FLASHBACK: March 1948

The New Zealand Rugby League said it would consult its top players before agreeing to tour Australia later in the year.

The Kiwi touring side to Britain and France was due back in Auckland in March, and the NZRFL did not want to over extend its top men, given they were amateurs. The Kiwis had played 36 matches in the northern hemisphere, their last against an Antibes selection in France in late January.

Harry ‘AK’ Jones was appointed coach of Wests for the 1948 Brisbane Rugby League season, promising to bring a new attacking style to the Paddington club. Jones, a winger, scored the winning try for the Brisbane representative side against England in 1932.

Another former Brisbane, rep. Jim Purtell, was appointed Wests reserve grade coach, with former international, Eric Harris in charge of the thirds. Former Ipswich rep., Mick Martin was appointed coach of the fourths.

Ipswich club, Booval Swifts defeated Brisbane Souths 11-5 in a trial at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds.

Prior to the match, three surf clubs from the Gold Coast – Palm Beach-Surfers, Kirra and Burleigh – staged a march past, with Palm Beach-Surfers declared the winner. A collection for the surfers raised nearly 50 pounds.

And advertisement in the match program urged fans to attend an exhibition match between Souths and the Fingal All Blacks on March 22, with Fingal to be led by Walter Mussing, who had played three seasons with St George in Sydney.

Meanwhile, in England, the Leeds’ club dropped former Queensland rep., Len Kenny after Leeds lost to Wigan 17-3. Leeds’ officials said Kenny paid the price for being an opportunist, and not doing his job in defence.

Photo: Surf life savers in action

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