FLASHBACK: March 1978

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

One response to “FLASHBACK: March 1978

  1. Hello Steve-just thought I would say I love reading your articles-all those memories-used to watch the Brisbane game of the day every week and as much Sydney league as we could get on tv-I remember as a 11 year old my dad who worked in the railway for 43 years had a metal lunch box type of thing he used to pack his food etc as he would often go away over night on the trains to Gladstone or Gympie—I am in Bundy-anyway one night I saw his lunchbox open and there was the Rugby League Week-it would have been 1970 as I can still remember an article on Australia playing the Poms –well I bought it up until the last day they sold it-those were the days

    Regards

    Warren Kleidon

    0407 119 837

    Tile N Metal Pty Ltd t/a RJ Roofing

    39 Harvey Street

    Bundaberg 4670

    Email – rjroofin@bigpond.net.au

    Postal Address – 39 Harvey Street Bundaberg 4670

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