CONTROVERSIAL rugby league winger, Mitch Brennan admitted he was the mysterious ‘Micky Lane’ who played for Sydney premiers, St George in a trial at Grafton in Northern New South Wales.
Brennan owned up, in a telephone call to a furious QRL chairman, Ron McAuliffe, who was astounded that St George lied about the secret run. There was an agreement between the Queensland and NSW Leagues that players needed a clearance, even for trials.
The QRL fined Brennan $500 which he duly paid. As a result, he was granted a release from his Brisbane club, Souths to play with the Dragons. He went on to play 34 matches in three seasons for St George, who were coached by former Brisbane Souths’ forward, Harry Bath.
In Brisbane’s Woolies’ pre-season competition, Valleys staged a typical Diehards’ comeback to defeat Norths 17-16 at Lang Park, Valleys had trailed 12-5 at halftime, but outstanding performances by fullback, Alan Mills; second rower, Tom Duggan and halfback, Clayton Denman propelled the Diehards into the lead.
Shortly before fulltime, Norths’ lock, Steve Calder was sent off for a dubious tackle.
Souths’ International back, John Grant was sent off by referee, Bill McKenny for a high tackle, four minutes from full time in the Magpies’ 26-15 loss to Wynnum-Manly in the early match at Lang Park. The Courier-Mail’s Lawrie Kavanagh said it appeared to be a reflex tackle (on fullback, Bob Miller). Grant, the future Australian Rugby League Commission chair, was later exonerated.
Forwards, Errol Slingsby and Des Morris were prominent in Easts’ 20-6 win over Brothers at Corbett Park.
In the other match, five eighth, Steve Williams starred for Redcliffe in their 33-2 romp over Wests at Redcliffe Show Grounds. Centre, Peter Leis scored three tries.
In other news of the day, former Test referee, Don Lancashire was appointed to a new position – Director of Referees in Queensland. Oddly, Lancashire was refused membership of the Brisbane Referees’ Association, and members refused to run the line for the former Sydneysider, when he was an active ref. and was appointed to big matches. Country touch judges had to be brought in.
Photo: Mitch Brennan