FLASHBACK: June 1958


Manly-Warringah defeated Toowoomba 14-7 in a challenge rugby league match played in miserable weather in Toowoomba, with rain and thick fog making conditions uncomfortable for players and spectators alike. Towards the end of the match it was almost impossible to distinguish the mud-covered players.

Outstanding for Manly was former Test rugby union forward, Rex Mossop, who was well supported by co-forward, Roy Bull and halfback, Peter Burle. Mossop would go on to play league for Australia against Great Britain later in the month.

State centre, Ron Boden was magnificent for Toowoomba, while halfback, Brian Jones’ service to this outside men was impeccable.

Manly scored four tries to one with 1952-53 Kangaroo tourist, Ron Willey landing the only goal for the Sea Eagles.

Footnote: I covered a Broncos v Roosters trial match in Towooomba and was asked by local officials to judge the man of the match. Thick fog rolled in, and even though I left the media box, and went down to the sidelines, it was impossible to see across the field. In the end I gave the award to a winger, because he was one of the few players I saw consistently.

In 1972, in a match at Knox Park, Murwillumbah, Brothers and Cudgen players slogged it out on a mudheap, and it was literally impossible to tell friend from foe afterwards, given both sides wore jerseys (Cudgen green, Brothers blue) with a thick gold V at the front). But it was great fun. I remember afterwards sipping on a beer, still splattered in mud, not knowing whether the bloke opposite was a Cudgen player, or one of ours.

Photo: Muddy action from Knox Park, Murwillumbah. Gary Bowen (Brothers) tackled by Robin Smith (Souths) in 1971

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