Wynnum Manly became the glamour side of the Brisbane Rugby League yesterday when they convincingly defeated Valleys 15-2 in the final of the B.R.L.’s, $2000 Knockout at Lang Park. Spearheaded by Bill McDermott, Morrie Morgan and Claude McDermott, Wynnum Manly produced a splendid brand of attacking play.  With other players taking their example from those three, the tired Valleys could not contain the repeated attacks by Wynnum Manly.  

The win was a triumph for young coach John Ryan who moved from Norths C Grade to take over Wynnum Manly’s A grade this year.  He had them in top condition for the series and has them combining well. Wynnum Manly perhaps had some advantage over Valleys in having an hour spell after winning their semi final, 11-7, over Wests.  Valleys played their semi final against Easts, which they won by 8-7 immediately before the final and had only about ten minutes break.  But I don’t think a thoroughly rested Valleys side would have been able to beat Easts yesterday.

The Baysiders were a vastly different team to that which scrambled home 8-6 against Redcliffe on Saturday. Yesterday they matched Valleys tough defence and had too many attacking guns. Billy McDermott, former State centre, now playing second row, not only had a great match in the final, but was the outstanding player of the knockout series. He has brought to the forward position, skillfull handling and a keen sense of positional play as well as his own bustling style of play.  McDermott and Morgan played important roles in their teams three tries.  The younger McDermott, Claude, at five-eighth varied his play cleverly and went for the openings just often enough.

The confidence gained from this win, plus the fact that Wynnum Manly’s has a depth of good players this season, puts them up to early favorites for the premiership.  From this weekends football their fullback Dion Shepherd, hooker Stan Damro, lock Darryl Elms, centre Earl Seymore, and wingers Keith Smith and Ron Chapman, also earned a special mention. Valleys lacked one main factor, they don’t have any penetration.  They tackle well and consistently, and move the ball amongst themselves, but they don’t at this stage have anyone who can beat a man.  

Their halfback Ross Therflo, had a good series.  He has run more and faster in attack than for two seasons.  He should keep this up rather then concentrate on using his speed and energy on cover defence. And even his detractors have to admit that the bulky Des Mannion is still the best forward distributor of the ball in Brisbane.  He is a mighty man to have on the field for kicking goals. He landed four against Easts yesterday and one against Wynnum Manly. Fullback Errol Stock, centre Mick Retchless, hooker Bob Wilson, Brian Green and Les Murphy were great triers.  

1968 Wynnum Manly A Grade Rugby League Team – Pre Season Winners
Back Row: Ross Chapman, Ron Chapman, Bill Knobel, John Ryan (Coach), Ray Moore.
Second Row: Brenden Nolan, Morrie Morgan, Bill McDermott, Alan Monaghan, Denis Kennelly, Barry Conroy.
Third Row: Lionel Morgan, Dion Shepherd, Stan Damro, Eric Lilley, Keith Smith.
Front Row: Col Mitchell, Brian Paroz, Ray Evans, Earl Seymore.


Story Source: The Courier Mail 1968

Photo Source: Brisbane Telegraph 1968