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Forwards Not The Only Product
Gunnedah, the New South Wales northern tablelands town, has produced many fine rugby league players.
It is particularly noted for it's forwards, including former Test props John O'Neill and John Donnelly and more recently state prop Lindsay Johnston. Redcliffe's consistant hooker, Bob Jones is another forward product of the town. But Gunnedah also has it's good backs, among them is Tony Murphy who is making his mark with Jones club, Redcliffe.
Murphy joined the Dolphins last season and quickly established himself as a challenger for first grade. He was one of the Dolphins most consistant performers in reserve grade and late in the Winfield Cup premiership was given his chance in first grade. But Redcliffe stuck with a more experienced centre combination for proved to be a disastrous knockout semi-final against eventual premiers Wynnum-Manly.
Murphy's consolation was his role in the Dolphins 11-10 reserve grade grand final victory over Valleys. He was of the Dolphins stars, scoring one of their three tries.
This year he was used as a reserve in three Redcliffe Winfield State League squads before finally forcing his way into the first grade starting line-up for the June 26 Dolphin Oval match against Valleys.
The Dolphins clicked in the heavy going and Murphy combined brilliantly with his state representative centre partner Mitch Brennan to often have the highly fancied Diehards at sixes and sevens. Unfortunately thye following week Murphy's form dropped to mediocre along with most of the other players on the field in the scrappy match of the day loss to Souths.
Former Brisbane representative Steve Cherry was brought back into first grade after proving in reserve grade that he had recovered from a bad arm injury. But Murphy, at 21 has time on his side and with a little more confidence could soon become a regular first grader.
Murphy lives at Redcliffe and is employedin the service division of the Dolphin's sponsor Village Motors. His reserve grade team-mate Bob Jones is one of his former junior coaches and New South Wales prop Lindsay Johnston (Who plays with North Sydney) is a former team-mate at Gunnedah.
This article appeared in a match day programme in 1983.
After spending time as football manager of the Dolphins and then Operations Manager of the Redcliffe Leagues Club Tony took over the role as General Manager of the Football and Leagues Clubs earlier this year.