Radio League Unlimited

A View from the Hill and Radio League Unlimited presents a new podcast called Rugby League, That's The Way It Was.

Hosted by A View from the Hill's Robert Corra and featuring a different topic and expert each episode, this podcast unpacks history-making moments in Rugby League. Along the way we will explain their significance on the game, then and now.

Rugby League, That's The Way It Was, produced by Tony Peterson and presented by a View from the Hill and Radio League Unlimited.

Episode 1

S01 E01 - The 1970 Ashes Tour of Australia

Episode One, the 1970 Ashes Tour of Australia looks at the events surrounding the last time Great Britain won an Ashes. Rob is joined by Rugby League Writer and Historian Alan Whiticker to discuss this incredible series.





The 1970 Ashes Series was said to be one of the greatest series played between the two traditional foes.


English hard-men Cliff Watson, Malcolm Reilly and Roger Millward terrorised the Australian pack. Plagued with injuries, Australia selected three different captains during the series and even had a priest playing in the centres.


Cliff Watson


The Poms won the series 2–1 and it was to be the last time Great Britain won the Ashes in Australia.


Differing to the tours of today, Great Britain played a number of games from Darwin, Toowoomba and Wagga.


Out of 24 games played Great Britain won 22, drew one and lost one.


Tour Results


The 1970 Lions contained a galaxy of stars including captain Frank Myler, Roger Millward, Cliff Watson and Mal Reilly. 


Roger Millward


Future Kangaroo Tour captain and later coach Bob Fulton made his test debut in the 1970 Ashes series.


It’s all here when Rob sits down with Rugby League Writer and Historian Alan Whiticker joins Rob to discuss this incredible series.


Used with permission. Rugbyleagueproject 



Episode 2

S01 E02 - The Super League War

A look back at the most divisive period in our game's history. 


Rob is joined by author Mike Colman, author of the book, Super League - The Inside Story. The story starts before a player cheque was even signed, with the commissioning of the Bradley Report.





On one side there was Super League, backed by Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation. On the other was the ARL, headed by Ken Arthurson (pictured) supported by Kerry Packer and Optus Vision. At stake was the bounty of broadcasting rights and supremacy in the sport.



Super League had attracted several  existing clubs, and introduced two new clubs. The ARL fought to keep the remaining teams loyal, with threats of court cases and the promise for a share in the spoils. 


When the ARL tried to block the new league, Super League, headed by John Ribot (pictured) ran one season parallel to the ARL's in 1997.


At the conclusion of that season a peace deal was reached and the two leagues united to form the National Rugby League. 


But what price peace? Hundreds of millions of dollars ripped up, friendships destroyed and a cynical fan base that would take a long time to win back over.


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Follow all That’s The Way it Was Podcasts on iTunes, or listen here.


1998 Competition Table - First season of the NRL



*Source: Wikipedia


Episode 3

S01 E03 - History of the Sydney Second Division

Grand Final Day 2019 and we witnessed a classic game of Rugby League between the Newtown Jets and the Burleigh Bears. 

It was a match to decide the Australian State Champions.

But the genesis of this ‘new’ competition had its beginnings back in 1963, when the NSWRL established what was called the Inter District Club. Rob with special guest, Rugby League Historian Terry Williams, takes a look at the History of the Second Division.

Together they look at this important feeder competition from its earliest days in 1963, through the Metro Cup era and finally to today. What happened to a club in Liverpool and what were their colours? How did Cronulla and Penrith get the nod to be promoted to the top tier comp?

It's all here as Radio League Unlimited presents Rugby League: That's the Way it Was a series of podcasts that look at different historical aspects of the game of Rugby League, from 1908 to the present day.

Listen to the Podcast here


Lewis Jones played for Wentworthville 1964-1969, then became 1st grade coachLewis Jones - The Welsh Wizard Wentworthville 1964-1969 and
First Grade Coach.


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1963* Kingsford 14 Cronulla-Caringbah 2
1964   Wentworthville 20 Ryde-Eastwood 5
1965  Wentworthville 31  Penrith 3
1966        Penrith  9    Wentworthville   7
1967 Wentworthville  25 Ryde-Eastwood 6
1968 Wentworthville  17 Arncliffe Scots 5
1969 Wentworthville  20 Sydney University 2
1970 Wentworthville  15 Blacktown 5
1971 Wentworthville  21 Sydney University 15
1972 Ryde-Eastwood 18 Wentworthville 14
1973 Wentworthville 12 Ryde-Eastwood 8
*1963 Competition known as Inter-District competition


