Good Old Days..

The NRL being on hiatus started me thinking about the good old days especially with the threads popping up about past players and such bringing up a lot of memories about the past…I think RL is still fantastic the skill and athleticism of the modern day player is unbelievable but the game is somewhat robotic now…

My love of Rugby League started in the early 70’s…I played for the mighty Berala Bears which at the time were part of the Western Suburbs Junior League so you got a pass just like today and began going to games …

Growing up in the height of the Fibro era ingrained in me the hatred of all other Clubs esp Manly that I still carry today it was Wests against the rest…Lidcombe Oval became a fortress…I was there the day Wests played Souff’s with so many people streaming in they allowed kids onto the bike track to watch the game…as well as the day Wests fought Manly and a game of footy broke out eventually…

Then it got me thinking of what I miss about going to the footy back then…

First thing was charging onto the field to attempt to get the corner post at full time…got one once…but it ended up in a few pieces as everyone also tried the same thing…

Following on from that was kicking the footy around after the game with our mates emulating what your heroes had just done on the field that day sometimes ended in just as many fights all great fun…

Sliding down the back of the hill on cardboard you’d acquired from the back of the canteen …fun times

All 3 Grades on a day where players who had played half a game in lowers and ended on the bench for 1st grade…The ‘Mick Luibinskis Affair’…

The game itself…

Would have to be the attrition… with the introduction of interchange it really took away an element I miss where when you did come off that’s it you were off which made players stay on the field which led to a more open game…

Contested Scrums…yes they were a dogs breakfast but there was something about winning a scrum against the feed that brought excitement…

The actual speed of the game not in play but the game itself…if there was a scrum you got on with it and packed the scrum…a penalty same thing there was no stand around and have a committee meeting deciding what to do like they do today…

Anyway would be to get other forum members memories as well

How did you come to follow RL and in particular Wests Tigers…?

What do you miss about going to games…?

What are some of your memories of great games you have been too…?

What do you miss about the game itself…?

👍

That’s a really good post Geo.
I’m obviously a bit older than you and remember the game before the introduction of limited tackles, when a team held possession for as long as they were good enough to do so. The scrums and the play-the balls were genuine contests to gain that all-important possession. Hookers and props were specialist roles with a focus on gaining possession for your team. Scrums were scrappy, but also exciting and, believe it or not, skilful.

The robotic nature of the game really came to the fore with the introduction of limited tackles. The formula of a couple of moves up the centre then two of throwing the ball wide followed a kick came into being. It resulted in opposition errors becoming one of the most exciting parts of the play. Before that I don’t recall crowds cheering simply because an opponent dropped the ball.

The game is pretty slick now and we see far more tries scored and much bigger scorelines, but I miss the really hard grinding games that were common fare once. We still get them from time to time but not all that often.

This from an ex-winger of course, who generally managed to stay well out of the way of all the hard work.

👍😂

I’m a Lidcombe tragic like you Geo although did get to see a few games at Pratten Park as well. I used to play with Teachers club and we trained Tuesdays and Thursdays at Coleman Park in Lidcombe then down to The Railway Hotel for a few thirst quenchers afterwards. Wests trained the same nights and were always there as well. Shared many a schooner and yarns with " the boys from Western Suburbs". I too was at the famous Souths match - what a game. Saw France play at Lidcombe where Wests led the whole way only to lose in the last few minutes.

last edited by diedpretty
👍

Great post @Geo

While I was born in Australia, my parents weren’t. When they moved to Sydney, my Dad was apparently really fascinated with rugby league.

This was during Tommy Raudonikis era. After seeing the 60 Minutes face slapping story, Wests Magpies became my Dad’s team and by default, our family team. Later we embraced Wests Tigers.

A few years back I bought season tickets for my (now) family of four and my parents. There was something special about three generations of us going to watch the footy.

My parents aren’t in great health and I am really worried about how they might handle Corona. The idea that I might not be able to see another game of footy with them is top of mind for me at the moment.

👍🤗

I remember going to see a match at Redfern Oval - Wests V Souths - early 70’s. Peter Flanders who was an Aboriginal player from Coffs Harbour and played wing and centre for Wests was in the sitting in the stand near me. He was serving a suspension and wasn’t playing. There was a loudmouth Souths supporter giving him a gobful for probably about 10 minutes. Flanders got up, said a few quiet words to the guy then laid one on him. The Souths supporter didn’t say another word during the game.

There is another funny story about Flanders. Wests were playing Penrith at Lidcombe and he left the field with 30 minutes to go so he could catch a train back to Coffs Harbour to see his family.

😊👍

@Geo said in Good Old Days..:

The NRL being on hiatus started me thinking about the good old days especially with the threads popping up about past players and such bringing up a lot of memories about the past…I think RL is still fantastic the skill and athleticism of the modern day player is unbelievable but the game is somewhat robotic now…

My love of Rugby League started in the early 70’s…I played for the mighty Berala Bears which at the time were part of the Western Suburbs Junior League so you got a pass just like today and began going to games …

Growing up in the height of the Fibro era ingrained in me the hatred of all other Clubs esp Manly that I still carry today it was Wests against the rest…Lidcombe Oval became a fortress…I was there the day Wests played Souff’s with so many people streaming in they allowed kids onto the bike track to watch the game…as well as the day Wests fought Manly and a game of footy broke out eventually…

Then it got me thinking of what I miss about going to the footy back then…

First thing was charging onto the field to attempt to get the corner post at full time…got one once…but it ended up in a few pieces as everyone also tried the same thing…

Following on from that was kicking the footy around after the game with our mates emulating what your heroes had just done on the field that day sometimes ended in just as many fights all great fun…

Sliding down the back of the hill on cardboard you’d acquired from the back of the canteen …fun times

All 3 Grades on a day where players who had played half a game in lowers and ended on the bench for 1st grade…The ‘Mick Luibinskis Affair’…

The game itself…

Would have to be the attrition… with the introduction of interchange it really took away an element I miss where when you did come off that’s it you were off which made players stay on the field which led to a more open game…

Contested Scrums…yes they were a dogs breakfast but there was something about winning a scrum against the feed that brought excitement…

The actual speed of the game not in play but the game itself…if there was a scrum you got on with it and packed the scrum…a penalty same thing there was no stand around and have a committee meeting deciding what to do like they do today…

Anyway would be to get other forum members memories as well

How did you come to follow RL and in particular Wests Tigers…?

