David Wright, Barry Lafferty and Greg Thomas, all members of Brothers’ 1969 under-18 side, were no match for their more experienced Norths rivals in the Lang Park, Brisbane Rugby League match of the round.
The clash had been hailed as a prelude to the grand final, but in the end it looked more like a final for the wooden spooners, according to The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon.
Both clubs had been hit by injuries and state commitments, with the Queensland team in camp ahead of its trip south to play New South Wales in two clashes, one in Sydney, the other in Newcastle. Norths won 19-5 after leading 16-0 at halftime, with fullback, Peter Lobegeiger scoring a try and kicking five goals.
Reardon said Brothers’ inexperience was their downfall, while Norths were like a class of schoolboys misbehaving with their passes when their teacher was absent, bombing at least four tries with mis-timed passes, or by not passing at all.
He said the youngsters (Wright, Lafferty and Thomas) played well enough, but were out-manoeuvred by Norths’ senior forwards, Peter Hall, Peter Stapleton, Peter Kleinhans and Bobby Wilson, Reardon describing Wilson as the best support player in the business. Brothers’ only try was scored by prop, Steve Lean.
Valleys struggled to a 22-12 win over real wooden spooners, Wynnum-Manly at Neumann Oval with Valleys’ fullback, Norm Clarke kicking five goals to notch his 100 points for the season.
Wests kept their place in the BRL top four with a 24-14 win over Redcliffe in the Sunday Lang Park match, with fullback, Errol Stock in grand form for the Panthers. Jack Reardon tipped a big future for Wests’ prop, John McDonald.
In the other match, Souths defeated Easts 29-15 at Davies Park, with Easts’ centre, Bruce Hatcher, the current QRL chairman, scoring two tries.
Meanwhile, Queensland, coached by Rockhampton’s Des Crow, defeated Wide Bay 32-5 at Eskdale Park, Maryborough in a lead-up game to the southern tour.
Wingers, Wayne Stewart and Max Anderson scored five tries between them, with Stewart claiming three. Other try scorers were Glen Harrison, Reg Cannon and Graeme Atherton. Trevor Lindeberg scored Wide Bay’s try.
Queensland fullback, Ray Laird was injured at Maryborough and was replaced by Brisbane Souths’ England born star, Tony Scott.
Meanwhile, NSW selectors brought five new players into their squad for the first match against the Maroons, at the SCG. They were centres, Mark Harris and Graham Moran; winger, Ray Corcoran; halfback, Terry Reynolds and hooker, Kel Brown.
Harris and Corcoran were Queenslanders, with Harris’s most recent football having been played in Papua New Guinea. Moran had been a star player for Woodlawn College, near Lismore.
1 Brothers’ forward, David Wright hits the deck in a driving Easts’ tackle
2 Bob Cock (foreground) and Brothers’ teammate, Greg Thomas
3 Mark Harris
4 Graham Moran attacks for New South Wales. No. 9 is Queensland’s Jim Murphy, while Blues’ hooker, Kel Brown is charging up in support.