1990       Ryde-Eastwood 19 Hills District   6
1991 Guildford 21  Ryde-Eastwood 6
1992 Newtown   30  Wentworthville   18
1993  St.Marys 30 Ryde-Eastwood   10
1994 St.Marys 32 Hills District   14
1995 Newtown 26 Wentworthville   8
1996  Newtown 28 Ryde-Eastwood 16
1997 Newtown 18 Guildford 8
1998 Wentworthville 18 Kellyville  12
1999 Wentworthville  30 Ryde-Eastwood 22
2000 Ryde-Eastwood 24  St.Marys 10
2001 St.Marys 20 Hills District  16
2002 Sydney Bulls 48 Ryde-Eastwood 6


Episode Acknowledgements

  • Terry Williams is the author of a number of books including “Out of the Blue” and “Through Blue Eyes”
  • Rugby League News
  • Steve McIlveen, Statistician Metropolitan Cup

Episode Credits

Rugby League: That's the Way it Was is Presented by Rob Corra and Produced by Tony Peterson. The entire series podcast is available at the following locations.

Radio League Unlimited
Apple iTunes


Episode 4

S01 E04 - The History of Rugby League in France (Part 1).

If someone told you that France once dominated international rugby league, you would probably laugh

But for more than a decade after World War II, France did dominate international rugby league. But there were some dark forces at play, which attacked the foundations of the game - eventually leading to a massive decline.

Can Rugby League be restored to its former glory in France?

Mike Rylance has written some fantastic books on the history of Rugby League in France, including "The Forbidden Game" and "The Struggle and The Daring" and he joins Rugby League: That's The Way It Was" to help answer some of these questions.

1934/35 French Championship            

Club Played Pts
Villeneuve    18             49
Bordeaux     18 42
Lyon-Villeurbanne 16 40
Roanne 16 40
Pau   16 34
XIII Catalan 17 33
Albi     17 26
Paris                        16 25
Cote' Basque 15 21
Beziers' 13 15

* 3 points awarded for a win - 2 for a draw - 1 point for a loss
* Some clubs were unable to fulfil their fixture list because of problems with the availability of grounds.

1951 Third Test Australia Vs France
(courtesy of

France beats Australia to win the three Test Series

1954 World Cup France Vs Great Britain
(courtesy of

Great Britain beats France in the 1954 World Cup Final.

Hear more episodes of Rugby League: That's The Way It Was Stories at:


Episode 5

S01 E05 - The History of Rugby League in France (Part 2).

In Part 1, Mike Rylance told us about the incredible rise of Rugby League in the 1930's - followed by the cruel bans of the Vichy Regime in the 1940s, and the golden period of the 1950's which saw France dominate international Rugby League. In Part 2 we chart the game's demise AND possibly the rise again of French Rugby League?


Mike Rylance is the author of "The Forbidden Game" and "The Struggle and The Daring".
Also thanks to Andrew Ferguson from The Rugby League Project

1978 December 10th France Australia. 2nd Test.

French Elite' One Championship 2018/2019

Club P W D L Pts.
Carcassonne 19 14 0 5 48
Lezignan 19 12 0 7 45
St.Esteve/XIII Catalan 19 14 0 5 45
Limouxin 19 13 0 6 45
Albi 19 12 0 7 39
Villeneuve 19 10 0 9 36
Palau 19 5 0 14 26
Avignon 19 6 0 13 25
St.Gaudens 19 5 0 14 19
Toulouse 19 4 0 15 17

- French Elite' One has a bonus point system
- The Championship Final was won by St.Esteve/ XIII Catalan V Carcassonne 32 - 24
- Of the original 10 clubs, Lyon-Villeurbanne now in Elite' 2 Championship - Roanne now in French National Division 2 (Regional)

Challenge Cup Final 2018 Wembley Stadium
August 26th, 2018

1. Gigot     Ratchford
2. Tierney Lineham
3. Mead Goodwin
4. Wiliame T.King
5. Yaha Charnley
6. Langi Brown
7. Drinkwater Roberts
8. Simon Hill
9. McIlorum Clark
10. Moa Cooper
11. Jullien Livett
12.Garcia   Hughes
13.Casty Westwood
Bousquet, Baitieri Murdoch-Masila, G.King
Edwards, Goudemand Patton, Philbin

 Full Time

Catalan 20 ( Tierney, Garcia, Wiliame tries, Drinkwater 4 goals) defeated
Warrington 14 ( Murdoch-Masila, G.King tries, Roberts 3 goals)

Episode 6

S01 E06 - Newtown 1984 to 2019

On September 26, 1983, the New South Wales Rugby League did not invite Newtown to participate in the 1984 premiership. Many thought it was the end for Rugby League's first club.
The club was cocooned for seven years, but in 1991 an osmosis began that would transform the club and take it to new, dizzy heights in 2019.

