The Newtown Jets vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles teenager semi-final during a Sydney Cricket Ground is dual mins aged when a game’s initial scrum erupts into what will perpetually be referred to as a ugliest all-in fight in Australian top-grade rugby league.
“We didn’t pronounce about putting a blue on, though a blue happened since of me and Manly and what we were about,” Jets’ afterwards halfback Tommy Raudonikis would remember after in an talk for a video shave celebrating a sport’s centenary in 2008.
“Mark Broadhurst clashed with Steve Bowden after a scrum, who gave Broadhurst a dual best head-butts you’ve ever seen,” a feisty brave remembered.
Legendary TV commentator Rex Mossop’s call of a all-in fight sounds like he’s describing a fighting hitch rather than a round sport: “There are 3 apart groups fighting. Broadhurst doing Bowden, Bowden a left. They’re going about it produce and tong – like dual heavyweight fighters, these two. And on a entertain line, another melee, 5 or 6 concerned … What’s going to be a upshot of all this? Is it going to be a scrum, a penalty? It’s a chastisement to Newtown … Well, we don’t know how he gets a chastisement out of that lot. And I’ll never know.”
Manly column Broadhurst ends adult with, according to Mossop, “two black eyes, by a demeanour of it”, while Newtown front-rower Bowden and Manly’s Terry Randall are marched off by arbitrate John Gocher for head-butting and kneeing respectively.
Just as cultural, domestic and sporting total grow in fable year by year (Ned Kelly, Don Bradman etc.) so too a Newtown/Manly “all-in” will be ever-uglier as a decades parasite over. Today, many of us watch this and identical incidents from Australian footy’s (pick your code) 1960s, ’70s and ’80s with a heightened recognition of what earthy repairs and psychological mishap a punch to a conduct can cause.