Messenger, Brown, Burge, Provan, Meninga announced as Immortals



  • Messenger, Brown, Burge, Provan, Meninga announced as Immortals

    Alicia Newton

    Wed 1 Aug 2018, 08:07 PM

    Norm Provan and Mal Meninga have joined Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown as the next five rugby league Immortals in a surprise announcement at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday evening.

    Originally set to be a maximum of two players on the 10-man nominees list welcomed into rugby league’s most exclusive club, pre-war pioneers Messenger, Burge and Brown were the first three men named in front of a prestigious crowd of dignatories. Then later in the festivities Provan and Meninga were announced as the 12th and 13th Immortals respectively.

    Messenger, Brown, Burge - pioneers of the premiership’s early days in Australia - Provan and Meninga were granted Immortal status by a panel that consisted of current Immortals Wally Lewis, Bob Fulton and Andrew Johns, along with Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, Phil Gould, Ray Warren, Steve Crawley and former Rugby League Week editors Ian Heads and Norm Tasker.

    “The judges took the view that this was a one-off opportunity to recognise the past, to recognise three players from the pre-war era who became legends of the game,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

    "If the panel did not take this step we could have lost our chance to include these champion players among our Immortals.

    “It was an opportunity the game could not afford to miss and the Immortals now reflect the full history of rugby league – from 1908 to the present.”

    Petero Civoniceva, Mark Graham, Cliff Lyons, Steve Menzies, Ricky Stuart and Gorden Tallis were also officially inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame as recognition for their playing achievements.

    It marks an historic inclusion for Graham, who becomes the first New Zealander to join the elite group.


    Dally Messenger was part of the first touring Kangaroos side and was so highly rated that New Zealand invited him as a guest on their first tour as well.

    He not only played for both countries, but also for Queensland and NSW, such was the talent of his goalkicking as well as his sidestep and swerving runs.


    Herbert ‘Dally’ Messenger - Immortal

    Universally known as “The Master”, Messenger could do it all. His attack was breathtaking and he was a peerless goalkicker.

    The domestic game’s major awards are named in his honour - a tribute to how his legacy has endured.


    Dave Brown won two premierships with Easts and in 1935 he scored 38 tries that year, including one match when he rattled up 45 individual points. Records that stand to this day.

    He also played 21 games for NSW and was known as “the Bradman of rugby league”.


    Dave Brown - Immortal

    Brown became Australia’s youngest Test captain at 22 years, in 1935, and that was despite all sorts of physical mishaps – including losing the top of his left thumb as a toddler.

    He was a prolific scorer and smashed the Kangaroos Tour record with 285 points.


    Frank Burge was probably the fittest player of his time. Talk has it that he ran from Broadway to Bondi on Sunday mornings as part of his fitness routine.

    If a centre was on the burst and looking around for support it was most likely Burge looming on his inside, or outside.

    He was one of the game’s first great try scoring forwards. Steve Menzies might have scored more but Burge’s strike rate was almost a try a game: 146 tries in 154 first grade matches.


    Frank Burge - Immortal

    He has the most tries in a premiership game – eight for Glebe v University in 1920.

    He also coached six clubs but never won a grand final as either a player or coach.

    Norm Provan was the backbone of St George’s historic run of 11 consecutive premierships between 1956-66, since Provan played in 10 of them – the last five as captain/coach.

    He played for NSW 25 times and Australia 14. He is half of the current Telstra Premiership trophy – the taller half since he stands at an imposing 194cm.


    Mal Meninga’s premiership rings straddled two states – he has two with Souths in the Brisbane competition and three with the Canberra Raiders.

    Size and strength have always been Meninga’s trademarks – and then there’s a list of achievements and point scoring records off the back of that to confirm that power. He kicked goals and broke through defensive lines without a hitch.

    The former Maroons coach played 45 games for Australia and on 42 occasions for Queensland. He is the only player to be a part of four Kangaroos Tours – the last two as captain.



