Just 24 hours after beating Queensland 30-9 at Lang Park, New South Wales headed to Townsville for a ‘friendly’ match against North Queensland.
Can you imagine something like that happening now, a star studded side like the Blues agreeing to fly the flag for the code in the bush the day after a huge representative game?
The game in Townsville was no walk in the park, although the final scoreline of 55-7 would indicate otherwise.
NSW led only 17-2 at halftime in a match broadcast live in southern Queensland on radio stations 4BK and 4AK.
The crowd was a disappointing 3,000, but they got their money’s worth with superstars, Reg Gasnier, Ken Irvine and Graham Langlands turning on right royal performances.
Gasnier scored three tries, with Irvine, Langlands and centre, Brian ‘Chicka’ Moore each getting a brace.
In the forwards, lanky policeman, John ‘Pogo’ Morgan was outstanding for NSW, while Paul Quinn revelled in fiery exchanges with NQ rivals.
Local captain, Alan Gil did his best to rally his troops, but it was a forlorn task against such classy opposition.
The Norths’ best were Eric Pitt, Gordon Cogill and 1963-64 Kangaroo tourist, John Cleary. Fullback, Alex Farquhar’s kicking game frequently got NQ of trouble.
Pitt scored NQ’s only try with Brian Bevan (not to be confused with Warrington’s try scoring freak of the same name) converting, and also kicking a penalty goal.
NSW returned to Brisbane and defeated Qld 22-15 to make a clean sweep of the four match series. Irvine scored another two tries for the Blues to take his tally to 25 in inter-state football, equal with the record holder, Alan Ridley, a hefty NSW winger from the 1930s.