DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 27 2018
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Interview Broncos’ foundation player, Billy Noke over coffee at Logan Hyper Dome. He tells yarns about his young, wild days. Now has three sons, and is a Life Member of the Runaway Bay Rugby League Club, where he catches up with the likes of former Australian player, and Great Britain coach, David Waite, for a drink. Waite often goes ‘Outback’, fossicking for gems.
The Canadian flag is flying at a house on Eildon Hill, Grange. There is a different flag there, every other day.
Harry Moore, the manager of our Hermitage Gardens Estate at Grange, chides a P Plate driver, who nudges 50 km per hour. The speed limit is 10.
In England, Leeds Rhinos have sacked stalwart coach, Brian McDermott, one of rugby league’s most impressive men.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4
Rugby League author, Murray Barnett is a visitor today. He has a ‘file’ on former Australian winger, Des McGovern, including letters from the great Duncan Thompson to Des, when Des was on tour with the Kangaroos in Britain and France, in 1952. One of the letters, from Toowoomba coaching guru, Thompson, updates Des on the cricket scores in the Australian summer, as well as Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers.
Nudgee College, the alma mater of our sons, Damien and Lliam, has crews at the Henley (rowing) Regatta in England. They have rowed against the likes of Monmouth and Eton Colleges, with the crowd behind the Nudgee boys in the race against the Eton toffs.
THURSDAY, JULY 5
Marie and I see movie, ‘Back to Burgundy’ at Palace Centro, James Street. A nice movie, although the second half is slow. Storm v Dragons match in Melbourne is high quality, despite the absence of so many State of Origin stars. A bloodied James Graham is courageous for the Dragons, but his heroics, in a match featuring end-to-end action, were overshadowed by the brilliance of Storm skipper, Cameron Smith.
SUNDAY, JULY 8
Fire has destroyed the historic Moulin Grandstand at the famous Lezignan Rugby League Club in France.
I chat to former Australian Test halfback, Mark Murray about brothers, Liam and Tom Duggan, who I am chasing for a story for Men of League magazine. Liam and Tom represented Queensland, Liam from Wondai in 1968 and Tom from Brisbane Valleys in 1974. In recent years, Tom has had a big involvement with Norths. Mark Murray, who has worked in real estate at Redcliffe for the past three years, attended fitness guru, Steve Hooper’s 50th birthday party on Friday. I played with Mark at Norths in 1979, when he was a school teacher. The following year Norths won the premiership, with Mark; New Zealand’s player of the century, Mark Graham; Joe Kilroy and Campbell ‘Zulu’ Dews among the best in a great team effort against favorites, Souths in the grand final.
Broncos’ Test forward, Sam Thaiday announces he will retire from footy at the end of the season. He dresses as an old bloke, as he makes it official. Our eldest son, Damien taught Sam at Kirwan High School in Townsville, and always predicted big things for him.
Photo 1: Brothers, Liam and Tom Duggan
Photo 2: Mark Graham and Wally Lewis.