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Title: ... p62 Johnny Raper gives his account of first match against the Great (p73) Clive Churchill.

He said, ‘But next time you’d better hit me with the ball. Have a look up the other end of the field.’


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John Raper St George Legend gives his account of his first match against the Great Clive Churchill.




"And I remember one of the first games I played against Churchill was when he was on the end of his career, and he was playing five-eighth."

"For South Sydney of course, and Dickie Pool, the coach then said, ‘Now son,’ he said, ‘you’re playing against a good player here today. It’s Clive Churchill,’ he said, ‘don’t underestimate him because he’s a fullback’, he said, ‘because he’s capable of just about handling every position.’

And as cocky as I was in those days, I said, ‘Dick, don’t worry, you won’t have any trouble with him.’

As play went on, I got a bit cockier than what I should normally do, being 16 years of age I went up and I hit Churchill and I said, (I mean with a legal tackle of course) and I said, ‘How do you like that one?’ He said, ‘That’ s good son,’ he said, ‘that’s beaut.’

Then a couple of moments later I hit him with another crash tackle and knocked him to the ground, and I said, ‘Now how was that one?’ And he said, ‘That was a lot better, by the way’, you know, he just sort of sat there and after we played the ball and before he got up he said that word, he said, ‘You know, it’s better than the last one.’

And the next time I hit him he said, ‘That was your best one, son.’ So I thought, oh well I must be getting over the old fellow. He said, ‘But next time you’d better hit me with the ball. Have a look up the other end of the field.’

Well what Clive had done he’d sucked me in, the winger come from the blind side, he give him the ball, Ian Moir it was in those days, give him the ball and Moir was putting the ball down between the posts as I was talking to Churchill.

And I always admired Churchill immensely from that day, more than what I admired him before. And it was a great pleasure, having tackled Clive Churchill, it was a great pleasure getting a lesson from him."

Appears in the following pages ....P62_Johnny RAPER, P73_Clive CHURCHILL
Date of posting ... 26-May-2006
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