  • 8 players in 37 years and Greenberg admits 5 in one night. I swear he just makes stuff up on the fly.



  • I still contend Keith Holman should be among this group.
    Played at the highest level
    Coached at the highest level including captain coach for two years.
    Refereed grand finals, state and test matches.
    Had a junior club named in his honour.
    No one has done more



  • @:

    8 players in 37 years and Greenberg admits 5 in one night. I swear he just makes stuff up on the fly.

    Possibly the worst head official/CEO to grace the NRL. Bloke needs to go



  • I am perfectly ok with 5 players as the 3 from the pre war was the first time they were eligible. I dn’t think Provan deserved it he wasn’t the best player of his era and probably quite a few that in reality have been better over the years. I remember when RLW did thier top 100 players ever he was somewhere down aroun 25 and that was from people who had seen him play and legends themselves so don’t think he is really at the same level.

    I have read about Keith Holman as above and think he prob deserves it over Provan.

    I’m only in my 30s so didn’t see that many but one who I think prob deserves a closer look is Glenn Lazarus - in 12 seasons over 3 clubs he won 6 premierships, 5 played in 5 consecutive grand finals at Canberra and Brisbane, won more then 70% of the club games he played, Captained a team to a GF win in a clubs 2nd only year, 14 wins out of 20 for NSW and was the best prop in the game for a decade. Playing in the engine room is the hardest of the game and he dominated it for over a decade



  • So Glen Air got dudded again?



  • Once again the NRL has stuffed it all up. To be expected really.
    Melon-head Mal gets a gift of Immortal status, this alone has opened up a massive can of worms IMO. He had the captaincy records and GF wins in his favour but strictly on personal playing ability he was certainly no better of a centre than Steve Renouf, Ettingshausen or Paul McGregor from his era alone (Throw Brad Fittler into that mix as well). Meninga’s skill set was extremely limited IMO. A big bloke who probably should of had the gumption to play in the middle of the field and test his mettle against the savage, brutal big blokes of his era instead of lingering on the fringes.

    Surely the original aim of “Immortals” of our game was to honour blokes who stood head and shoulders above all others in terms of ability, not a popularity contest or an exercise of politics within RL? If that is the case then Mal should of been behind the likes of Sterling, Kenny, Lockyer, Fittler etc IMO.

    The NRL will butcher the prestige of the Immortals concept without fail in the years to come. Such a shame. Looking forward to the day Bwaiff and Mitch Moses get inducted……



  • @:

    Once again the NRL has stuffed it all up. To be expected really.
    Melon-head Mal gets a gift of Immortal status, this alone has opened up a massive can of worms IMO. He had the captaincy records and GF wins in his favour but strictly on personal playing ability he was certainly no better of a centre than Steve Renouf, Ettingshausen or Paul McGregor from his era alone (Throw Brad Fittler into that mix as well). Meninga’s skill set was extremely limited IMO. A big bloke who probably should of had the gumption to play in the middle of the field and test his mettle against the savage, brutal big blokes of his era instead of lingering on the fringes.

    Surely the original aim of “Immortals” of our game was to honour blokes who stood head and shoulders above all others in terms of ability, not a popularity contest or an exercise of politics within RL? If that is the case then Mal should of been behind the likes of Sterling, Kenny, Lockyer, Fittler etc IMO.

    The NRL will butcher the prestige of the Immortals concept without fail in the years to come. Such a shame. Looking forward to the day Bwaiff and Mitch Moses get inducted……

    A comparison from the same era would be Gene Miles. Far superior to Mal.



  • Yawn.



  • Well Mal can’t say the game gave him nothing anymore.

