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Death of BRL

XXXXCap

XXXXCap

One of the issues with the State League was (and has still been in some places) similar to what the BRL suffered with the entry of the Broncos into the Sydney.

Each of the regions had proud clubs playing in popular and long running competitions in their own areas. Having representative teams selected from the players in those clubs was one thing (this had always happened and it was I think what happened with the State League in the 1980s). However, having a separate entity, essentially in opposition to the existing clubs, was not and in some cases (eg Ipswich) still isn't popular with those who have always followed the existing clubs.

To put it into a contemporary perspective, if it was possible to widen State of Origin to become similar to Rugby Union's Super 14 or whatever it is these days, the NSW and Qld teams might become franchises in themselves, signing players directly rather than be a representative team. I'm sure the followers of the Sydney NRL clubs would feel resentful at the
NSW franchise taking the best players and getting all the media attention and the NRL being reduced to a secondary competition. 
matthew

matthew

Fair point the game was bleeding players from Queensland to Sydney since the early 1970's reducing the popularity of the Brisbane Premiership and other competitions in Queensland. A report was setup in 1977 to look at ways to restructure the game in Queensland. Other than a token state league nothing really gave and the Broncos was created on a platter as the QRL failed to properly act.

State of Origin in the early 1980's heightened the fact of how popular the game was when all the best players met in the one competition making Queensland's entry into Sydney inevitable .... The QRL failed to fix the problems hence the Broncos and not a spread of Queensland/Brisbane sides. 
matthew

matthew

I think it's very sad what happened to the BRL and the game in Queensland after the Broncos. It was all a mess and hurt the game and in fact hurt the Maroons throughout the 1990's and early 2000's until the emergence ironically of the Storm development system via Norths.

Origin pre-Broncos the Maroons had the best of the best drawing players from two competitions and that put Queensland into good stead until the Broncos fully emerged as Queensland's only side narrowing the development pathways.

The Queensland Cup is now a very good competition - took many years to get it right though. 
XXXXCap

XXXXCap

Your point regarding the Canberra Raiders - I think the decline of the BRL had started before this.

I would always judge the peak of the BRL to be around the mid 70s. The 1975 BRL Grand Final is my benchmark for quality and public interest. At that time, the GF was the biggest sporting event annually in Queensland. This was before One Day Internationals, Indy, Noosa triathlons, Brisbane Bears/Lions and the array of other events now popular.

In 1980 State of Origin started and was immediately successful in Queensland. It quickly became the most important thing for Rugby League supporters and the absolute interest in the club competition began to wane. The BRL Grand Final was now not even the biggest event annually in its own sport.

At that same time, the tribalism that fueled support for the clubs was becoming less, possibly with the exception of clearly defined location based clubs like Wynnum and Redcliffe. The sectarianism that had made Brothers fans so passionate and loyal to the Catholiic club was disappearing.

By the mid 80s, many supporters rated their year on how Queensland went, rather than how their club went. When the idea was floated to essentially enter the nucleus of this great Maroons side in the Sydney competition, it was well supported, aided by self interested journos excited at the prospect of covering Parramatta and Canterbury matches rather than going to Bishop Park or Dolphin Oval each week.

The BRL was ripe for the picking with not enough serious supporters still there to protect its interests. 
sevens

sevens

When it is all said and done,the BRL clubs(Norths,Souths,Wests,Easts,Brothers,Valleys,Wynum and Redcliffe)voted the Ponies into existence 7 to 1.More correctly, the delegates, voted the ponies into existence,whether they voted their clubs preference is another story.
If Joe had let Pokies into clubs a couple of years previously,the whole scenario would have changed.....dont forget Redcliffe was in dire straights around this time,but was saved by pokies which came into play about 3 years after the broncos.The broncos not only got the players but the benefit of the pokies,which the BRL never had,courtesy of Wests juniors...and that is another story. 
Diehards

Diehards

I just look at how the SANFL & WAFL managed their AFL sides and am very jealous of how they managed to keep very popular competitions going while having national teams 
matthew

matthew

Good points and well said.

I think the time the QRL/BRL should have acted was immediately after the 1984 Panasonic Cup Final. The Combined Brisbane team was very well received and with Queensland dominating at Origin and the club scene having some footing they would have got 3-4 real sides into "Sydney" rather than the Broncos. At that time the Sydney Premership was still on a low following the Comans cleanout, the Humphries scandal and was coming out of a decline. By mid-1985, whatever strengths Brisbane had over Sydney were all gone and come 1986 it widened.

