Innisfail Souths’ winger, Kerry Boustead was the crowd favorite as Thiess Toyota Country beat City 19-10 at Lang Park, Brisbane. Boustead, 18, did a wonderful job keeping his City rival, Steve Stacey in check, and also scored a try, off a pass from man of the match, Country skipper/forward, Greg Platz.
Lightweight Country halfback, Noel Balderson was another darling of the pro-Country crowd. Only 59kg, he was robust and showed speed to equal City halfback, Wayne Lindenberg (who was originally from Toowoomba).
Country hooker, Phil Gormley from Ingham (but originally from Port Kembla in New South Wales) won the scrums 11-8 from City’s international pair, John Lang and Nick Geiger.
Gympie prop, John Tobin was another strong performer for Country. He had returned to Queensland earlier in the year, after two years with the Department of Primary Industries in Papua New Guinea.
A graduate of Queensland University in agricultural science, Tobin could not get a job in his chosen field, so worked as a slaughterman at an abattoir. “So you tell the City forwards, I don’t mind the sight of blood,” he said before the game.
The Lockyer Valley town of Gatton had three players in the Country side – Shane McNally, Steve Crear and John Stallman. Gatton had been able to build a strong team, thanks partly to the great support of sponsors, such as John O’Brien. (John, a car dealer, worked for a time with my father, Jon at the Shell Oil Company).
The Country side, coached by former Test centre, John ‘Cracker’ McDonald, had beaten Ipswich 23-3 in a ‘trial’ leading up to the City match. Forwards, Greg Quinn and Kim Glass were Ipswich’s best.
Following the City v Country match, a South Queensland team was chosen to play the touring NSW Country side. It was: Alan Mills (Valleys); Ian Dauth (Nerang), Allan Smith (Toowoomba), Peter Eastwell (Brisbane Wests), John Stallman (Gatton); Steve Crear (Gatton), Ross Strudwick (Valleys); Greg Platz (Clifton), Peter Connell (Oakey), Rohan Hancock (Killarney), Rod Morris (Bris Easts), Nick Geiger (Norths), Greg Veivers (Souths) (c). Reserves: Steve Stacey (Easts), Wayne Lindenberg (Easts), Bob Kellaway (Souths), Norm Carr (Wests).
Coach, Barry Muir.
Photo: Barry Muir.