Broncos’ Test prop, Glenn Lazarus entered into an agreement with coach, Wayne Bennett that he would forfeit $1,000 from his pay cheque the next time he was seen treading on an opponent.
It was a bizarre agreement, born out of the fact Lazarus had received two warnings from the New South Wales Rugby League Referees’ co-ordinator, Michael Stone, after being spotted standing on the hand and leg of opponents. The first came via an informal chat with Bennett, the second via an official letter.
Lazarus suffered a groin injury in Brisbane’s 37-6 thrashing of Penrith, and retired after 24 minutes of a match, which saw former Bronco, Trevor Gillmeister back in Brisbane after signing with the Panthers, following Bennett’s big call to cut him, after Brisbane’s premiership triumph in 1993.
Penrith skipper, John Cartwright had three loosened bottom teeth and a possible jaw fracture from what he described as “a couple of high shots” from Broncos’ players.
Twice in the space of four minutes, mid-way through the second half, Cartwright emerged worse for wear from tackles by Broncos’ forwards. He climbed to his feet holding his jaw after both tackles, the first by Andrew Gee and the second by Peter Ryan.
Neither tackle attracted any attention from referee, Greg McCallum or his touch judges.
But McCallum did call out Broncos’ forward, Alan Cann for a high tackle on former Broncos’ teammate, Kieran Meyer and also for a lunging effort at Steve Carter.
Bennett said the Broncos were aware Cann had a tendency to go a bit high, and it was something they were trying to eradicate from his game.
A Brisbane Rugby League premiership game preceded the Broncos’ match, and it was Wynnum-Manly halfback, Jason Predl who stole the limelight in his side’s 48-14 thrashing of the Broncos Colts.
A member of the champion Wynnum High side from 1989, Predl showed exceptional pace and scored four tries. Wynnum lock, Ray Allen, a brother of Broncos’ forward, Gavin Allen, set up a fine try for five eighth, Ian Cash. Wynnum were coached by former Australian centre, Graham Quinn and the Broncos by former Brothers’ forward, Glenn Bailey.
The Broncos had begin April with 44-12 thrashing of Easts’ Roosters in Sydney, with Steve Renouf scoring three tries and Willie Carne two.
Gold Coast Seagulls began the month with a 26-24 loss to Parramatta at Tweed Heads, with Parramatta five eighth, Keith Blackett kicking five goals from five shots. The previous year, Blackett, a railway employee, had returned to Bathurst because he was homesick.
Blackett kicked goals in a casual manner, a bit like the legendary French fullback, Puig Aubert, who turned his back on the ball before steering it between the posts from virtually no run-up at all.
Parramatta winger, Brett Plowman was knocked out by an Adrian Vowles front-on tackle in the 12th minute, but recovered and went on to score a try. Plowman told me it had been a traumatic week, as he had been to Gympie for the funeral of an aunty and cousin who had been killed in a car accident.
Seagulls’ Test utility, Dale Shearer, visibly distressed from a back problem, left the dressing rooms after the match, accompanied by his father, who said Dale would have to go to hospital, because of internal bleeding.
Shearer had not played the previous week when Gold Coast were belted 36-8 by North Sydney.
Footnote: Mick Stone announced in March, 2019, he would undergo surgery in St Vincent’s private Hospital, Sydney, as prostate cancer had returned for a third time.
Photo 1: Glenn Lazarus
Photo 2: Dale Shearer.