Rugby League scrappers



  • Was watching NRL 360 tonight, Ikin and Kent were musing about the best fighters they saw playing RL. Names such as Les Davidson, Blocker, Monty Betham, Mark Geyer, Carl Webb, Mal Meninga?? (never saw him throw a punch on the playing field) etc.
    Had to chuckle when Kent said he would choose Tallis as the best. Fair dinkum, Gordy’s claim to fame was basically unloading on Ben Ross and Terry O’Connor whilst they didn’t even have their hands up, he hit them both with a flurry and didn’t knock down or bloody up either of them! Impressive indeed! O’Connor hit him with a few choice ones in return and sent King-Hit Gordy walking off the field with a split cheek.
    Interested to hear people’s stories and memories of RL scrappers from back in the day:BS (Before Slapping)!
    Blocker copping a fair hiding from Kevin Tamati in the 1985 Test Match vs Kiwis as a young 21 year old (give or take a year) yet still standing and throwing them back was a memorable effort in my book.



  • Lennox Lewis would have been a great front rower



  • Oh Billy Johnson by a country mile. Trained as a boxer before going to play at the Doggies. Playing against Souths one day. The scrum erupted. Billy dropped into his boxing stance and belted both front rowers and the hooker before they could throw a punch

    Got sent of for it 😦



  • Sonny Bill was obviously pretty handy.
    One I always wondered about was Skando? I never saw him throw a punch yet but it seemed like any time there was a melee as soon as he arrived it just stopped instantly. Did they know something we didn’t???



  • Ben Creagh



  • @:

    Sonny Bill was obviously pretty handy.
    One I always wondered about was Skando? I never saw him throw a punch yet but it seemed like any time there was a melee as soon as he arrived it just stopped instantly. Did they know something we didn’t???

    Skando’s 1st grade debut was a baptism of fire for the then youngster from memory. 1996 semi-final vs Penrith I think it was. Was a spiteful game with plenty of niggle and biff but he stood his ground and handled himself well. Panthers still had a pretty formidable pack around then too.



  • Thanks FTB, I thought there must have been a history, always made me laugh when other guys would see him show up and back down.



  • There were many, many more in the old days when referees were more ‘flexible’. One of the all-time best was Noel Kelly. He boxed in his younger days but rarely got into a fight on the field. That’s because he’d throw a right hand and the other guy would go down and not get up. He was tough on the field but a champion bloke off it. Another tough guy from that time was John Sattler. He could throw them too.



  • I think Ned still holds the record for the earliest send off in RL history.
    It was against the Kiwis , and was only minutes( may have only been the first minute) into the game.



  • @:

    There were many, many more in the old days when referees were more ‘flexible’. One of the all-time best was Noel Kelly. He boxed in his younger days but rarely got into a fight on the field. That’s because he’d throw a right hand and the other guy would go down and not get up. He was tough on the field but a champion bloke off it. Another tough guy from that time was John Sattler. He could throw them too.

    Agreed about Kelly. He boxed with Jimmy Sharman before he came to Sydney to join Wests. If anyone was silly enough to give him one, he repaid them with interest. He was king of the square-ups.



  • There is a big difference between those who could fight and those who were good scrappers.

    There were plenty of good scrappers in the 80’s & 90’s which I always loved watching fire up. Tunks; Davidson; Carroll; Blocker; Dowling; Geyer and plenty more all enjoyed a good stink.

    As for guys who could fight, Billy Johnstone [already mentioned] and Robbie O’Davis were 2 boys who were straight up on their toes when needed. Someone once mentioned Ray Price was pretty handy also, but I dont really recall much about him as a fighter.

    Slapping is so embarrassing for our game!



  • @:

    I think Ned still holds the record for the earliest send off in RL history.
    It was against the Kiwis , and was only minutes( may have only been the first minute) into the game.

    Yes, it was in the first minute. I think he was sorting out the Kiwi who decked our 5/8. He told a funny story recently. He was playing for the Kangaroos against an English club side midweek and was in the same side as Ian Walsh. Kelly was prop and Walsh was hooker. All game the referee was mixing them up calling Kelly Walsh and vice versa. An English second rower punched Walsh in a scrum so Kelly got square next scrum which finished with the English second rower carried off unconscious. The linesmen ran on saying “it was Kelly, it was Kelly, he’s got to go”. The referee agreed and turned to Walsh and said “you’re off”. Walsh turned to Kelly hoping he would own up but he was too busy laughing so Walsh had to trudge off.


  • Banned

    Dave Furner.
    Quiet assassin. Remember him smacking Webke in an origin with a beautiful right hander and near KO’ing him. He had a few dust ups over his career and never looked threatened. Also remember him cutting sick on a Welshman on a Kangaroo tour all in. He was a boxer and a fighter. A lot on the list above were brawlers.



  • @:

    There is a big difference between those who could fight and those who were good scrappers.

    There were plenty of good scrappers in the 80’s & 90’s which I always loved watching fire up. Tunks; Davidson; Carroll; Blocker; Dowling; Geyer and plenty more all enjoyed a good stink.

    As for guys who could fight, Billy Johnstone [already mentioned] and Robbie O’Davis were 2 boys who were straight up on their toes when needed. Someone once mentioned Ray Price was pretty handy also, but I dont really recall much about him as a fighter.

    Slapping is so embarrassing for our game!

    Robbie O’Davis?? Never saw him ever throw a punch. Maybe he should of protected himself a bit better when Robbie Beckett shoulder-charged him and squashed his nose flatter than a Milk Arrowroot, that was a cracker of a s#%tmixer that hit……Robbie O was whinging for months after!



  • @:

    I think Ned still holds the record for the earliest send off in RL history.
    It was against the Kiwis , and was only minutes( may have only been the first minute) into the game.

    Na not even close - Johnny Cogger playing reserve grand belted the opposition winger as Johnny was running onto the field, got sent straight off

    In the 80’s Canterbury made a change and a new prop ran onto the field. Packed the scrum, he belted his opposite number, got sent off. No idea who it was, just a TV game I was watching


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