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Knight87
16-04-2008, 09:30 PM
Ok, I posted a thread on the main NRL forum component, linking to the topic of this thread. What I want to know (to all those ppl who were alive back then and remember), what was the QRL/BRL comp like back then? What was the quality of play like? What were crowd attendances like? Was it more popular than NSWRL in QLD (like, was there more publicity)? What would you say the best games you attended were and best players were? What was tv coverage of it like back then (also, did QLD ppl get to see games from NSWRL comp or not)? Who were the commentators of the matches? When did they stop televising the BRL/QRL comp? When did its popularity/tv coverage/crowd attendances start to diminish? What's the difference between Brisbane Rugby League comp/ Queensland Cup/ Winfield State Cup and the Ch9 cup? (or are they all the same comp)?

Soz, I know I asked a lot in one go, but I was curious to know about the 'so called' great comp (that I've heard about). Any detailed help would be greatly appreciated.

Knight87
16-04-2008, 09:38 PM
you know what I mean? Like, pre-1988, NSW had their own comp, QLD had theirs. Why are NSWRL matches recorded in the record books and archives and are the only ones talked about (and all the grand finals played at the SCG), whereas the QRL/BRL matches don't even get a mention today? Its like it was non-existant (maybe in the minds of NSWRL ppl). Unless, the quality of play in the QRL/BRL was very crap. I dunno, I was only 1 yr old in 1988, so I don't remember watching anything at the time. Had to rely on youtube for some famous clips of matches gone by from former years

XXXX Cap
19-04-2008, 12:01 PM
I'll try to have a bash at answering your questions.

What was the quality of play like?

The standard was excellent. The difference in different levels of competition in any sport is the speed of the game. It would probably be correct to think that the Sydney comp was slightly faster - the play-the-ball speed of NSW often undid Qld in State games. The BRL competition at any time contained the future stars of the game, current State and Australian players and a fair number of past representative players. These were distributed across only 8 teams - not 12 like Sydney. Thus the standard, particularly of top four or five teams, was very high.

What were crowd attendances like?

The match of the round at Lang Park would typically get 15000 - 25000 and the other three games around 4000 - 7000. Grand Finals were a sell-out with 38000 cramming into Lang Park.

Was it more popular than NSWRL in QLD (like, was there more publicity)?

No comparison. Almost all media coverage - televison/radio/newspapers was on the BRL. Into the early 70's, the Sydney results were found in an obscure corner of Monday's paper - certainly no mentions on radio or TV. The newspaper coverage of the Sydney comp probably increased a little through the late 70's / early 80's.

What would you say the best games you attended were and best players were?

Stack of memorable games. My favourite was probably the 1975 Grand Final with Wests beating Redcliffe 26 - 24 after leading 26 - 9. Outstanding quality of play and a rivetting match - watched it again lately and it certainly stands the test of time. Too many great players to mention each club had its greats : Valleys - Scanlan, Threlfo, Strudwick, Lewis; Brothers - Gleeson, Manteit, Wright, Quinn; Redcliffe - Pearce, Leis, Obst, Beetson; Wynnum-Manly - Trevor Neibling, Hornery, Scott, Miles; Norths - Metassa, Kilroy, Khan, Lobegeiger; Souths - Vola Vola, Belcher, Astill, Meninga; Easts - Morris, Morris, Denman, Lang; Wests - Muir, Connell, Orr, Carr.

That's just picking out a few names from the top of my head.

What was tv coverage of it like back then (also, did QLD ppl get to see games from NSWRL comp or not)?

Replays of games from Lang Park started in the late 60's. Television news would cover BRL news every night of the week and it was a major segment of weekend sports shows.

Who were the commentators of the matches?

Most memorable were George Donniger and Mick Veivers. Fonda Metassa was one of the first, Arthur Denovan from the ABC, Billy J Smith was colourful, Warren Boland and David Wright started a bit later and are still going. Radio was the legendary George Lovejoy followed by Ross Lawson. Billy J, John McCoy and a few others came along later.

When did they stop televising the BRL/QRL comp?

They didn't. A Queensland Cup game is televised live statewide every Saturday at 2 pm. Rates extremely well.

When did its popularity/tv coverage/crowd attendances start to diminish?

Initially, I would say from the early 80's. State of Origin had taken a lot of the focus from the BRL comp once it started. Interest was still high but there were more other events to compete with. The BRL Grand Final in the 70's was the biggest single sporting event in Queensland each year - this was before Indy, SOO and even One Day Internationals. The quantum drop was in 1988 when coverage dropped from extensive to almost non-existant.

What's the difference between Brisbane Rugby League comp/ Queensland Cup/ Winfield State Cup and the Ch9 cup? (or are they all the same comp)?

The BRL competition featured teams essentially from the Brisbane region. It ran as the major competition until 1995, though they played two further BRL Grand Finals in '96 and '97. The QRL introduced the Queensland Cup as the major comp in 1996, initially featuring the Brisbane teams (except Valleys which "went broke") and teams from regional Queensland plus Port Moresby. A number of teams have dropped in and out of the Queensland Cup since then with 11 teams in it this year. Channel 9 were an early sponsor of the Queensland Cup so that is the same thing.

The Winfield State League had various guises since commencing in 1982 - it started as a part season comp involving the Brisbane teams plus the regonal rep sides, lasting about 8 weeks. The Brisbane clubs then played the BRL comp for the remainder of the season. The State League is no longer played although there is a regional championship played at the level just under Queensland Cup.

XXXX Cap
19-04-2008, 12:08 PM
Why are NSWRL matches recorded in the record books and archives and are the only ones talked about (and all the grand finals played at the SCG), whereas the QRL/BRL matches don't even get a mention today?

Because they are written by ignorant Sydney-centric people.

Some of the journalists here are just as bad. Arthur Beetson was described in an article yesterday as the "former Balmain, Easts and Parramatta forward". Funny, I saw him play for Redcliffe in Grand Finals at Lang Park in 1965 and 1981.

Keen4Green
19-04-2008, 04:56 PM
Sensational reply XXXX Cap. Having spent the majority of my Saturdays and Sundays at Lang Park as a kid your answer bought back some great memories for me. Your list of players is sensational and yes the standard of play was terrific. Thanks again for a terrific reply. P.S. For the record, I couldn't separate my two favourite BRL memories. The first was Jeff Fyfe's field goal and the second Joe Kilroy's try, I'm sure you remember then both...Cheers

Knight87
19-04-2008, 08:24 PM
Smokin Joe Kilroy, ay? Didn't he go to jail for possession or trafficking of ElephantJuice (I'm pretty sure I saw an episode of Australian Story on ABC 4 yrs ago, with him and his wife, and how his wife was running seminars of some sort for women)?

XXXX Cap
20-04-2008, 10:01 AM
He did. His wife Debbie (maybe ex-wife now, I'm not sure) is still involved with prisoner welfare issues.

Keen4Green, for the second half of the 1972 Grand Final, I was standing in front of the Frank Burke Stand. Jef Fyfe was standing in a direct line between me and the goalposts. As the ball was passed to him, I thought "this bloke's going to have a field goal shot here". Little did I know his shot would become legendary.

mud n blood
28-04-2008, 12:19 PM
which try by Kilroy do you refer ?

Please don't say the 1980 grand final .... coz he didn't score a try. But it was his superb run through the entire Souths side that set up Yogi Dunn ....