Giant Englishman, Brendan Hill powered Easts to a 18-16 win over Wynnum-Manly at Langlands Park, to keep the Tigers on top of the 1989 Brisbane Rugby League premiership.
The 116kg forward was making his first grade debut for Easts, and diplayed the ball skills which saw him chosen for Great Britain’s under-21 side. It also was easy to see why he attracted a 90,000 pounds transfer fee when he moved from Bradford North to Halifax in the northern winter.
Sydney club. Caterbury-Bankstown had been interested in signing him, before their import quota was filled.
Hill’s game was marred by a stint in the sin bin for an alleged spear tackle, but he appeared to only upend the Wynnum player, who belly flopped on the ground.
Hill, standing in for Martin Quinn, repeatedly shook off the first tackler, and it often took three or four others to pull him to the ground, but in most cases he was able to unload round-the-corner-passes to supports. One of those passes found centre, Steve Dowden, who crossed for his second try, giving Easts an 18-6 lead, one minute into the second half.
Easts’ second rower, Andrew Neave was sent off following an elbowing incident, and Wynnum surged back, but left their run too late.
At Meakin Park, Kingston, the home side, Logan City proved no match for Redcliffe, who scored five tries to two in a 30-12 victory. Halves Trevor Benson and Peter Robinson scored two tries each for Redcliffe, while forwards, Shane Knuth (now a Queensland MP) and Danny Russell were outstanding in the forwards.
At Purtell Park, Wests’ Australian Schoolboys’ half, Jason Twist scored a try on debut, in a 27-20 loss to Norths.
At Neumann Oval, Valleys’ halfback, Brett Daunt scored two tries in the Diehards’ 26-6 win over Brothers. All Brothers’ points came from the boot of Gavin Darwin.
In the other match of the round, Ipswich defeated Souths 26-6 at North Ipswich Reserve. Former Souths’ forward, Bob Kellaway, making his first run-on appearance in the top grade since coming out of retirement, scored a crucial try just after halftime to give the Jets a 14-6 lead.
Kellaway played two State of Origin matches for Queensland in the early 1980s.
Ipswich skipper, Steve Parcell, the son of former Test forward, Gary Parcell, scored a try and kicked five goals.
Photo: Trevor Benson in action for Redcliffe against Logan City at Dolphin Oval. Photo, Stewart Ricketts.