I think it's sad the traditions of the BRL have been put into the bin and disposed of very quickly. There's some unbelievable history and heritage that has to be shared for the good of our game. 
XXXXCap

XXXXCap

As I've said here previously, Queensland is poor in general in celebrating its sporting history. Rugby League apparently didn't exist before 1980, the Gabba is one of the few major cricket venues without a museum and local sporting heroes of the past are forgotten rather than celebrated as they are in SA or WA. 
sevens

sevens

Press got behind local comps in SA and WA.We went from saturation coverage to nothing within 3 years.Sponsors crowds and income dried up.Its a bit simplistic, but had a fair bit to do with the demise of the BRL. 
XXXXCap

XXXXCap

Certainly did. Covering the Sydney comp was a lot more glamorous for the journos than the old Brisbane teams.

Then the newspaper bought the opposition so it wasn't going to promote Rugby League other than the Broncos. 
matthew

matthew

One thing the QRL has got right is its website. The QRL are lengths ahead of NRL club sites and other competition websites when it comes to news and information for the game across the state. A lot of credit for that goes back to Matt Lyne when he ploughed away with the Queensland site on Rleague and the QRL really saw what a goldmine their website could become and done a great job.

But the history of the game on all websites hasn't been done. It's a project I'm slowly beginning and will take a lot of time and only bits and pieces will be slowly done. The Winfield State League is first cab off the rank. When the new system takes place I will see if I can at least do Grand Finals for 1987 and before. I really want to cover the pre-Broncos era of the game and showcase the traditions of the clubs that laid valuable foundations. 
harrofam

harrofam

Is this the one you mean? PHOTO COURTESY OF http://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneRugbyLeagueHistory19081987 Brisbane Rugby League History 1908 - 1987

http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/321458_520374817994839_1593281166_n.jpg 
harrofam

harrofam

Or perhaps this one?
PHOTO COURTESY OF http://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneRugbyLeagueHistory19081987 Brisbane Rugby League History 1908 - 1987

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/14822_520374487994872_611772723_n.jpg 
matthew

matthew




Around 1m32s after the Bigbird .... Is that Pauline Hanson in the clip? 
nodd

nodd

Aren't they great memories- named every player in the 83 side bar B.sully, before looking at the bottom. 
harrofam

harrofam

No the sheila in the clip is better looking. 
harrofam

harrofam


They were the best days. A pity our kids have only seen the sanitised NRL club comp that they've been bought up on. 
matthew

matthew

It was back in the early 1980's. I'm adamant it's Hanson. 
XXXXCap

XXXXCap

I'm not going to argue with you, certainly looks like her. I am aware of a Wynnum connection with her but didn't think she was ever a local here. 
MrFourex

MrFourex

Looks nothing like her....you're wrong. 
XXXXCap

XXXXCap

It does look like her. Freeze the close up frame and compare it to some Google images. Not saying it is, but definitely close. 
ian.copper

ian.copper

I've never been convinced by the often repeated statement that "by the 70's the BRL comp was dying". I know that the weekly fixtures at the suburban grounds and Lang Park didn't draw the crowds that the Sydney comp did, but it never had. I've read that the BRL grand finals in the 50's used to draw a crowd of around 10k to The Gabba which by the 70's at Lang Park was drawing 35-40k (whatever the limit was). To me that was things heading in the right direction. I think that the league officials up this way were just trying to fast track some sort of success or improvement, which in the end culminated in the Broncos and the demise of the BRL and several of it's clubs. 
BringbackBRL

BringbackBRL

I agree. People forget that some games in the NSWRL used to regularly draw crowds of 2000-4000 in the 70s and 80s. And people complain about crowds today when there are so many other ways to spend your money. 
harrofam

harrofam

There's nothing wrong with my memory and I remember large crowds at the match of the day played at Lang Park. Suburban crowds were also good.The TV ratings for the Sunday match of the day with Mick Vievers and George Doniger would have been ratings winners.We also had a choice of which stations call we wanted to listen to on the radio. 
slip

slip

I have no idea about the BRL, but I remember in the early to mid 80's reading footy magazines and books and seeing coverage of the BRL. I still remember the jersey with colonel sanders face. lol Didn't bother reading the articles/annual reviews because I lived in Sydney and supported Parramatta, but the coverage was there except on TV of course. Was the BRL shown on TV in Queensland back then? 

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