FINALLY REVEALED: How Bernie Briggs kicked THAT goal to seal the 1973 Uni Shield for Moree

SADLY, Bernie Briggs and Terry Kelly – known as ‘9’ and ‘Super’ respectively – are no longer with us, but their legend lives on.

Now, it can finally be revealed how Bernie kicked that goal from the sideline to seal victory for Moree High School in the 1973 University Shield grand-final – and how Super played a pivotal role.

You see, it is a little known fact, and one not recorded in local sporting archives, that Super was the man responsible for helping Bernie kick that magical goal.

The build-up to the match-winning kick was incredible.

There was less than 15 minutes to go in that historic game against Forbes High School, with Forbes leading, 12-8.

Just when Moree looked beaten and the fairytale was over, winger Peter Peachey kicked ahead after a sweeping backline move presented a last-ditch opportunity for the boys from Moree High School.

John Brooks gathered in the ball, crashed through the Forbes defence to ground the ball 10 yards from the corner post.

Forbes led 12-11 and only a successful conversion by replacement goal-kicker Bernie Briggs – just 15 at the time – would send the University Shield to Moree for the first time.

Shielded in glory: Moree High’s open-weight rugby league team players (from left) Greg King, Bernie Briggs, Peter Peachey, Michael Duke, John Brazier, Stephen Jones and Stephen Dawson celebrate their 13-12 win over Forbe’s High School in the 1973 University Shield grand-final.

With 8000 spectators anxiously looking on, Bernie calmly executed the perfect conversion.

It was a long, curving ball that cambered at exactly the right moment – and one that took Moree to a 13-12 win and a permanent place in University Shield history.

Now the secret behind that kick can be revealed.

Back in August, 2003 Super Kelly opened up about his involvement in that conversion while having a couple of quiet ales at Moree’s Royal Hotel one lazy Saturday afternoon.

Super wasn’t prompted but, given that the Uni Shield team would be home that month to celebrate 30 years since their extraordinary win, he felt the time was right to reveal all about such an important chapter of Moree rugby league history.

It is estimated more than 1000 fans journeyed from Moree to Gosford to watch Moree High School win the University Shield on August 18, 1973.

Extra train services were provided and at least 10 buses with standing room only made the trip across the Great Divide.

Super was a rugby league fanatic who liked nothing better than a good yarn over a cold beer on a hot day.

He remembered the trip to Gosford better than most.

Super had the privilege of making the journey in a brand-new Holden Torana owned by another Moree legend, the late Jack Skaines.

The road trip was relatively uneventful until disaster struck near Quirindi.

“We were driving along as proud as punch in this brand-new Torana when we struck trouble,” Super said on that balmy, tell-all winter’s day in 2003.

“We were halfway across the Breeza Plains and there must have been some heavy rain because the bitumen had lifted and a piece of it tore straight through the petrol tank.

“We got towed into Quirindi but the people there didn’t have the right petrol tank because the car was new – they ended up putting a mini minor tank in the boot and let it gravity feed.

“Well, the car absolutely reeked of petrol and we couldn’t do a thing about it – I was too scared to light up a cigarette.

“But we made it to the ground when the score was 10-2 Forbes way, and if there is one thing I do remember well is what happened at half-time,” Super recalled between schooners.

“All the Moree people were sitting in one spot and a mob from Forbes came over trying to bet on the game.

“It didn’t matter that Moree was behind 10-5; the more money they put on Forbes, the more the punters from Moree took them on . . . gee, some money changed hands that day.”

But how was Super responsible for Bernie’s miraculous kick from the sideline – the kick that punted Moree High School into sporting history.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Super calmly explained how he could rightfully claim full responsibility for Moree’s one-point win.

“I remember the goal that won the game very well,” he said thoughtfully.

“I was sitting just off-centre behind the goal-posts and just as Bernie was lining up the ball we made eye contact.

“He looked across at me and I raised my finger and motioned just a little to the left.

“Bernie nodded back and kicked . . . it was perfect,” Super said, poker-face intact.

Words: Bill Poulos


Uni Shield 45-year reunion to be a highpoint of Moree Boars’ centenary celebrations

THEY are the blokes that put Moree on the national sporting stage back in the early 1970s – and they’re returning home to the black-soil plains to help celebrate 100 years of local rugby league when they join hundreds of other like-minded league tragics at the Moree Memorial Hall on July 21.

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Hundreds gather to celebrate 100 years of rugby league and pay tribute to two great Moree club men

IT is not often that Alf Scott is lost for words. But that is exactly what happened when the Moree born-and-bred living treasure was given not one, but two standing ovations at the Moree Boars Rugby League Football Club Centenary Ball. It was due recognition of Alf’s years of tireless dedication to the greatest game of all.

