FLASHBACK: March 1956

BRISBANE Rugby League coach, Duncan Hall drew a line in the sand when he dropped Test forward, Tom Tyquin, as well as Ray Edwards and Johnny Bruton from the side to play Ipswich in the first representative match of the 1956 season.

Hall, who had called a halt to his Test and State career at the end of ’55, said he only wanted players who were available for every training session. Still registered with Wests in Brisbane, Hall was sidelined by a knee injury, and did not play in the trials.

The new players in the Brisbane rep side were Norm McFadden, Ray Paulsen (Valleys) and Darcy Ryan (Wests).

I saw McFadden play towards the end of his career – for Tweed Seagulls and Gold Coast Tigers in the 1960s – and he remains one of the toughest men I have seen in the game.

A former teammate of McFadden’s, Keith Hookway, said the fiery forward had a tooth loosened in one exchange, playing for Seagulls.

“It was getting to him a bit, so he went to his ute, got a spanner, and just yanked it out, before charging back on to the field,” Hookway said.

With McFadden in the pack, Brisbane defeated Ipswich 23-14 in that 1956 match at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds, with Test centre, Alex Watson scoring two tries for the victors.

But the outstanding forward on the night was Brisbane second rower, Jim Duncan (Brothers), who came into the side at the last minute, after the withdrawal of Joe Baker.

In Brisbane club pre-season football, Souths’ 19-year-old year winger, Barry Pryor scored three ties in the Magpies’ 29-5 win over Easts in appalling, muddy conditions at Davies Park. Experienced prop, Vince Soorley, trialed with Souths and signed a contract after an impressive run.

Brothers and Wests players voted overwhelmingly to abandon a trial at Lang Park, because of the state of the ground.

Five eighth, Noel McKay was outstanding in Norths’ 13-8 loss to Valleys at Oxenham Park No 2. (Transferred from Hamilton). McKay moved to Brisbane from Bowraville in northern New South Wales. Sound familiar? Bowraville is the town where Queensland superstar, Greg Inglis played his first junior football.

Wynnum-Manly defeated Surfers paradise 13-0 in another trial, played on the Gold Coast.


Alex Watson (right) and Kel O’Shea.

One response to “FLASHBACK: March 1956

  1. Steve u mentioned Vince soorley in your piece he turned up out of the blue at my dad’s (ron roberts)funeral in 2003 I introduced myself to him he told about his footy career and how he knew dad I promised myself that day if he passed away I would try to get to his funeral and a few years later it happened and I made sure I was there ps a few ex seagulls boys were there too.

Leave a comment or reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s