FLASHBACK: August, 1961


Controversial referee, Henry Albert was pelted with rubbish when he left the field following a 10-all draw fought out by the Valleys and Wests clubs in a torrid Brisbane Rugby League fixture at Oxenham Park, Toombul.

Albert had given Wests chances to win the game in the last two minutes, when he awarded two penalties within easy kicking distance. Queensland representative winger, Nat Lohman missed both shots, the second one less than 30 metres out from in front of the posts as the fulltime bell sounded.

When that kick went wide, a large section of the crowd milled in front of the grandstand, booing wildly. Flanked by the linesmen, police and valleys’ players, Albert was escorted through the crowd to the dressing rooms. One spectator tried to force his way to Albert, but was forced away. Albert made the dressing rooms, but, according to The Courier-Mail’s Lawrie Kavanagh, not before he was pelted with an assortment of fruit peelings and rubbish.

In an interview with Brisbane league historian, Greg Mallory in 2009, Albert admitted he was flamboyant, but said the greatest character he met as a referee was Digger Chambers, who gave Henry his Test whistle, the day he started refereeing. (Chambers refereed Test matches between Australia and Great Britain, and then Australia against New Zealand, in 1946 and ’48 respectively).

Wests’ best at Oxenham Park were forwards, Paddy Morgan and John Lohman, while prop, Reg Collins and centre Nev Clarke were outstanding for Valleys.

Test winger, Lionel Morgan brilliantly led Wynnum-Manly to a shock 27-19 win over premiership contenders, Brothers at Lang Park. Morgan, who played in the centres, capped a wonderful display of tackling with a 55 metre try and four goals from four attempts. He had strong support from five eighth, Harry Muir and centre, Billy McDermott. Wynnum’s energetic young pack, led by props, Trevor Niebling and Keith Kimmorley, regularly ploughed through the Brothers’ ruck. Five eighth, Vince Hore was Brothers’ best, revelling in the service he received from Kiwi halfback, Sel Belsham.

Discarded forward, Steele Davis scored 10 points for wooden spooners, Easts in their shock 13-10 win over competition leaders Norths in the Sunday Lang Park match. Fists flew in three brief flare-ups in the second half, before a wild brawl, which involved both packs.

Davis was dropped to reserve grade six weeks earlier, but had made every post a winner following his reinstatement in mid-July. In this match he played centre, when Ted Fuller (flu) pulled out. Davis opened the scoring with a try and later kicked a penalty goal. Then, three minutes from fulltime, he scored the winning try and converted.

In the other match of the round, Redcliffe defeated Souths 26-5 at Redcliffe after leading only 7-5 at halftime. Redcliffe captain-coach, Ken McCrohon led by example after the break, and the Dolphins’ backs ran riot, with loping winger, Stan McDonald in particularly good form. Souths’ best was halfback, Ivan Jones, who scored a great individual try in the first half.

Beenleigh continued its winning run in the Gold Coast competition by beating Dambusters 24-6 in a testimonial match to aid the family of the late Mr W Bateman, who was South Coast secretary.

Rockhampton defeated Bundaberg 43-20 in a Kruger Cup fixture in Rockhampton. Sugar Ray Robinson landed 11 goals from 14 shots for the home side. Former State forward, Bluey Sear was outstanding for ‘Rocky’. Sear represented Queensland in 1955, when he played in the Townsville competition. The result had no bearing on the outcome of the Kruger Cup, with Ipswich having an unbreakable hold on the trophy.

Henry Albert

Australia’s 1960 World Cup side in England. Lionel Morgan is the player on the far left, back row

Ivan Jones is the player with ball, the number 7 for Souths in their win over Canterbury-Bankstown in the 1967 Sydney grand final

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