We are joined in this episode by Newtown Media Manager, Glen Dwyer who's the author of a new book - 'Taking it to the Streets - The Second Life of the Newtown RLFC '.


2019 Inter-state Championship Newtown Vs Burleigh Bears


Henson Park -2019. Beer, Footy and Food Festival

Acknowledgments:- Glen Dywer is the Media Manager of the Newtown Jets RLFC and the author of "Taking It to The Streets - The Second Life of the Newtown RLFC".

Subscribe to iTunes for all previous episodes of RL: That's The Way It Was. And... May the force be with you.


Episode 7

S01 E07 - The birth of a Super Coach – Eastern Suburbs 1967

Eastern Suburbs failed to win a match in the 1966 Premiership Season.

It was only the fourth time in the history of the NSWRL that a team had failed to win a match in a premiership season (Annandale 1918, Sydney University 1935, South Sydney 1946).

Most experts were predicting similar dire straits for Easts for the following season.

But, in 1967 a man would arrive who would change the fortunes of the Roosters, and go on to become a legend of the game.

Listen to the Podcast here


Further Reading


Jim Matthews won the trophy for Easts best player in 1967. He shared the $400 prize money with his teammates.


How all grades stood at the end of the 1967 Premiership Season


1967 Minor Semi-Final. SCG
26 August 1967

Canterbury 13 (K Ryan, B Renyolds, C Gartner tries; G Tayforth 2 goals)

Easts 2 (J.Mathews goal)

Crowd: 47,186

Episode Acknowledgements

  • Perry Johnson is a former panel member of Radio 2SER-FM's A View from the Hill. He is also Secretary of the Alexandria Rovers JRLFC and a life-long Eastern Suburbs Supporter (Membership Number 3840).
  • Rugby League News
  • Sydney Morning Herald

Past Episodes

Rugby League: That's the Way it Was is Presented by Rob Corra and Produced by Tony Peterson. The entire series podcast is available at the following locations.

Radio League Unlimited
Apple iTunes

Episode 8

S01 E08 - Raper, A Rugby League Family

The eighth episode of 'Rugby League: That's the Way It Was' focuses on rugby league royalty - the Raper family.

In Australia, if you're talking about the Chappell family you're talking cricket; the Ella's - Rugby Union. In AFL, Ablett is Royalty.  And if you are talking about the Brabham's - it's Motorsport. 

Rugby League also has a signature name, and that name is Raper!

For more than 60 years, the Raper family has contributed to the game of Rugby League, whether as a player, as a coach or as an Administrator of the game.

Author Barry Ross joins us to discuss this family's amazing contribution to the game of Rugby League.


Raper Family - Australian Records
Name Games Tries Goals F/G Pts
Johnny (1957-69)
Newtown/St George
222 57 4 0 179
Ron (1964-72)
128 27 38 10 177
Maurice (1967-74)
88 15 0 8 61
Gerard (1977)
2 0 0 0 0
Peter (1977)
2 0 0 0 0
Stuart (1984-86, 1989)
8 0 0 0 0
Aaron (1990-1998)
96 11 0 0 44


Barry Ross is the author of a number of books, including histories of the Gerringong RLFC and the Corrimal RLFC. He contributes regularly to the Men of League and was Rex Mossop's Co-Commentator on Channel 7s Big League coverage.

Thanks again to Andrew Ferguson and the Rugby League Project.

Sydney Morning Herald

Era of the Biff

Previous Episodes

All our episodes are available now from :-

Radio League Unlimited
Apple iTunes

Episode 9

S01 E09 - The Dogs of War. Canterbury 1984-1987

The 1980's was the most successful decade in the history of the Canterbury-Bankstown Rugby League Club. 

They won premierships in 1980, 1984, 1985 and 1988. But amongst all this success, one team stood out - a team that would create a legacy.

A legacy that lasts to the present day.


Episode Acknowledgments:

  • Steve Greige is a former panel member of Radio 2SER-FM's A View From the Hill, a reporter for Rugby League Review and a life-long Canterbury supporter (Member 97898000).
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • Era of the Biff
  • The Dogs of War by Gary Lester (Playright Publishing 2016)

Episode 10

S01 E10 - Rugby League's Bonanza: The Cartwrights

In 1967, one of the most popular programs on Australian television was Bonanza. It was a program that revolved around the cattle ranching Cartwright family in 1860's Nevada.

At the same time in Australia, another Cartwright family was just getting started, out at the Penrith Panthers.

Little did we know back then, that Penrith's Cartwright family would have as many characters and as many stories to tell as their Hollywood counterparts.

Together, they would help to build a club - bigger than the Ponderosa!

