Sunday February 23 1975: “GETTING beaten 42-0 is an unusual way to emerge as a premiership prospect,” noted the Manning River Times on Tuesday February 25, two days after Taree United was beaten by that scoreline by Sydney rugby league premiers Eastern Suburbs at the Group Three Leagues Ground (Jack Neal Oval).
“But Taree United, the 1974 Group Three Rugby League premiers did just that at Chatham on Sunday,’’ the report continued.
“The Greens were on the receiving end of a 12 try scoring spree and couldn’t break the defence themselves, but they showed enough to suggest that they will still be a force to be reckoned with in Group Three circles this winter. Their opponents on Sunday were the mighty Eastern Suburbs team, last year certainly the best club team in Sydney and possibly the world.”
The Roosters had all their gun players on show - Arthur Beetson, Russell Fairfax, Ian McKay, Mark Harris, Bill Mullins, John Peard, Bruce Pickett, Dennis Tutty, John Brass and Ron Coote to name some. A teenager from Wauchope, Ian Schubert, also made his debut for the tricolours. He had played for Wauchope in Group Three the previous year.
Coach Jack Gibson patrolled the touch lines calling moves and switching players and the Times reported that the Roosters gave the crowd value for money.
New centre Peter Walkom turned in an eye catching effort for United while James ‘Digger’ Annand was solid in the second row in his first game for the club since returning from New Guinea.
Much needed rain fell for much of the day but the gate was still $802.
“It would have been doubled with fine weather,’’ the Times added.
United’s effort can be put into perspective. Later that year Easts crushed St George 38-0 in the grand final. Robert Simpson took photos for the Times.