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Norths will host Queensland Premier Rugby leaders GPS at Hugh Courtney Oval on Saturday in the competitions second Heritage Round of 2013, giving clubs the chance to showcase their history as part of Queensland Rugby’s 130 celebrations.
Rugby in Brisbane’s North dates back to 1929 with the Eagle Junction Club competing for many years before disappearing from the Brisbane Rugby scene in the 1950’s.
The void in the North was then filled in 1962 by Teachers Rugby Club before amalgamating with new entity Norths in 1974 to become Teachers Norths Rugby Club.
The club enjoyed a fruitful existence under the name Teachers Norths in the late 70’s and early 80’s and produced a number of notable Queensland and Australian players including Michael O’Connor, Greg Cornelsen, Tom Barker and Chris Roche.
During this time, the Teachers Norths club had no fewer than five Wallabies at any one time. The club contested all finals series during this period and won their second and last Premiership in 1976 defeating GPS 16-4.
Teachers Norths only appeared in the Grand Final once more after their 1976 win in 1981 where they lost to Brothers so this historic win over GPS adds special meaning to Norths Heritage Round Clash against the Gallopers this weekend.
Chris Roche was the first person in the history of the Rothmans Medal (the forerunner to the XXXX Medal) to win the medal twice. Nev Cottrell was also a winner of this award.
Chris Roche was also one of three Norths players to be named in the top 100 Wallabies of all time, joined by Greg Cornelson and Michael O’Connor.
The club currently operates under the name North Brisbane Rugby Club after a further amalgamation with Redcliffe Rugby Club in 1991 and an association with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) from 2001 through to 2008.
The club is based at Hugh Courtney Oval in Woolowin, named after the former Principal of the Teachers Training College from which the Teachers Rugby Club was established.
In recent times the club has been represented at a Super Rugby level by Blair Connor and Will Genia at the Reds, while Jesse Mogg and Ita Vaea who are currently contracted to the Brumbies, are both products of Norths.
Club favourite Carlos Gavidi was also awarded with the Alec Evans medal (Premier Player of the Year) in 2011.
Norths are this year yet to record a win but have looked dangerous out wide through winger Varessa Mataitini, the competition’s leading try scorer in 2012, who has scored three tries from as many games this season, with Norths missing their round two contest due to wet weather.
Souths, with the inclusion of Queensland Reds players Beau Robinson and Chris Feauai-Sautia, ran in 11 tries to the Eagles one on the weekend and Norths Coach Michael Bishop was able to pin point the areas the Eagles will need to improve on ahead of this weekend.
“We will need to improve on our defence, our ball carries, and the number of turn overs ahead of our match against GPS,” said Bishop.
“We had a hard week in the backs with a number of players out and Vern Parkes and Luke Ebneter backed up after playing Friday night for an Army side at Suncorp.”
Norths scored their one try through prop Tonga Maafu, who snatched an intercept 40 metres out to run in for the consolation. Bishop has noted the impact that Maafu has had so far this season.
“Our forwards have been playing well so far this year, our scrum and lineout have been solid and Maafu has been playing some good rugby, he has a big future in the game.”
The Eagles will be looking to redeem themselves this weekend however they will be facing some tough competition in GPS who are coming off the back of four straight bonus point wins.
The Gallopers have also been bolstered by the return of Queensland Reds Radike Samo and Nick Frisby, and Coach Shane Arnold has been impressed with what they’ve added to the team so far.
“Radike as a player gives the rest of the forward pack a lot of confidence,” said Arnold.
“He played 50 minutes on the weekend and added a lot of impact to the team in that time; he was very good at the lineout.
“Frisby has been great in attack so far this year and adds a lot of flare to the backline.”
Despite the presence of Samo and Frisby, Arnold has also given credit to his two Australian Under 20 squad members Phil Kite and Samuela Kerevi.
“Phil has been our Captain so far this year and he offers a lot up front while Samuela is a future Super 15 player, it won’t be long till one of the franchises picks him up.”
Kerevi was named as the Musashi High Performer of the Week in round three after a solid performance in the Gallopers win over Easts and he will have a second opportunity to claim the prize this weekend with the Heritage Round nominated as ‘Game of the Round’ for round five.
GPS suffered a blow in round two when they lost flyhalf Bev Tuqiri to injury but able replacement Liam McWhirter has stepped into the role and Arnold is impressed with his game play.
“Liam has been going really well these last two rounds and he has added to the team with his direction and game management.”
North Brisbane Rugby Club
Cyril Andrews, Jimmy Arundell, Allan Eason, Keith Eason, Stewie Gray, Norm Hucker, Eric Johnson, Johnny Kirwan, Ray Larsen, Col McCallum, Chick McNamara, Boyd Oxlade, Don Roger, Chappie Schulte, Mike Thomas, Leo Wetterling, Alan Wildman, Doug Wildman, Graham Wildman
Eric Andrew, Damien Barker, Tom Barker, Ray Bruton, Trevor Carr, Blair Connor, Greg Cornelsen, John Cornes, Nev Cottrell Jnr, Ken Craven, Graham Cronk, Maurie Dent, Ray Dixon, Greg Dux, Will Genia, J Hawkins, Rod Hauser, Peter Horton, Lawrie Lawrence, Kev Lindgard, Trevor Lovell, Jim Lucey, Dick Marks, Jeff Miller, Paul Morgan, Rob McCartney, Isei Nasiganiyavi, Michael O’Connor, Glen Panaho, Billy Rainbow, Geoff Richardson, Chris Roche, Graham Sampford, Sam Scott-Young, Ilie Tabua, Peter Trehearn, Peni Volavola, Mick Want
Dick Marks, John Cornes, Geoff Richardson, Laurie Lawrence, Rod Hauser, Greg Cornelsen, Tom Barker, Peter Horton, Michael O’connor, Chris Roche, Glen Panaho, Will Genia
Premier Player of the Year (Rothmans/ XXXX Medal)
1978 Nev Cottrell , 1980 Chris Roche, 1996 Eddie Harris
1962, 1963, 1972
23 JANUARY 2019