FLASHBACK: April 1957

DES Henry, 18, distinguished himself in his representative debut, scoring four tries for Brisbane against Ipswich at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground.

Henry had yet to play a first grade premiership game for his club, Souths, but did not look out of place in top company, with three of his tries 50 metre plus efforts.

The try of the night started with a blindside run by Brisbane’s Brian Davies, who linked with fellow forward, Joe Baker. Baker cleverly positioned Henry for the final pass and an uninterrupted run to the goal line.

According to The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon, Davies was easily the best forward on the field, while for Ipswich, their lock Brian Rashleigh was outstanding. Centre, Paul ‘Pappy’ Pyers scored two tries for Brisbane and showed great speed and alertness. He moved from centres into halfback, his preferred position, after Darcy Ryan broke his collar bone.

Pyers’ father, Vic was a smart halfback in the Clarence Valley rugby league in New South Wales, but gave up football to become a jockey.

Paul played with Easts in Sydney in 1954 and played 11 first grade matches, before breaking his ankle.

He moved to Tweed Heads where his brother, Pat was a school teacher and finished the season in the local competition.

In 1955 the Pyers’ brothers joined Easts in Brisbane.

In the first round of 1957 Brisbane club fixtures, Easts belted Souths 37-2 at the Cricket Ground with Pyers back in the centres, and under-20s’ graduate, Stan Neave at halfback. Neave had a blinder and Reardon mentioned him as a future representative star.

Stan and his wife, Eleanor were members of my 1994 Kangaroo Supporters’ Tour to the UK. Their son, Andrew played first grade for Easts in Brisbane as well as Perth’s Western Reds and Cronulla-Sutherland.

In the early match of the cricket ground double header, Wests thrashed Norths 62-20 with Wests’ former Test prop, Duncan Hall making breaks at will.

According to Reardon, Norths’ defence was so poor, they deserved their big defeat.

At Lang Park there was another one-sided scoreline, with Valleys beating Wynnum-Manly 45-5, with pile driving tackles by Norm McFadden, Pat Riordon, Mal Hansen and Rod Siebenhausen softening up the baysiders’ forwards.

Winger, Mick Mulgrew, who would go on to play for Queensland against Great Britain the following season, scored four tries for Valleys.

Stan Neave (foreground) with Steve Ricketts at the Red Lion pub, Charing Heath in Kent, during the 1994 Roo tour.

Stan Neave (foreground) with Steve Ricketts at the Red Lion pub, Charing Heath in Kent, during the 1994 Roo tour.

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