Merv Cartwright Medal Winners - Penrith Player of the Year

2011 Luke Walsh
2012 Kevin Kingston
2013 David Simmons
2014 Matt Moylen
2015 Tyrone Peachey
2016 Trent Merrin
2017 Rogan Campbell-Gillard
2018 Isaah Yeo
2019 James Fischer-Harris

Image Gallery


- Jim Jones is a former Penrith player and currently works as a recruitment manager for the Penrith Panthers. He is a life member of Penrith (Member no 74)

- The Sydney Morning Herald

- Rugby League News

- The Encyclopaedia of Rugby League Players - Whiticker/Hudson (Gary Allen 1999)

- Special thanks to Mary Cartwright for family images

Previous Episodes

Previous episodes visit:

Episode 11

S01 E11 - History of the Rugby League Challenge Cup

On the 20th of March, 1897, 20 Rugby League matches were played in the North of England.

Amongst the results that day, Hunslet defeated the amateur Broughton Recreation by 75 to 5 - whilst Leigh and Wakefield Trinity played out a nil all draw.

It was the beginning of a competition that would bring agony and ecstasy to Rugby League supporters. It was the beginning of a competition that would create heroes and villains. It was the beginning of the English Rugby League Challenge Cup.

One hundred and twenty four years later, the English Challenge Cup is the second longest running competition in the history of Rugby League.

Author and historian, Graham Morris joins is to tell this evergreen story.



Program. Millom vs Red Star Belgrade Challenge CuProgram. Millom vs Red Star Belgrade Challenge Cup Game. 1st Round - 2019 Challenge Cup Sunday 27th January - Coronation Field. Millom Vs Red Star Belgrade. Millom defeated Red Star Belgrade 38-10. They lost their second round tie 26-0 against Siddal. Red Star Belgrade won the 2019 Serbian Championship by defeating Partizan Belgrade 50-24. - courtesy Stephen Nedeljkovic


Sean Long (St Helens) Three time Winner of Lance Todd Trophy. 2001/2004/20006Sean Long (St Helens) Three time Winner of Lance Todd Trophy. 2001/2004/20006


The 1984/85 Challenge Cup FinalThe 1984/85 Challenge Cup Final. Wigan Vs Hull








  • Abide With Me sung by Lizzie Jones and a crowd of 80,140 supporters. Wembley 2015 Final. Hull KR Vs Leeds.


Previous Episodes

Episode 12

S01 E12 - That's a Miracle! The 1995 State of Origin Series

In 1995, the game of Rugby League was at war with itself.

Clubs, officials, players and supporters had turned on each other. Sponsors were walking away, TV Ratings were down, and most importantly the games supporters were disillusioned and disappearing,

The game needed something uplifting to change its fortunes.

The game needed something inspirational to give it a lift.

In short, the game needed a miracle!

That miracle arrived with the 1995 State of Origin Series.

Author Robert Burgin joins us to discuss the many memorable aspects of the series.

Image Library

Paul Vautin, Coach

Gary Larson, Player of the Series

State of Origin 1995 Scorecard (courtesy of Rugby League Project)


Robert Burgin is the author of Maroon Mentality. He was a journalist for Rugby League Week and is the co-founder of the Latin Heat Rugby League.

Sydney Morning Herald
Brisbane Courier Mail
Michael Adams, the Rugby League Digest - Chapter 17 "Queenslander"
Rugby League Project

Past Episodes of That's The Way It Was
(click on the links)
League Unlimited
A View From the Hill Website

Episode 13

S01 E13 - The First Fijian - Apisai Toga

On November 6, 1945 a baby boy is born in a small village outside of Nadi, Fiji.

One of 6 children, people noted the young boy had an adventurous spirit.

As a young man, this adventurous spirit would take him thousands of miles on a journey that hundreds of others would follow. 

But this isn't just a story about another Rugby League player.

This is the story about a man who took incredible risks on behalf of his family - and his people.  

This is the story of the first Fijian.

This is the story of Apisai Toga.

Listen To Audio

Image Gallery

Apisai Toga (1945 - 1973). Rochdale 1964-1967 98 matches 9 tries St George 1968- 1972 65 matches (103 all grades) 9 tries.

The Toga brothers worked at St George Leagues Club. Apisai was a Painter and Inisai was a Concierge.

1965 Lancashire Cup Final. Warrington defeated Rochdale 16-5


  • Colin Saukuru is Apisai Toga's nephew and played for St George 1995- 1997
  • Brother Inisai Toga
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • Rugby League News
  • Australian Fijian Rugby League Association
  • Rochdale Rugby League Heritage
  • Neil Bruckshaw - Rugby League Keepers' Club
  • Noqu Masu sung by Fiji Bati (YouTube)

Follow all That's The Way it Was Podcasts on iTunes, or listen here.