FLASHBACK: August 1946

The wizardry of Brothers’ international centre, Jack Reardon in the Brisbane elimination final 17-8 win over Souths had critics wondering how he could have been left out of the Australian side for the failed Ashes campaign against Great Britain.

Reardon, a product of the Marist Brothers Club in Lismore, had played for Norths when he first came to Brisbane in the 1930s, and it was from that club that he toured Britain and France as vice-captain of the 1937-38  Kangaroos.

The Courier-Mail’s chief league writer in 1946, L H Kearney (Reardon would succeed Kearney in the 1950s) said Reardon’s genius play against Souths was reminiscent of his displays on tour with the ‘Roos when he played 26 matches and scored 13 tries.

“Reardon’s clever tactical play in the first 40 minutes tied Souths into knots,” Kearney wrote. “His genius, time after time, paved the way for the territorial gains which enabled Brothers to have a stranglehold on the game, leading 12-0 at halftime.

“He scored only one try, but the artistry of his constructive play inspired several other scoring efforts.

“Occasionally there were weaknesses in Brothers in the second half, but Reardon always remedied these defects, without any irritating rub to the players who had shown a tendency to jolt the morale of the side.”

Brothers’ forward pack dominated a Souths’ set, which included internationals, Bill Tyquin and Reg Kay.

Policeman, Eddie Brosnan, who would go on tour to Britain and France with the 1948 Kangaroos, was Brothers’ outstanding forward.

(When I signed for Brothers in 1976, Eddie, then 56 years-old, was chairman of selectors, and an imposing figure).

Winger, Felix Doyle scored two tries for Brothers, but the try of the match came from Souths’ centre, Ted Verrenkamp, a magnificent long range, individual effort.

The free flowing nature of the game had much to do with the excellent refereeing of Bobby White.

Meanwhile, plans were afoot for an historic tour of Australia and New Zealand by the French national side, which had already played home Tests against Australia, England, Wales and Other Nationalities.

New Zealand were scheduled to play France in 1939, but the outbreak of World War II meant the Kiwis played just two games – against St Helens and Dewsbury – before having to return home.

As it turned out, it wasn’t until 1951 that France toured Australia, and they went on win the series.

Jack Reardon

Jack Reardon

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