazing situation, with Hughes back in the dressing room, while Sattler was being treated on the sidelines by an ambulance officer.
When Sattler’s bandaging was completed, he was called back onto the field by McKenny, who then officially sent him from the field.
Sattler was again led to the sideline by the ambulance officer, but the drama didn’t finish there, with Valleys’ coach, Henry Holloway walking onto the field to speak to McKenny.
Imagine that happening now. Sam Thaiday is sent off and Wayne Bennett marches onto the field to have words with Shayne Hayne. We would love to see that.
Valleys won that 1974 game 27-20, with halfbacks, Ross Strudwick (Valleys) and Greg Oliphant (Wests) having a great duel. But the result was incidental compared with the fallout.
Sattler and Hughes were each suspended for three weeks. Hughes had been suspended for four weeks earlier in the season and told The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon he had been ‘robbed’ of match earnings by the judiciary.
Both players looked battered and bruised when they fronted the judiciary, with Hughes sporting stitches above one eye and plaster over a cut on his neck, while Sattler had 14 stitches in a cut over the left eye, which was coloured a deep shade of purple.
The drama didn’t end there, with Sattler reported to the Brisbane Rugby League for an incident following the judiciary hearing.
Sattler spoke his mind to the judiciary after the hearing, with committee chairman, Sid Borresen taking umbrage at his choice of words.
Amazingly the Queensland Rugby League Appeals Board upheld appeals by Sattler and Hughes, and they were allowed to turn out for their clubs the following weekend.
Only in Queensland.
Henry Holloway was fined $30 for “going onto the field”.
Other games that weekend were relatively tame, although eventual grand finalists, Brothers suffered a triple blow, losing hooker, Ross Franklin (torn ankle ligaments), centre, Graham Roberts (fractured ankle) and winger, Pat Maguire (fractured forearm) in a 19-10 win over Redcliffe at the Redcliffe Showgrounds.

2 responses to “FLASHBACK: August 1974

  1. I’ve played under Henry and he’d especially do that considering both Ft Valleys and Wests were the ‘top sides’ of the competition and any leverage gained would help his teams’ conquest for future battles.

    Why it was only not a half dozen years previous Wests were embroiled in major controversy when one of the finest half-backs to play the game Mr Barry Muir released on referee Dale Coogan then led his side off the field at Lang Park.   

  2. Second cousin Russell Hughes was an absolute brute of a human being…very similar in looks to David Taylor of todays game. He really could have been anything in the game and loved nothing more than leaving his mark on big name opposition. He snotted Langlands in a 1971 Interstate game and gave Sattler stitches as well.

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