    Demps…. When you experience history, you may appreciate it



  • @:

    @:

    Once again the NRL has stuffed it all up. To be expected really.
    Melon-head Mal gets a gift of Immortal status, this alone has opened up a massive can of worms IMO. He had the captaincy records and GF wins in his favour but strictly on personal playing ability he was certainly no better of a centre than Steve Renouf, Ettingshausen or Paul McGregor from his era alone (Throw Brad Fittler into that mix as well). Meninga’s skill set was extremely limited IMO. A big bloke who probably should of had the gumption to play in the middle of the field and test his mettle against the savage, brutal big blokes of his era instead of lingering on the fringes.

    Surely the original aim of “Immortals” of our game was to honour blokes who stood head and shoulders above all others in terms of ability, not a popularity contest or an exercise of politics within RL? If that is the case then Mal should of been behind the likes of Sterling, Kenny, Lockyer, Fittler etc IMO.

    The NRL will butcher the prestige of the Immortals concept without fail in the years to come. Such a shame. Looking forward to the day Bwaiff and Mitch Moses get inducted……

    A comparison from the same era would be Gene Miles. Far superior to Mal.

    Absolutely, forgot about Miles.
    Mal must of supplied the fruit n veg for the Immortals ceremony dinner, there are certainly better candidates than him IMO. Sterlo would of been my pick before the oaf.



  • Meninga was a joke selection he is totally undeserving of that award



  • I will put my two cents worth in because I think there are people pushing their own player/agendas and at least i can weigh the scales back to level.

    Those that think Big Norm Provan is not worthy of a place in the “Immortals” probably never saw him play. He was a giant of the game in more ways than one, a great second rower (especially when teamed with Kel O’Shea - what a combination), an inspirational captain and a knowledgeable coach. Saying others should have been there before him is folly - I say he should have been there before others e.g. Gasnier, Langlands and Fulton.

    Dally (The Master) Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown get no argument from me.

    The story I always loved about Brown was the fact that as a centre, the usual practice was to make a break, run to the full back, pass to the winger and he would score. Not Dave, he would make a break, pass to the winger and let him draw the full back, back up, take the inside pass and score under the posts. That is one of the main reasons he scored so many tries.

    There seems to be plenty of animosity against Mal (I dislike him as well) but people saying Gene Miles, Andrew Ettingshausen, Steve Renouf (Paul McGregor - please) as centres should have been inducted before him, seriously have agendas. Disagree he should have been inducted before Peter Sterling, (Kenny not in it imo), Keith Holman, Steve Rogers, Ray Price, Steve Mortimer, Alan Langer etc.

    Just an opinion - we all have favorites - but let’s keep “Immortal” something that is very special in Rugby League and not hand places out to just good players.



  • The ARL are a Congo line of suckholes



  • @:

    I will put my two cents worth in because I think there are people pushing their own player/agendas and at least i can weigh the scales back to level.

    Those that think Big Norm Provan is not worthy of a place in the “Immortals” probably never saw him play. He was a giant of the game in more ways than one, a great second rower (especially when teamed with Kel O’Shea - what a combination), an inspirational captain and a knowledgeable coach. Saying others should have been there before him is folly - I say he should have been there before others e.g. Gasnier, Langlands and Fulton.

    Dally (The Master) Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown get no argument from me.

    The story I always loved about Brown was the fact that as a centre, the usual practice was to make a break, run to the full back, pass to the winger and he would score. Not Dave, he would make a break, pass to the winger and let him draw the full back, back up, take the inside pass and score under the posts. That is one of the main reasons he scored so many tries.

    There seems to be plenty of animosity against Mal (I dislike him as well) but people saying Gene Miles, Andrew Ettingshausen, Steve Renouf (Paul McGregor - please) as centres should have been inducted before him, seriously have agendas. Disagree he should have been inducted before Peter Sterling, (Kenny not in it imo), Keith Holman, Steve Rogers, Ray Price, Steve Mortimer, Alan Langer etc.

    Just an opinion - we all have favorites - but let’s keep “Immortal” something that is very special in Rugby League and not hand places out to just good players.

    Just an opinion you say. But my opinion that Miles was better than Meninga means I have an agenda.
    Too funny Russ.


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