THE Cousin Connection
John and Greg do it for ?Dallas?
John Richards and Greg Donnelly of Redcliffe are colourful characters. Both enjoy a good laugh and a fair dinkum belly laugh. But when it comes to football, they?ll earnestly tell you their chief desire is etched in black and white.
The two cousins are related to the late John ?Dallas? Donnelly ? the larger than life legend from Gunnedah and Wests in Sydney. And after hearing the Sydney Magpies had struck a memorial trophy in honour of the lovable prop both Richards and Donnelly concurred that to go to Wests and win the award would be the ultimate honour.
?Winning that prize would be the event of my career,? said Donnelly the Redcliffe fullback.
Richards also said it would be a great honour to win the Dallas award but he stressed sentiment alone would not drive him to Lidcombe Oval. ? It would be tremendous to win that trophy. But before such a move, I?d need to look at the change in it?s right perspective,? he said. ?By that I mean I?d need to look at it financially and career-wise.?
The death of John Donnelly has had a devastating effect on the duo. And months after the tragedy, it still pains them to discuss their feelings. ?It?s been hard to take. Johnny (Richards) and I still can?t believe it. We were heading over to play Wynnum when we heard it on the news and it hurt all the way,? said Greg. ?We both played that game especially for him, and beating Wynnum made things seem worthwhile.? Richards explained his grief, ?It was a real tragedy the family are so close, we were really shocked. He was only young but did do a lot of living?. Still, he had a lot to live for,? he lamented.
Since leaving Gunnedah at the start of the year, both Donnelly and Richards have enjoyed unforseen success. Donnelly has starred in the Redcliffe A Grade fullback spot while Richards? wing prowess won him a spot in the Brisbane National Panasonic Cup side against Manly last month. And the irrepressible John Donnelly spirit radiated through him a few days before his showdown with the Sydney silvertails. ?My cousin was ?Dallas? Donnelly, so I won?t need much motivation against Manly,? was his stirring proclamation to the press.
As it turned out Richards was shaking like a leaf before the big game. ? While all the other players were taking a nap during the day, I stayed up watching television. I was so nervous.
?Before the game players like Wally Fullerton-Smith and Bryan Niebling had a yarn with me to settle me down.?
Before leaving the NSW country town, Donnelly encountered some drama of his own through a work accident. While cutting up lamb at the local abattoir, he miscued his timing and sliced off his right index finger. ?It was a bit gory at the time but after some microsurgery, it?s as good as new. I intend to be more careful,? he joked.
The only pie Donnelly wants his finger in now is Rugby League! And cousin John?s rating of him shows he holds him in high stead. ?He?s got all the right kind of attributes to make his own kind of a mark in A Grade. He never quits and never gives an inch,? says Richards.
Donnelly returned the compliment with a wholehearted appraisal of the big, strong winger. ?He?s not scared to run the ball straight and hard. He wouldn?t think twice about relieving the forwards when it comes to taking the ball up.?
The people of Gunnedah, steeped in ?Dallas? Donnelly folklore, would vouch for their skill. Big John would be proud.
ONLY Redcliffe could have stood the pace and been in there fighting at the end against the mighty Valley Diehards in Sunday?s Grand Final. At a rough estimate I think five in every six of the 42,000 fans at Lang Park wanted to see Redcliffe win. They had nothing against Valleys but it?s the old Australian character to yell for the underdog and Redcliffe certainly were the underdogs of the match.
THE Redcliffe and District Rugby League Football Club may have only been in the Brisbane Rugby League first grade competition since 1960, but the club has a very proud history, which dates back to 1947.
REDCLIFFE Dolphins the junior club of current NRL players Petero Civoniceva, Brent Tate, Dane Carlaw, Michael Crocker, Dale Newton, Trent Clayton, David Stagg, Brad Watts and Danny Nutley is having it's junior sign on day on Sunday 8th February starting at 9.30am and going through to midday.
REDCLIFFE will play three trials prior to the Season proper.
2004 Redcliffe Draw
Rnd Opponent Venue Date Day Time
1 Norths Bishop Park 14-Mar-04 Sun 3pm
2 Wynnum Dolphin Oval 21-Mar-04 Sun 3pm
3 Souths-Logan Davies Park 28-Mar-04 Sun 3pm
4 North Queensland Dolphin Oval 4-Apr-04 Sun 3pm
5 Brothers-Valleys O'Callaghan Park 11-Apr-04 Sun 3pm
6 Tweed Heads Dolphin Oval 18-Apr-04 Sun 3pm
7 Toowoomba Suncorp Stadium 25-Apr-04 Sun TBA
8 Jets Dolphin Oval 9-May-04 Sun 3pm
9 Central Comets Dolphin Oval 16-May-04 Sun 3pm
10 Easts Dolphin Oval 23-May-04 Sun 3pm
11 Burleigh Pizzey Park 30-May-04 Sun 4pm
12 Wynnum Kougari Oval 6-Jun-04 Sun 3pm
13 Souths-Logan Dolphin Oval 13-Jun-04 Sun 3pm
14 North Queensland TBA 19-Jun-04 Sat TBA
15 Brothers-Valleys Dolphin Oval 4-Jul-04 Sun 3pm
16 Tweed Heads Pigabeen Complex 11-Jul-04 Sun 3pm
17 Toowoomba Dolphin Oval 18-Jul-04 Sun 3pm
18 Jets TBA 25-Jul-04 Sun TBA
19 Central Comets Browne Park 31-Jul-04 Sat 7pm
20 Easts Langlands Park 7-Aug-04 Sat 3pm
21 Burleigh Dolphin Oval 15-Aug-04 Sun 3pm
22 Norths Dolphin Oval 22-Aug-04 Sun 3pm
2003 Qld Cup Squad -
AFTER a short break over the Christmas period the Redcliffe Pepsi Dolphins are back at Dolphin Oval, in preparation for the 2004 season.
ALL Brisbane rugby league clubs are rich in tradition with many trophies, shields and team photos a constant reminder of days gone by. Some are left to collect dust while others hold pride of place in clubrooms and bars. One of the Redcliffe Rugby League Football Club?s most treasured possessions is the Geraghty Cup, which is proudly displayed in the new million dollar Internationals bar in the Leagues club along with other memorabilia from the era.
THE days when Redcliffe Rugby League Club members and supporters would meet under the old showground ?chook sheds? hardly seems believable when one looks at today?s clubhouse.