FLASHBACK: March 1980

A record 16 players were sent off or reported in the five senior grades played in week one of the 1980 Brisbane season.
There was speculation the referees had become trigger happy following reports the Queensland Rugby League would cite whistle blowers who were perceived to be ‘too lenient’ on foul play.
Included among those sent for an early shower were Brothers’ lock, Glenn Bailey and Easts hooker, Gordon Reid, who were making their first grade debuts.
Bailey, who had toured Europe with the 1977 Australian Schoolboys rugby union side, was sent off by referee, Bill McKenny 18 minutes into Brothers’ 28-11 loss to Souths at Lang Park, and charged with a high tackle.
Souths’ centre, Mal Meninga scored a 70 metre try after intercepting a floating pass from Brothers’ skipper, Greg Holben.
The most sensational match of the round was the Saturday Lang Park encounter between Norths and Redcliffe, with Norths’ halfback, Ross ‘angry ant’ Henrick and Norths’ prop, Doug Drew sent off within 10 minutes of each other in the second half.
Referee, Eddie Ward charged both men with high shots, with the Devils losing 28-22 in a gutsy display.
Henrick was the first to go, after an incident which saw him and rival halfback, Colin Part prone on the ground. Norths led 22-12 at that stage. Drew, to use Courier-Mail writer, Lawrie Kavanagh’s terminology, ‘ironed out’ Redcliffe hooker, Bob Jones in front of the Frank Burke Stand.
Defending premiers, Valleys overcame the dismissal of captain-coach, Ross Strudwick to score a 24-17 win over Easts at Langlands Park.
Strudwick was sent off by Harry Dearness after an incident involving young Easts’ fullback, Michael ‘phone’ Booth in the 34th minute. Booth had scored a try, and remained down hurt, as did Strudwick.
Valleys’ chairman of selectors, Nev Lesina claimed Strudwick could not remember anything about the incident because he had been concussed beforehand.
Gordon Reid was sent off four minutes after Strudwick – following a tackle on Valleys’ five eighth, Peter McWhirter. Reid would become a judiciary regular.

In the other match of round 1 Wests defeated Wynnum-Manly 22-13 at Kougari Oval with Wests’ indigenous fullback, Adrian Coolwell scoring two tries. Coolwell, also a talented cricketer, would go on to become Greg Inglis’s Brisbane ‘uncle’ when Inglis moved north from the NSW North Coast to finishing his schooling at Brisbane’s Wavell High.

Ross Strudwick sells raffle tickets at the Kirra Beach Hotel in the 1980s

Ross Strudwick sells raffle tickets at the Kirra Beach Hotel in the 1980s

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