Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm18 - First trip to the SCG - Bowden sorts out Broadhurst

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
Damien Daley
Newtown .. is the club I follow

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Approx date and year of story=81.

The first time i ever went to the SCG was for a semi final between Manly and Newtown.

I can remember Steve Bowden from Newtown and Manly's Mark Broadhurst (a former Kiwi Test player)go toe to toe with Bowden getting the better of him with a vicious display of biffo .

I was in the Bradman stand (many years before a big screen)so my brother and i ran down to the kiosk area underneath where they had televisions set up to watch the replay of the stoush ,sensational!

I was about 12 at the time and was the happiest kid in sydney that day coz Manly got beat in the stink and the game..

12/05/04...... FROM DAVE DOWELL, NORTH CANTERBURY N.Z. Enquiry about the above mentioned game and other incidents......... CAN ANYONE HELP DAVE ???? Quigs @ Team Era

David Dowall
State=Nth Canterbury, New Zealand

Some 20 years or so ago a mate of mine returned from a trip to OZ with a video that he had copied from a cobber in Brisbane.

It was originally taped from a TV programme I think, showing highlights of Biffo from the 70's and 80,s. Les Boyd featured alot in it as did Terry Lamb and Ray price ( usually on the receiving end )however it also featured what I consider to be the most furocious encounter of all time that being the one between Mark Broadhurst and Steve Bowden during the Winfield Cup preliminary final of 1981, Manly V Newtown.

Sadly my mates missus taped over his copy ( the most cardinal of sins ) and his cobber in OZ lost his.

My request is wether or not you are aware of such a tape/DVD or anything like it,or even how I could get my hands on a copy of the 1981 Winfield prliminary final,Manly V Newtown.Failing that could you reccomend or refer me to someone who might know? It would be much appreciated.

Kind regards.


Time of incident September 13 1981


Without doubt my favourite moment was when Steve "Head butt" Bowden landed 2 of the most ferocious head butts on Mark "2 black eyes" Broadhurst in the Jets/Sea Eagles final of 81. I remember watching it on the late night replay with my dad who was totally distressed about Broadhursts facial injuries. I however as a 10 year old kid thought it was great to see and the camera man at that match deserved 10 out of 10 for following the 2 front row forwards as they paired off and went toe to toe in there own space. It looked even while the fists were flowing which wasnt surprising seeing Broadhurst was a amatuer boxing champ in NZ and Bowdens first love was boxing and trained alot with a punching bag in hes spare time. But Bowden was notorious for using hes head in battle situations, being sent off in the previous 2 seasons and also sluggin one on Bob Cooper in a clash against Wests. The precision timing of Bowdens head butt was perfect. He held nothing back giving Broadhurst the brunt of all the power in hes neck and back. The result was shattering. The impact could almost be felt in the living room as Broadhursts head whipped back and every bit of sweat flew off the big Kiwis melon. This precise moment would have been an awesome photograph for anyones sports bar or rumpus room. Unfortunatly what followed even as a 10 year old didnt please me. When a mans down thats it and although impressed with Bowdens thuggery tactics of putting Broadhurst down, when Bowden continued to lay upper cuts on hes defeated target I became a little disenchanted with Bowden. Fortunately Broadhursts team mates eventually came to hes rescue but not before Bowden had made a mess of hes other eye with the punching. At this stage Broadhurst was badly bruised under one eye and battered swollen under the other. If hes face wasnt already a mess, when the dust had cleared the sheer aggression that had possessed Bowden encouraged him to waltz through the huddle of players who had all settled down by this stage and blatenly put Broadhurst down a second time with another head butt in which he delivered and a awesome right hook that collected him also as he was falling to the ground. Its funny how things work as Bowden was struck in the back of the head by a Terry Randall boot that ended up putting the Manly hardman on crutches for 6 weeks. Broadhurst amazed me and showed either he was just a complete lunatic or a man of amazing guts as he continued to play on with what must have been reasonable concusion and a face that was almost similar to the elephant man. Bowden was naturally sent from the field and in the long run suffered the most as he had to sit on the sideline and watch hes team mates run around in the grand final. He was suspended for 7 weeks which I thought was getting off lightly. However the entertainment was absolutely slendid.


From David Benham, email from Jing'An/Shanghai, China, posted 22/07/2004

Club I support: Newtown

Year of my story: 1981

A glaring omission from your "Memorable Matches section is the 1981 Semi-Final between Newtown and Manly.

The longest and most vicious brawl in Sydney RL Finals history, it involved virtually every player on the field from both sides.

The main fight, though, was between Newtown's Steve Bowden and Mark Broadhurst.

It followed a week of taunting of Bowden by the media, mostly employing invented quotes from Broadhurst that, as a former NZ South Island Light Heavyweight champ, he was going to give it to Bowden in the first scrum.

Sure enough, the first scrum erupted as Bowden got in first. He broke both of Broadhurst's cheekbones and completely closed one of the Kiwi's eyes with a terrifying flurry of punches and headbutts.

I had the honour of reintroducing these two gentlemen at a dinner in honour of the 20th anniversary of their fight.

Broadhurst stressed that he had never made any of the inflammatory comments quoted in the pre-match press reports.

The upshot was that Bowden was sent off and a courageous Broadhurst played on with his injuries.

Bowden was subsequently suspended and his loss was sorely felt by Newtown in the Grand Final, which they lost to Parramatta.

David Benham


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