FLASHBACK: June 1936

Five eighth, Vic Hey and second rower, Les Heidke were the only Queenslanders chosen in the Australian side for the First Test against the touring England side, skippered by Cumbrian fullback, Jim Brough.

The Courier-Mail’s chief league writer, L H Kearney rated Jack Reardon and Fred Gilbert the two unlucky Queensland omissions after New South Wales had hung on for a 16-14 win over the Maroons at the Brisbane Cricket Ground.

Kearney said Toowoomba star, Gilbert had played all over his rival, Viv Thicknesse, and the selectors must have agonised over whether to split the Hey/Gilbert halves combination.

The big talking point from the naming of the side was the selection of 20-year-old former St Joseph’s College (Sydney) rugby union star, Arch Crippin on the wing. Crippin, who played club football for North Sydney, scored two tries for the Blues.

NSW played 56 minutes with 12 men after referee, Jack Simpson sent off forward, Frank Curran for questioning a decision.

The final difference in the scores was a sideline goal kicked by NSW centre, Dave Brown.

NSW led 11-6 at halftime in a match rated by Kearney as fulfilling the best traditions of the league code.

“The teams fought desperately hard every moment of the 80 minutes,” Kearney wrote. “They never relaxed. The smashing tackles of men of great strength might have been expected to slow the pace of the game, but this was not so. The game swung on with many spectacular bursts, and the spirit of the contest was always fast and relentless.

“There were glorious touches of courage in the winners’ football, when bereft of one of their finest forwards, they, at times, rose to the heights of Harold Wagstaff’s 1914 England team, which beat Australia, shorthanded, in the deciding Third Test in Sydney.”

Kearney said Vic Hey’s display at five eighth was polished, and put to rest speculation his NSW rival, Ernie Norman was ready to assume his Test spot.

“In attack, with less of the ball, Hey ran rings around Norman, and in defence he was superb,” Kearney wrote.

  • Australia went on to win the First Test 24-8, but England won the return clash 12-7 in Brisbane, before winning the decider 12-7, back in Sydney.
  • In Sydney the Australians stayed at the Crows Nest Hotel, North Sydney, a pub which is still going strong.
Vic Hey 1936

Vic Hey 1936

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