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Title: ... p36 Wally Lewis - (p108) Mark Broadhurst- (p32)-Artie Beetson-1983 Qld tour of UK by Rob Crossland,

p36 Wally Lewis (p108) Mark Broadhurst- (p32)-Artie Beetson - In October 1983, the Australian State champions Queensland arrived for a mini-tour. -


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Rob Crossland, Hull UK

Hull Kingston Rovers



For the best part of the decade British Rugby League had been tempting to to close the gap on the Australians, mostly without success.

The season of 1983 saw Wigan crowned unofficial club champions when they beat Manly and earlier, Hull Kingston Rovers showed that the Aussies need not rule OK.

In October 1983, the Australian State champions Queensland arrived for a mini-tour.

Coached by then Australian national coach, Artie Beetson, and captained by Wally Lewis, already being hailed as the finest player in the world.

Their tour began at Craven Park just as the full Australian tour had done 12 months before, and as on that occasion, it proved an acrimonious start.

They met a reshaped Hull KR side on October 16 and far from dazzling the crowd with their skills, they shocked them with their aggressive violence.

Unchecked by referee Robin Whitfield, Queensland laid into an unsuspecting Rovers side with a savagery nobody had expected.

Within half-an-hour they had claimed three victims. Prop Roy Holdstock and hooker David Watkinson were carried off and stand-off Steve Hartley was led away with a broken arm.

But for the prior arrangement of four substitutes a side, Rovers would have been in a hopeless position before half-time.

As it was, they seemed badly up against it. An early penalty by Lewis and a well-worked try by the same player on the one occasion Queensland showed flair rather than fire, gave the tourists a 6-0 lead after 13 minutes.

In reply, George Fairbairn slotted over two penalties, the first after 29 minutes for the collective fouls on Holdstock, the second just before half-time.

But just as significant as Fairbairn's two goals had been the influence of Rover's latest overseas capture, the New Zealand international prop Mark Broadhurst.

Broadhurst, a one-time boxer, adopted an un-changing approach to Rugby League.

He always played the game hard and fair. It took a lot to make him lose his temper.

The Queensland hooker, Shane Bernardin, discovered how much in the 36th minute. Repeatedly niggling Broadhurst in the tackle without the referee stepping in, he finally blew the fuse at the end of the Kiwi's temper.

As the two squared up at the play-the-ball, Broadhurst unleashed a left hook of stunning power. Bernardin went up and dropped like a sack of potatoes.

Posted by Quigs - Found this link 11/5/2012, from the Talkin Sports Website
VIDEO LINK ... Broadhurst decks QLD Hooker..Hull Kingston Rovers Vs Queensland 1983

Link Ref includes players ..47,63,69,102,

It should have been an instant dismissal, but the crowd were on their feet cheering and applauding the first act of Rovers' retaliation.

Mr Whitfield contented himself with the penalty award.

Queensland were never the same again. Deprived of their physical superiority by Broadhurst's punch they went to pieces in the second half.

Only three minutes after the break Rovers were ahead, Mike Smith gratefully accepting the chance when winger Mitch Brennan made a hash of his attempt to gather Gordon Smith's angled kick for the corner.

And that was that.

Queensland had their chances, but Rovers' tackling was sure and solid and even the normally sharp Lewis was forced into tactical errors, scorning kickable penalties in favour of quick taps.

Little Wonder that when he remembered a goal would earn a draw, his nerve was so shattered that he missed a relatively simple penalty that would have given Queensland a draw.

Still Hull Kingston Rovers proved to be the only British club that could manage to defeat the, Australian State champions on their mini-tour.

Courtesy www.hullkr.co.uk    
Appears in the following pages ....P108_Mark BROADHURST, P32_Arthur BEETSON, P36_ Wally LEWIS
Date of posting ... 11-Aug-2004
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