Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
The Lovely Life on the Leis Farm means fine fine footy
Peter Leis loves his Dayboro farm - up there in the picturesque hills about 30 km behinf Redcliffe he tends to his cows and crops with the utmost contentment - and this is why he is playing mighty football. It is one good reason why he is topping the try scorers.
And what's the connection between the lovely life on the Leis farm and Rugby League?. Well it proves Peter Leis theory - that a man in a happy frame of mind plays top football.
No worries, no discontent, no frustrations and day to day satisfaction means a fellow is at his mental and physical peak, says the 30 year old Redcliffe centre. And the way Cowboy Pete is going, who can disprove his theory?
This is a slashing season for Peter - with 20 tries to prove it. Yet, before the season started he was undecided about fronting up for another season with Redcliffe.
Now in his 13th season in A Grade football, he was inclined to fade out of the League picture. But Redcliffe is a "matey" club, and he decided to give it a go - to see if he could have a hand in the Dolphins having a crack at that big title - the '78 premiership.
Nineteen tries later it's obvious that farmer Pete has had a fine football harvest, no doubt due to good teamwork, and that blissful farm life.
Next on the try scoring list is Pete's colleague, "Bunny Pearce" with 14. "If Bunny looks like scoring a few against Valleys I'll tackle him myself," Pete joked. (The top try scorer for the season wins $300 and a replica of a trophy - these are donated by Gary Balkin of the Melbourne Hotel.)
Peter, who had second thoughts about playing this year, is dead keen to be with the Dolphins next year. A modest man with a keen sense of humour, we observed, "It's certainly not a case of being fast, because I never had any pace in the first place. "But I know a few short cuts."
Sheer hard work on the field, plus awesome determination makes him one of the best centres in Brisbane. Peter has one other point to make in Redcliffe's strong run for the premiership .... and that's Tony Obst's role in the team.
"I reckon Tony is the reason for for our success," Peter said. He is my idea of a complete footballer. "His attitude to the game and the team is unbelievable. It doesn't matter what happens, Tony never rubbishes anyone."
"The way he keeps encouraging the chaps is amazing. He is not one of those critics who finds excuses or pass the buck. "He gets around and talks to all the chaps. You can't possibly talk about our team without giving Tony a good mention."
And this Peter Leis observation no doubt will give many a League fan a respectful opinion of Tony Obst - the formidable figure on the field, also known by some as "The Enforcer". Peter hopes Tony will be back next year.
With other veteran goers like Bevan Bleakley and "Bunny" Pearce steaming strongly as ever, ther is something about Redcliffe that keeps their players charging on. In Peter Leis's case, he can say it's contentment among the cows. Not many Brisbane League players can say that.
This article was published in the Brisbane Rugby League programme in 1978.