Combined Brisbane made an explosive debut in the mid-week Amco Cup competition with a 13-10 win over StGeorge at Lang Park, with veteran forward, Des Morris the star.
Since Queensland entered the Amco Cup in 1975, individual club sides from Brisbane contested the competition, along with the country divisions.
But as time went by, the Sydney clubs asserted their superiority, so the competition backers decided there should only be two teams from Queensland – Combined Brisbane and Queensland Country.
A crowd of 14,000 turned up for the Brisbane – Dragons match and got full value for money, with the the fans continually on their feet as the home side turned on scintillating attack.
The Courier-Mail’s Lawrie Kavanagh rated it the best game he had seen Morris play, with his combination with Easts’ teammate, Wayne Lindenberg crucial to Brisbane’s success. Lindenberg played all over St George’s Ken Kearney, and later, Steve ‘Slippery’ Morris, who replaced Kearney.
Also outstanding for Brisbane were second rower, Greg Quinn; hooker, John Lang; five eighth, Wayne Carr and winger, Brad Backer. Morris won a $1,400 video cassette recorder as man of the match.
St George were captained by former Brisbane Brothers’ centre, Graham Quinn.
There were complaints from fans about turnstile congestion getting into Lang Park, on the outer (hale Street) side of the ground.
In the Amco Shield Schools curtain raiser, Wynnum North defeated Mitchelton High 16-10.
In Brisbane club football, the weekend after the Amco Cup match, Souths belted Norths 34-10 at Lang Park to qualify for the Presidents Cup final, with centre, Mal Meninga scoring 22 points from two tries and eight goals. ‘Big Mal’ was backing up from the Amco Cup match, in which he landed two goals from five shots.
The day before the match, Norths’ coach, Graham Lowe; trainer, Hilary Pocock and team manager, Darryl Guymer escaped discplinary action after Lang Park stewards filed an official complaint with the League.
The stewards (known as the white coats) had had a heated debate with Pocock and Guymer, after Lowe allegedly walked on to the field to talk to his players during the ANZAC Day match against Wynnum.
At Kougari Oval, Wynnum scored an upset 21-11 win over Wests, with Wynnum’s 18-year-old lock, Ian French in sensational form. French received admirable support in the rucks from fellow forwards, Vince Raleigh and Ray ‘Tank’ Duncan.
Wynnum five eighth, former Murwillumbah Brothers’ star, Brian Walsh, engineered three of the Seagulls’ five tries.
Valleys played within themselves to thrash Redcliffe 36-4 in the Sunday Lang Park match, with Combined Brisbane lock, Wally Lewis scoring two tries for the Diehards. Valleys’ best forward was second rower, John McLeod.
Brothers’ defeated Easts 34-21 in the Monday Lang Park match, with former Charleville winger, Noel Russell scoring three tries for the victors.
Two wingers, Steve Stacey (Easts) and Rex Jorgensen (Brothers) were sent off, by referee, Harry Dearness, for high tackles. Jorgensen decked Stacey, off the ball, in the eighth minute, while Stacey flattened centre, Ross Claffey in the 26th minute.
In Toowoomba, the Combined Country side was beaten 26-14 by the Clydesdales in a warm-up match before the clash with City.
Toowoomba winger, Wayne Hetherington scored 17 points, from a try and seven goals. Toowoomba props, Ian Lindenmayer and Wayne Jensen were more than a match for Country props, Peter McNamara and former Test star, Ray Higgs. Jensen was man of the match, but was closely pressed by second rower, Peter Connell and halfback, Greg Robinson.
Country were coached by former Test centre, John McDonald, who was also president of the Toowoomba League.
Queensland Rugby League Writers’ Association member, Robyn Peach from the ‘Telegraph’, was expecting her first child. Robyn was married to former Brothers’ fullback, Greg Peach. In ‘Rugby League Week’, she wrote under the pseudonym, Robyn Plum.
Lawrie Kavanagh wrote: ‘Robyn is expecting a little ball boy, or cheer squad girl, in August’. Different times.
Photo 1: Des Morris on the attack against Valleys
Photo 2: Ray Higgs playing for Country
Photo 3: Mal Meninga (left) and Henry Foster at Brisbane training (in 1984).