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Favorite Moments - 100 - 125 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm110 - Memories from a young Pom watching the 1963 Roos

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kevin Blackwell
HULL KINGSTON ROVERS.. is the club I follow



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2/5/07 - SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE TO READ KEVIN'S COMMENTS ON AND AROUND THE LAST TIME THE POMS RULED THE LEAGUE WORLD. it is a great knowledgable read... thanks Kevin for putting it together - Quigs

The 1st test series I remember was as a small boy reading about the 1962 series.

1963 was the first series I saw on TV.

The 1st test was played at Wembley, but only highlights were shown on TV, although I think Reg Gasnier scored 3 tries.

The match at Swinton was the first test I saw live.

It left an indelible imprint on me, which remains to this day.

Australia have never played better in my opinion. Langlands, Irvine, Gasnier, Raper would walk into any greatest team that I could think of.

The abiding memories are of Ken Irvine's chase down of Neil Fox, with John Stopford scoring a try.

But watching Australia that day was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters.

Raper never played better. Chang wasn't far behind. Still the best team I've ever seen.

As memorable was the 3rd test (Battle of Headingley) when the fists flew. Noel Kelly was indeed a very hard man. A scrum broke up and he delivered a couple of beauties on one of the English props.

Cliff Watson got sent off in the same game.

I have highlights of the 63 Tour on DVD and it's a prized possession.

See Memorable Matches No2

THE THOUGHTS OF KEVIN --- a great read.

We even had the Balmain Pie Eater for a few months in 1968, and Rovers fans mention him in revered tones even to this day, particulary when he chinned Ian Van Bellen in an A team game. For me McTigue and Artie were the greatest ball handlers of them all. My fave all time player is Malcolm Reilly; for Aussies it would be Artie or Ron Coote. All forwards!!! The best back threequarter was Gasnier, but I still think the greatest player I've ever seen is Alex Murphy. His try in the 3rd test in 62 is absolutely unbelievable.

It's would seem strange that we nearly whitewashed in 62 and was then on the receiving end in 63, but there are a number of circumstances why that should be. In 62 many of the English had been on Tour in 58. They had the experience, a settled team, trained every day etc. A unity of purpose. In 63 the team was breaking up and as John Whiteley said there was political decision by selectors to have in players to help different selectors. Consequently, they chopped and changed instead of selecting the 62 side en bloc. However, that doesn't diminish what the Australian 63 team achieved. Thery were the forerunners of the success Australia has achieved since.

I think the 63 team threw off the yoke, perhaps subliminal, that they were destined to be beaten. They were unlucky on the 59 Tour. Has there been a better centre partnership than Harry Wells and Reg Gasnier? I don't think so. A case of the rapier and the bludgeon. In 63 one of the main ingredients was Langlands. I know he had mightily impressed the 62 tourists when they played down in Woollongong. What a great player, plus Irvine, Gasnier and Raper.

I was too young to remember the games in the 50's and many of the early 60's, but luckily I've managed to get hold on video the series from 54 in Australia to 63 in England.

My all time Oz 13


Having to leave out Bob Fulton was the hardest, but I think Kenny was a better footballer and Sterling the best team player I've ever seen. As a partnership they were fantastic. On the 82 Tour they ran amok and remember that Kenny kept Wally Lewis out of the test team.

For England it would be:


Hardest decision was to leave out Cliff Watson. Would have him on subs bench with Hanley. I think the best 2nd row partnership I've seen was Huddart and Edgar in 62. There were plenty of good locks around at that time such as Whiteley, Karalius, Turner; but I feel that Reilly's all round game was better. For all Karalius was a tough player, Malcolm was a better ball player, could run and pass like Whiteley and was quick and hard like Derek Turner.

I believe the reason we won the 70 Series (our last) was we had a great half back partnership with Hepworth and Millward, the front row was the best we've had (Hartley, Fisher, Watson); but I believe that Reilly was brilliant. What a great player, beauty and the beast wrapped up in the same package.


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