FLASHBACK: August, 1950

FLASHBACK
AUGUST 1950
Great Britain’s unhappy Southern Hemisphere tour finished with a 20-13 loss to New Zealand in the Second Test at Auckland’s Carlaw Park, giving the Kiwis a 2-0 series win.
Halfback, Jim Haig from the Canterbury Province, scored two tries and kicked a goal for New Zealand in front of a packed house of 20,000.
The other try scorers were Bevan Hough and skipper, Maurie Robertson, both from Auckland. The goal kicking duties were shared around, with Des White kicking two goals and George Davidson one.
British skipper, Ernest Ward (Bradford Northern), making his second tour, scored one of his side’s three tries, and landed two goals. The other try scorers for the tourists were Jim Featherstone and Bob Ryan, both Warrington players. 
After winning the First Test against Australia, all the remaining Tests – two in Australia and two in New Zealand – were lost.
In Australia, Britain played 19 games, winning 15, while in New Zealand they won the four games played outside the Test arena.
The Lions had left Australia on July 24, playing the First Test in Christchurch just five days later, going down 16-10.
In the days after their departure for New Zealand, Australian press reports indicated that the players and management were disgruntled.
“They left Sydney without the Ashes, but with a nasty taste – very much like the taste of a burnt football case – in their mouths,” wrote ‘Insider’.
“There was a coldness about their leave-taking that wasn’t all climatic; that couldn’t be shut out by overcoats and mufflers.
“There was no fanfare, no familiar cacophony from the ferry boats and motor horns. Indeed, no friendliness! So different from their welcome.
“Apart from those who had to be there, 14 people saw the Englishman go.”
English team manager, George Oldroyd called it “this bitter tour”, and the Australian media tipped he would unleash once he got back to England and filed his report to the RFL.
Despite reports the British felt they were treated harshly by referees, and given a hostile reception by some crowds, particularly in Queensland, second rower, Doug Phillips (Belle Vue Rangers) and halfback, Tommy Bradshaw (Wigan) indicated they would like to return as migrants.
In Queensland, the Brisbane representative side claimed the prestigious inter-city Bulimba Cup crown for the fifth successive year, after beating Toowoomba 32-19 at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds. (Ipswich was the other team in the competition).
The young Toowoomba team played their best football since pre-war days and deservedly led 14-8 at halftime. Central to Toowoomba’s fine showing was five eighth, Cyril Connell, from the Newtown club, who was playing his first Bulimba Cup match, after moving to the Downs from his home town, Rockhampton, to take up a teaching post.
Connell’s selection was controversial, given he came into the side at the expense of Kangaroo and State half, Bill Thompson of Warwick, who captained the Maroons in Sydney earlier in the year. Connell’s father, Cyril Snr, was a State selector.
State Fullback, Bill Sullivan was another star of the Toowoomba side, which was coached by the legendary Duncan Thompson.
Winger, Jack McMahon scored three tries for Brisbane, while Clydesdales’ winger, Des McGovern grabbed two for the visitors.
Lock, Mick Crocker did a tremendous amount of work for Brisbane, particularly in defence, and second rower Brian Davies was dominant in the rucks. Brisbane fullback, Norm Pope kicked seven goals from 10 shots, while centre, Bevan Hoyle, formerly from Maryborough, landed five goals from eight attempts for Toowoomba, with two of his missed attempts hitting the cross bar.
The crowd of 4,000 was regarded as ‘reasonable’, given the Royal Brisbane Show was to open the following day.
A Papua New Guinea representative side, made up entirely of Australian ex-pats, toured Queensland in July-August.
They lost 5-3 to Redcliffe at the Redcliffe Showgrounds, under floodlights, with the lighting barely adequate.
1 Ernest Ward
2 A jubilant crowd at the SCG after Australia won the Rugby League Ashes in 1950
3 Mick Crocker
4 Des McGovern

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