FLASHBACK: March, 1961


MARCH 1961
Former Tweed Heads schoolboy teammates, Lionel Morgan and Billy McDermott starred for Brisbane in an upset 21-7 win over Ipswich in an inter-city, Bulimba Cup match, under lights at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds.
The indigenous duo thrived on immaculate service from halves, Barry Muir (another Tweed boy) and Kiwi, Sel Belsham, with Test winger, Morgan crossing for two tries.
But it was McDermott who stole the show, giving a robust and intelligent display at centre, showing a rare ability to make the extra man within a few strides. He also was sound in defence. Morgan and McDermott were teammates at Wynnum-Manly, with Morgan being lured to Brisbane by Wynnum stalwart, Mal Irwin in 1959, after being a member of Tweed All Blacks’ grand final win over Murwillumbah Brothers the previous year.
Muir scored a try against Ipswich, after Morgan raced into the clear and kicked ahead. Muir followed through and toed the ball into the in-goal, before pouncing.
Mick Veivers and Peter Gallagher were the best of the Brisbane forwards, while Denis Jackwitz and Ray Verrenkamp stood out for Ipswich. Ipswich fullback, Bill Cameron handled impeccably and kicked with fine judgement, for touch.
In other news of the time, Test hooker, Noel Kelly was told he was free to join Wests in Sydney after playing the 1960 season at Ayr in North Queensland. Although he had not officially been cleared, Kelly had already played a trial with Wests in March, after moving to Sydney.
There was a complex dispute over the 800 pounds transfer fee placed on Kelly by Ayr, by it was sorted before the Sydney season began on April 15. Another Test forward, Brian Hambly joined Parramatta from Wagga Magpies.
The Australian Rugby League Board of Control decided to present Leeds based, Arthur Clues with a World Cup team blazer and to officially thank him for his help in coaching Australia’s World Cup side in Britain, in October, 1960. Australia, captained by Keith Barnes, beat France 13-12 and New Zealand 21-15, but lost 10-3 to Great Britain, who were declared the winners after finishing the tournament undefeated.
Clues, who played all three Tests for Australia against the 1946 British touring side, joined Leeds in January, 1947 and made his debut against Hull at Headingley on February 1.
In ‘The Headingley Story’, Ken Dalby wrote that Clues proved to be a great capture, with many claiming that no better second rower had ever played the game.
“His tactical kicking, herculean tackling, devastating sidestep, indomitable spirit and great powers of leadership were revealed on countless occasions during his eight years distinguished service with the Leeds Club,” Dalby wrote.
In 1954, after a dispute with Leeds, Clues transferred to Hunslet, where he played for three years. Unlike most other Australians, he did not return home, opting instead to open a sports store in Leeds. I had the honour of meeting Arthur at his store, in January, 1978, during a back packing trip to Europe.
1 Brisbane winger, Lionel Morgan outpaces Ipswich’s Don Barrett
2 Harry Bath scores a try for Warrington. Others in the photo are (from left) Arthur Clues and Dickie Williams (Leeds), and Bath’s teammate, Harold Palin.

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