What do you miss about going to games…?

What are some of your memories of great games you have been too…?

What do you miss about the game itself…?

All I need to do is replace Berala Bears with Holman jnrs, and that’s my story too

From a Qld perspective my family were Wests Panthers fans and when I was introduced to Rugby League Wests were probably the gun club in the BRL

We had 8 sides in BRL Past Brothers , Norths Devils , Fortitude Valley Diehards , Eastern Suburbs Tigers , Redcliffe Dolphins , Wynnum Manly Seagulls ,Southern Suburbs Magpies and Wests

Although we lived in Ipswich we would follow them virtually every weekend with my Grandparents , and various Uncles and Aunts …it was pretty hard as my Grandpa had gotten polio through the very latter stages of WWII

Match of the Round was played at Lang Park on a Sunday …night footy for clubs didn’t’ start until the 80’s

20c a ticket . daily doubles , match week program and the only time you got junk food …hot chips from the kid who would sell them in the stands (only at Lang Park )

Got their usually at the start of reserve grade and you didn’t pay extra if you were lucky enough to get a seat on half way

Running onto the ground and shaking the players hands at FT …kicking your own ball around and pretending to be you stars you just watched

Wests home ground is at Purtell Park …at the base of Mt Cootha …and was where I had my 1st major injury playing footy in a Woolies Pre season game v Souths in 87 …hadn’t turned 18 yet

It was pretty rough on field …the old coke can tops got brought out from time …Ipswich would get the best performing back and forwards from Colts and sit them on the bench for reggies …can remember suddenly getting hamstring soreness after Wynnum sliced our boys up in the 1st scrum /blue

Personally my love of footy has a positive influence in one relationship …mine and Dad’s …we haven’t agreed on much apart from the fact we know we can’t spend too much time together …but we can talk about footy and the nags and that probably kept us from killing each other

👏🤗

I was a Newtown fan from 1962 until they were tossed out of first grade in 1983. As a young boy I used to write a report on the Newtown games as if I was a sports journalist. Post 1983 I wanted to follow a first grade side and as I lived in Concord I chose the Balmain Tigers. I coached Mark O’Hanlon when he was in the under 8’s for Burwood Juniors. He always showed great promise and It was great to see him make first grade with Wests Tigers. Burwood Juniors was also Tim Brasher junior club.

If I have sometime in common with Geo it is that I coached junior teams at Berala Bears in the late 80’s.

👍

Raised in Balmain. Was shown I was on tv as a toddler during the 89 grand final week.

Whole family were Balmain fans so it was a natural thing for me.

Played the game too, for Leichhardt Wanderers. I remember running up after my own games from the oval to watch Balmain play.

Played in highschool and from my year two players went on to play NRL. One is still playing for the eels.

Tim Brasher and Siro my favourite players growing up.

🤗

Born in Concord 1960 but moved to the shire in 64. My dad and uncle played for Concord Pioneers and they were both magpies through and through so it was only natural to follow that tradition. Played all my junior football in the shire and would go to most games at endeavour oval with the mates who were all Cronulla supporters it was funny how most of them had the magpies as there second side.

I went to Holy Cross at Ryde. Have been a Tiger as long as I can remember. Played rugby for Hillview and Epping and represented Eastwood. Played MCS for Holy Cross as well as Commonwealth Bank Cup. Represented Balmain in SG Ball - u16’s. I was told by Brett Papworth i’d play for Australia. I didn’t!! I was big and strong and fast but not disciplined enough. Went to college after school and partied and partied. A promising footy career fell away! One of my greatest regrets still.

I loved footy back in 80’s. Balmain were strong and I lived it every day. My family were rabbits supporters and ticketed members. They’d always get me in to Redfern members area. Me in my tigers jersey and hundreds of toothless rabbit supporters! Loved it.
Leichhardt Oval is part of who I am. I love the place. It’s spiritual. So many wonderful (and crap) memories.
I loved it when footy players were average blokes. Olsen Filipana Lived around the corner from me. We’d play footy together at Santarosa Park. Wayne Pearce would run over Gladesville Bridge. These guys lived the jersey and played for the club. They were rough as but lived by a code. I loved that. I admire today’s athletes but not many are footy players. I loved footy players.
I too miss the attrition. We need it back. I miss the punch too - because it got rid of the ridiculous niggle. It also sorted out the pretenders (looking at you Mitchell Moses).
But I love my WestsTigers and have embraced what we have today.
Three games on game day would be nice!

last edited by Tiger_Steve

remember the days when we relied on the announcer to know the scores at other games?

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@Tiger_Steve said in Good Old Days..:

I went to Holy Cross at Ryde.
Different years obviously haha but same highschool.

Born and bred Leichhardt. Learnt Italian from primary school and played for APIA Leichhardt tigers. #2040

@WT2K said in Good Old Days..:

@Tiger_Steve said in Good Old Days..:

I went to Holy Cross at Ryde.
Different years obviously haha but same highschool.

I did HSC in 84. If you could call getting 260 graduating!!

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