‘As a spectacle, it was where specs usually are – on the nose.”
So said ‘The Truth’ newspaper account of the Queensland v The Rest State Rugby League trial at the Gabba, a match won 30-9 by Queensland.
The reporter (There was no byline, but I believe it was Tom Sweeney) said there were too many slow forwards, and he gave Queensland little chance of beating New South Wales.
“Policeman are reputedly flat footed, but the fastest, quickest rucking forward, spearheading pig yesterday was policeman, Eddie Brosnan (uncle of Broncos coach, Wayne Bennett). He was an international among club players,” ‘The Truth’ account read.
Queensland lock, Col Wright scored four tries, so he must have done something right.
On the same weekend in Sydney, City played Country in Firsts and Seconds encounters at the Showgrounds, with the crowd 50,253.
The fullback for Country Seconds was future Immortal, Clive Churchill from Newcastle. The only player from the Far North Coast of NSW, my home district, was Country Seconds prop, ‘J Rodgers’ from Kyogle.
The Queensland team chosen after the state trial was: Backs: Ken Brighton (Maryborough), Pat McMahon (Toowoomba), Noel White (Townsville), Len Kenny (Brisbane Valleys), Jack Horrigan (Brisbane), Hugh Melrose (c) (Wests), Len Pegg (Souths), Ted Verrenkamp (Souths), Harry Linde (Ipswich), Les Stephens (Ipswich). Forwards: Col Wright (Ipswich), Ron McLennan (Easts), Jim Martin (Toowoomba), Sam Kreuger (Ipswich), Lionel Armit (Townsville), Henry Mogg (Toowoomba), Kelly Brennan (Ipswich), Richard Roche (Toowoomba), Eddie Brosnan (Brisbane Brothers). Coach, Fred Neumann.
NSW: Noel Pidding; Johnny Bliss, Len Smith, Frank Cottle, Bob Lulham; Pat Devery, Bruce Hopkins; Len Holmes, Rupert Rayner, Brian Barry, Jack Walsh, Frank Johnson, Alf Gibbs. Reserves: Robert Smith, Angus Miller.
The only Country players were Barry (Orange) and Gibbs (South Newcastle). The surprise selection was Hopkins at halfback ahead of Test star, Clem Kennedy.
Rockhampton referee, Jack Shuttleton was named to control the first inter-state match, a surprise choice ahead of Brisbane’s Frank Ballard.