DIARY UPDATE: Week 25, 2021

DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER

WEEK 25 2021

MONDAY, JUNE 21

Former Wallabies’ hooker, Mark McBain rates French halfback, Antoine Dupont the best player in the world. McBain, RadioTAB’s rugby expert, is a good judge, so his view is to be respected. On the same station, AFL expert, Tim Hodges says Gold Coast Suns are irrelevant, and that Tasmania are pushing hard to take their place. RadioTAB’s Boti Nagy is inducted into the South Australian Sports Hall of Fame. I love his quirky sense of humor.

Chris Johns steps down as Chairman of the Brisbane Broncos Old Boys. Ben Ikin has been confirmed as new Broncos’ Football Manager, replacing Peter Nolan. Ikin, five eighth in the Broncos 2000 premiership side, has been nine years on NRL 360 on FoxSports, with News Ltd’s Paul Kent. They became great mates during this time, despite having many disagreements.

Stafford Hotel patron, Dave Corbett had been to the Tweed over the weekend for bowls, at Condong. At Murwillumbah’s Riverview Hotel, Dave watched the local Mustangs Rugby League Club, live on the big screen, playing Byron Bay. When I played at Murwillumbah, for Brothers, the best we could hope for was the occasional radio call by 2MW. Wayne Johnson was one of the prominent callers, and Rod ‘Mr T’ Tiley, was there briefly.

TUESDAY, JUNE 22

Former Brisbane Brothers, St George and Cronulla Test back, Graham Quinn is my interview subject, for next Men of League Foundation magazine. We chat over a couple of coffees at Helensvale. Graham is upset by the news of the passing of his former Queensland teammate, Harry Cameron. The Spirit of Red V Museum has been opened at St George’s home ground, Kogarah, with former skipper, Steve Edge saying it is the most recognised jersey in the game.

Terry Gillam has done a wonderful painting of the famous Ipswich Test front row of Dud Beattie, Noel Kelly and Gary Parcell, and wants to donate it to the QRL.

The Easts Tigers’ backed Firehawks Bid team have a neon sign on Webster Road, pushing their case for admission into the NRL.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23

Former Murwillumbah High School classmate, Andrew Meyenn sends me his rendition of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’.

Membership at the Brisbane Lions’ AFL club has hit 40,000. Joe Daniher, a Victorian player with the Lions, says he is surprised at the popularity of ‘footy’ in Queensland. Mate, footy here is rugby league. And if he knew the history of Australian rules here, he would know that the former Brisbane competition, involving clubs such as Morningside, Mayne and Coorparoo, drew good crowds, unlike Sydney, where Aussie rules crowds were essentially made up of family and friends, before the arrival of the Swans.

Sydney Telegraph league writer, Dean ‘Bulldog’ Ritchie reckons the 2021 New South Wales’ backline could be the best ever. The Blues, who are based at Casuarina on the Tweed Coast, train at Cudgen’s home ground at Kingscliff. When I played against Cudgen (for Murwillumbah Brothers) we played at the field across the road, which was also a cricket field.

Learn of the passing of Grange identity, Keith Edward Rooney, a Victorian, who always remained an Aussie rules man, but also grew to love rugby league, and was an avid supporter of the Brothers’ club. Keith’s motto in life was “Family, Friends, Fun”, in that order. He was 73.

THUESDAY, JUNE 24

I participate in a Rugby League Hall of Fame Webex meeting – at QRLCentral – along with Frank Puletua, Geoff Armstrong, Roy Masters, John McCoy, David Middleton, Steve Haddan and Jason King, who are all contributing from their homes. Before leaving the QRL building, I provide a voice over for a Flashback from the 1991 State of Origin series.

FRIDAY, JUNE 25

There is an excellent crowd (7,183) at Sunshine Coast Stadium for Women’s State of Origin match, which Queensland win 8-6. The ‘Welcome to Country’ beforehand is very good. Most of the New South Wales’ players sing the National Anthem with passion, not so many of the Queensland players. The Maroons win, courtesy of a late penalty goal by Lauren Brown. Referee, Belinda Sharpe penalised Filomina Hamisi for a leg pull as Queensland prop, Chelsea Lenarduzzi attempted to play the ball, in front of the posts, with one minute to play. Did Lenarduzzi milk the penalty? You could certainly mount an argument that that was the case.

Our Granddaughter, Parker Ricketts, 5, wins the 400 metres at East Ayr primary Schools Athletics Carnival and finishes second in the 80 metres.

SATURDAY, JUNE 26

Queensland State of Origin legend, Chris Close is interviewed on 4BC and says the Maroons got what they deserved in Origin 1 in Townsville, when they lost 50-6. Close, himself a former Manly-Warringah player, has a high opinion of the Sea Eagles’ Origin star, Tom Trbojevic. “He could swallow a rat and shit out a rabbit,” Close says.

Watch the start of the Tour de France from Brest. A female commentator says the water levels are low in the river, as if there has been a drought. She is probably worried about climate change. It turns out, the river here is tidal, and the tide is out.

‘The Sunday Mail’ describe a bloke on fraud charges as an ‘aspiring NRL player’. He had an offer to play league in a lower tier competition in France, and has never got anywhere near the NRL. It’s one of my pet hates that every Australian rules player is referred to as an AFL player. Only those in the AFL are AFL players. The others are Australian rules players.

SUNDAY, JUNE 27

My wife, Marie and I have to pass up the chance to go to Origin II, as we both have food poisoning – eggs. Our youngest son, Lliam attends and catches up with my fellow History Committee member, Paul Hayes. NSW win 26-0, to wrap up the series. Fullback, James Tedesco is man of the match. ‘Bulldog’ Ritchie and Michelle Bishop are the only New South Wales’ media people at the match, thanks to Covid travel restrictions. Rowing identity, Ray Ebert watches the match from the front bar of Rockhampton’ historic Criterion Hotel, after towing a boat to the Fitzroy River city, for an Australian team camp.

See ‘Green and Gold Comes First’ on this website, for my view on the Ronaldo Mulitalo controversy leading up to Origin II.

Brisbane Brothers’ teammates, Graham Quinn, David Wright and Ian Dauth in their Queensland strips

Keith Edward Rooney

Terry Gillam’s painting of Ipswich league legends (from left) Gary Parcell, Noel Kelly and Dud Beattie

Lliam Ricketts (right) and Paul Hayes at State of Origin II, 2021.

Leave a comment or reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s