FLASHBACK: June 1967

The touring New Zealand Rugby League side scored a memorable 15-14 win over New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

NSW, with legendary centre, Reg Gasnier as captain-coach, were coming off two convincing wins over Queensland and were regarded as white hot favorites against the Kiwis, who had started their tour with a 14-7 loss to Newcastle, followed by a 21-19 win over Riverina at West Wyalong and then a convincing 22-6 result against a strong Western Division side at Lithgow.

New Zealand’s pack proved too powerful for the Blues’ set, and the margin may have been greater except for the magnificent defence of NSW lock, Johnny Raper.

The Kiwis ‘second string’ side beat Southern Division 15-9 in Wollongong the following day, with only Doug Ellwood and Ray Sinel backing up from the NSW match.

The 1967 Kiwis were coached by Lory Blanchard from Christchurch, and captained by Auckland’s Bruce Castle, whose daughter, Raelene would become chief executive of Canterbury-Bankstown, before defecting to the Australian Rugby Union!

Meanwhile, Queensland was rocked by the news state coach, Ian ‘Ripper’ Doyle had been forced to resign his post on doctor’s orders, after he was admitted to Toowoomba Hospital with a burst ulcer.

.In Brisbane club football, Valleys snatched a 19-15 win over Brothers at Lang Park, thanks to a try two minutes from fulltime by winger, Alan Scanlan, who was given a free run to the line by a sweetly time Mick Retchless pass. Retchless, who scored two tries himself, had pulled through three tackles before unloading.

Five eighth, Barry Dowling scored two tries for Brothers, but their best was speedy lock, Wayne Abdy.

At Redcliffe Showgrounds, Norths defeated the home side 6-3. Norths’ points came from two penalty goals by fullback, Peter Lobegeiger and a field goal by halfback, Johnny Brown. Redcliffe prop, George Gledhill scored the only try.

Souths scored a deserved 19-15 win over Wests at Corbett Park, with lock, Stan Gayton outstanding for the victors.

Forward, Paul ‘Porky’ Morgan (a future Broncos chairman), was tireless for Wests, but the player to really catch the eye was young Wests’ centre, Johnny Rhodes, who showed dazzling speed and acceleration.

In the Sunday Lang Park match, Easts defeated Wynnum-Manly 24-11 with centre, Dale Firth scoring three tries for the Tigers.

Johnny Raper

Johnny Raper

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