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Retired Moree referees Tommy and Reg remember the ‘good old days’ of local rugby league

THEY were yelled at and heckled, and told countless times to get their eyes tested.

And if Specsavers had been around 35-odd years ago, that catchphrase would’ve been used frequently.

Tommy ‘Killer’ Cain and Reg Jamieson still chuckle when they recollect their refereeing days on rugby league paddocks across the far north-west and beyond – the memories and laughs, they reckon, are just too precious to forget.

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Eddie Lumsden’s boys did Moree proud 50 years ago – and Eddie still raises a glass to their success

THE Moree under-17s rugby league side – coached by former St George great Eddie Lumsden – utterly dominated the 1968 Group 5 season by generating a series of wins that peaked with a narrow grand-final triumph against Inverell.

They became known across north-western NSW in the late 1960s as ‘Eddie Lumsden’s Boys’ and created a unique slice of Moree’s rich rugby league history when half a century ago they marched through the under-17s competition undefeated.

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FINALLY REVEALED: How Bernie Briggs kicked that goal to seal the 1973 Uni Shield for Moree

SADLY, Bernie Briggs and Terry Kelly – the latter also known as ‘Super’ Kelly – are no longer with us, but their legend lives on.

Now it can finally be revealed how Bernie Briggs kicked that goal from the sideline to seal victory for Moree High School in the 1973 University Shield grand-final – and how Super played a leading hand.

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Moree’s U-18s and U-16s league sides shone brightly during a stellar 1973 season

MOREE’s rich rugby league history, stretching back 100 years, is punctuated with myriad stellar seasons and unforgettable highpoints.

The 1970s was an incredible decade for The Big M – a defining 10-year timeframe that produced 16 grand-final wins across four grades.

Stars were born, and the more durable just kept shining, during an historic 10 years of local rugby league.

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Moree University Shield ties that bind still strong after 45 years

THE mighty Moree Boars celebrated 100 years of local rugby league at the weekend with a huge centenary ball at the Memorial Hall.

The ball featured guest speakers Tony Butterfield and David ‘Cement’ Gillespie as well as a charity auction hosted by David Watts that raised thousands of dollars.

Local league’s night-of-nights, which also honoured club stalwarts Alf Scott and Todd Mitchell followed a 30-all draw against arch-rivals Inverell Hawks at Boughton Oval on Saturday afternoon.

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Geoff Newling remembers the Boars’ 1988 grand-final win – a golden year for Moree rugby league

WHEN former Northern Daily Leader sports editor Geoff Newling was approached and asked to send through his recollections of Moree Boars’ 1988 grand-final win against Gunnedah, he had several hundred words emailed back to Moree Online NEWS within a few hours – despite pressing freelance commitments and deadlines.

That’s the sort of bloke he is, and when it comes to penning words about rugby league, or any other sport, there is none finer than Geoff Newling.

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Moree Boars’ centenary celebrations night-of-nights looms large

MOREE Boars Rugby League Football Club is packing down for one of the most important nights of its long and cherished history when former and current players, committee members, officials and supporters come together to celebrate 100 years of rugby league in Moree.

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Pop-up museum planned to coincide with Moree rugby league’s centenary ball this month

MOREE and District Historical Society will open a ‘pop-up’ museum to coincide with this month’s Moree rugby league centenary celebrations – and society president Stephen Ritchie is calling on anyone that might have old photos, trophies or memorabilia to help build on the already impressive display the society has planned.

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PART ONE: Rugby league has been played in Moree for 100 years – and Alf Scott has been around for 94 of them

RUGBY league has been played at competition level in Moree for 100 years – and living treasure and local league historian Alf Scott has been around for 94 of them.

And, incredibly, for 71 of those 94 years, Alf has been directly involved at club and group level with the game that he loves.

Alf has been kicking goals for nearly as long as the game of rugby league has been played in Moree and he remembers with absolute clarity every try scored, every goal kicked and every tackle made – and every player involved.

Click link to read part one of the feature on local rugby league legend Alf Scott:

PART TWO: Alf Scott farewells Moree

The Moree Boars centenary ball on July 21 will celebrate 100 years of rugby league in Moree – but it will also serve as a farewell of sorts to a Moree resident that has been a loyal servant to the town, and the game of rugby league, for more than 70 years.

Moree will be left much the poorer when local rugby league pioneer Alf Scott leaves the district to be closer to family.

Alf, now 94, was born and bred in Moree and, apart from a four-year stint in the Australian Army between 1942 and 1946, has been a resident of the town his entire life.

And he has served Moree well.

Click link to read part two of the feature on local rugby league legend Alf Scott: