Warriors 1st Grader
- Sep 1, 2015
That is true, but TV is making the game soft. The props who carried the ball up in the no tackle limit days were genuine hard nuts. Of that group Maunga Emery, Stacey Jones grandfather was one of the toughest.Hard to compare era's but some players were really dominant. One of the big differences in comparison is fitness and Size. Modern players are bigger and fitter.
Of that group the genuine tough players were McCracken (so tough SK spear tackled him and broke his neck),
Tony Iro hit Wally Lewis so hard he broke his arm in the 1988 test at Eden Park. The joke was that Lewis was trying to put a hit on Iro!!
Kevin Tamati was just bloody insane with the shoulder charges he put on people. They thought he was genuinely mad so tried to avoid him.
Hugh McGahan was a very courageous player in the air, for such a big man. He wasn't a dirty player but IMO was genuinely tough. He was really in the clean TV era too.
Dean Bell was a combination of hardness, toughness and speed. We never saw the best of him in NZ.
I have to pay mention to the forwards who made it from the outer areas, especially the South Island.
Tony Coll, Ray Baxendale, Mark Broadhurst, John Greengrass and the big man from Taranaki Graham West. If you read Mark Graham's book about these guys they were genuine hard men, not flashy but real tough nuts. They were enforcers in the days before TV replays when if somebody did something dirty the ref often missed it so the offending players had to be sorted by a forward.
Another Kiwi who got signed for the Bulldogs (in fact was Bulldog Moore's first signing) was Bill Noonan. He was from Christchurch and was another genuine hard bastard. he played 10 seasons in the NSWRL and couldn't play for the Kiwis because they wouldn't select players from Australia.
One thing is for sure the Australians lost when our forwards got on top of theirs, and that has happened plenty of times.