The Courier-Mail’s L H Kearney described Norths’ 19-17 win over Wests in the Brisbane President’s Cup pre-season competition as ‘the greatest upset in rugby league history’.
Perhaps Kearney was getting a little carried away, but, nevertheless, it was a memorable win, given Norths were despised outsiders, and trailed 17-2 at halftime in the match at Oxenham Park, Nundah. Fullback, Ray Ritchie gave Norths victory with a penalty goal two minutes from full time.
Norths’ outstanding player was lock, Kev Nugent, 22, who was playing his second season of first grade football.
“He gave a delightful display in both loose and heavy play,” wrote Kearney.
Nugent learned his football at Brothers’ Enoggera School, graduating into the under-20s and C grade in 1947.
The other outstanding player for Norths was Nugent’s co-forward, Nev Tanner. Wests’ best were Hilary Ching and Bill Reis in the backs and Roy Lyons in the forwards.
Souths defeated Easts 17-5, with international forward, Bill Tyquin upsetting some in the crowd with his tackling style. Reg ‘Bubbles’ Pegg scored two tries for Souths.
In the other other match, a sensational right hand corner try by former Toowoomba winger, Johnny McMahon, as the bell rang, gave Brothers a 14-12 win over Valleys.
Brothers’ best included Steve Dick (the uncle of former Courier-Mail sports editor, Barry Dick) and future Australian captain-coach, Brian Davies. Halfback, Bob Bax, (a future ‘super coach’) showed promise of a fine season. Valleys backs, Dan O’Connor and Jack Kellaway showed glimpses of their best form.
In fourth grade, Easts Stanley won on forfeit from Wests. Norths Stafford also won on forfeit, from Valley All Whites. Norths Albion 16 d Norths Cribb island 3. Cribb Island was a thriving community in those days, before making way for the Brisbane Airport runway.
In the under-20s, Wests Ithaca defeated Souths Moorooka 25-0.
Former Queensland back, Ted Verrenkamp indicated he would return to Australia in June, after two seasons with Leeds in England. While in Leeds, Verrenkamp attended university, taking lectures in textile manufacture.
Another England based Queenslander, Len Kenny (St Helens) also was weighing up his future, with his wife, Frances having returned to Brisbane, where she gave birth to their daughter, Alexis Ann.
Sydney club, St George had made Kenny an offer, including a free return flight to Australia.
Mrs Kenny, formerly Miss Frances Connon, of Fairfield, chose Alexis Ann as the baptismal names, but “Dad has to approve”.
Photo: Bob Bax