FLASHBACK: February 1978
Second rower, Gary Walker made an impressive Brisbane Rugby League debut – for Norths – in the Woolies pre-season competition.
Walker was signed by Norths’ president, and former master coach, Bob Bax, from Toowoomba All Whites, via Laidley.
His powerful running and strong defence were features of Norths’ 27-17 win over Brothers in a round 1 Woolies pre-season match at Bishop Park.
Many years later, Walker would see three of his sons – Ben, Shane and Chris – play for the Brisbane Broncos, with Chris playing State of Origin for Queensland. Gary would go on to represent Brisbane.
Ace goal kicker, Bruce Warwick landed nine goals from 10 shots for Norths against Brothers and also scored a try.
Brothers were captained by centre, Paul Beauchamp, 20, one of the youngest A grade skippers in BRL history.
At Brandon Park, Acacia Rudge, home side Souths Magpies were trampled by 1977 BRL grand finalists, Redcliffe.
The Dolphins scored seven tries to one, with Manly-Warringah backline import, Mick Waller scoring twice, along with Dayboro dairy farmer, Peter Leis. One of Souths’ best was fullback, Graham Baird.
Lang Park hosted a double header, with Valleys’ big men spear heading a 25-3 win over Wynnum-Manly in the early match, winger, Marc Svenson scoring two tries. The star of the match was Valleys’ fullback, Alan Mills with his brilliant sidestep often bringing the crowd to its feet.
Valleys still did not have a full contingent of players available, because of surf club and baseball commitments. Other clubs were in the same boat.
Wynnum’s only try was scored by five eighth, Brian Walsh, a signing from Murwillumbah Brothers. Wynnum’s big off-season loss was Test forward, Lew Platz to Parramatta.
In the late match, premiers, Easts, belted Wests 23-2 with centre, Mark Payne scoring two tries. Man of the match was Easts’ five eighth, Wayne Lindenberg. Wests’ only points came from a penalty goal by young forward, Paul Vautin.
Photo: Alan Mills