Dayboro Dairy farmer, Peter Leis scored four tries for Redcliffe in their 26-0 Round 1 thrashing of Brisbane premiers, Wests at Lang Park, and in the process earned a rare perfect 10 rating in Rugby League Week.
Respected journalist, David Falkenmire was the RLW judge, a former first class cricketer from Tamworth, who moved to Brisbane in the early 1970s.
At the start of the ’77 season, Leis had already played seven games for Queensland, and would go on to play two more – both later in ’77 – one against New South Wales and the other against Great Britain’s World Cup team.
The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon described Leis’s performance against Wests as his best display in three years.
“He skipped, spurted and swivel hipped his way through the defence,” wrote Reardon.
Leis paid tribute to captain-coach, Ian ‘Bunny’ Pearce and fitness trainer, Mike Murphy for getting him into the best shape of his career.
The win over Wests was Redcliffe’s first in 10 meetings between the two clubs. State halfback, Greg Oliphant switched from Wests to Redcliffe in the off-season, and played a prominent role in the victory.
Fiery Easts’ forward, John Payne was sent from the field by referee, Ian Smith in the 20th minute of the Tigers’ 24-20 loss to Brothers at Langlands Park.
Payne was charged with punching an opposing player after being cautioned twice previously for similar conduct. He was later banned from football for three weeks.
Despite the loss of Payne, Easts led 13-4 against Brothers, and then 20-16 late in the match.
Brothers’ halfback, John Herlihy suffered suffered bruised kidneys following a collision with the goal posts and was replaced by television cameraman, Shane Dyson who made a 60 metre break, which laid the groundwork for a try by prop, John Short. Winger, Ian Dauth landed the pressure conversion for Brothers to lead 21-20. Close to fulltime, Dyson scored a good try to seal the match.
In the Saturday Lang Park match, Wynnum-Manly defeated Norths 23-18, with late tries to Greg Perrett and Steve Watts giving the Seagulls victory.
Norths’ goal kicking ace, Bruce Warwick was taken to hospital after being flattened early in the match by giant prop, Ken Churchill. Warwick was discharged after having 10 stitches insetted behind the left ear.
Norths’ young forward, Darryl Brohman took over as skipper and goal kicker, and landed five goals from as many shots, three from difficult angles. Brohman and fellow forwards, Nick Geiger and Steve Calder caused Wynnum all sorts of problems in the rucks, but Norths’ backs had an off-day with their handling.
Norths’ players looked in great shape, thanks to a grueling pre-season under fitness trainer, Kevin Brasch, a school teacher and choir master, who had extensive playing experience in England, and also with Valleys in Brisbane.
Former Test forward, John Sattler, who played at Norths in 1975, rated Brasch the hardest fitness trainer in his experience.
In the other round 1 match, Valleys belted Souths 31-11 at Neumann Oval with South Burnett product, Tom Duggan scoring two tries from dummy half for the victors. Valleys’ lock, John Ribot kicked eight goals from 11 shots.
The try of the match was scored by Souths’ winger, Tom Gillogly (a product of the Wingham club in the Manning Valley of New South Wales) after excellent lead-up work by halfback, John Salter and fullback, Wayne Bennett.
Three days after the round of club football, Brothers and Wynnum-Manly squared off in an Amco Cup (knock-out) competition match at Lang Park, with halfback, Chris Ryan in devastating form for Brothers in their 16-15 win. Ryan was moved into halfback from five eighth after injuries to Herlihy (see above), Dyson (shoulder) and Kevin Cameron (shoulder). Former Kingaroy Red Ants star, Dennis Moore played five eighth.
Brothers’ winger, Ian Dauth scored two tries and kicked two goals from five shots. Brothers’ best forwards were Bob Cock and newcomer, Mick McGuane, while John Dowling and Neil Kingston stood out in the Wynnum pack.
In other Amco Cup matches on the same night, Toowoomba beat North Queensland 31-13 in Toowoomba, with State forward, Greg Platz scoring two tries. In Rockhampton, Central Queensland won on a penalty count after their match against Wide Bay finished in a 7-7 draw.
In Sydney, Balmain beat St George 22-12 at Leichhardt Oval.