Ipswich rugby league great Kevin Dixon.
Ipswich rugby league great Kevin Dixon.

Brothers footy legend shares views on the game

BOMBER’S BLAST

IT’S important to remember Ipswich greats from yesteryear. Today’s spotlight is on rugby league player Kevin Dixon.

Nickname: Dicko/Leroy.

Club and why: Brothers FC. Arrived in Ipswich in 1974, brought a house and was asked to play and work at the club.

Years at club: 1975-1988.

Playing weight: 100-110kg.

Favourite player: Daryl Devin. We played in the same position and he liked the same style of training as me.

Toughest person to play against: Bob Kellaway from Souths. I always liked to line up the biggest bloke on the field and whack them. Kellaway was lanky but tackling him was like running into a brick wall.

Favourite coach: Wayne Bennett. He coached me when I played for Ipswich and I liked how he was very technical and knew how to communicate what he wanted from his players.

NRL team: Broncos.

Favourite player: Wally Lewis.

Do you love how the game is played today? Not really. It’s a bit too soft nowadays but I know it has to be that way and I feel there are way too many rules and the interpretations get blurred.

Clubs let ‘stars’ go

THE NRL is a cut-throat business and sometimes clubs might get it horribly wrong.

Junior players come through the grades and players have preferences to play at certain clubs but are either let go or clubs are not interested in a player.

The following list features some players who have not been wanted and who have gone on to be a star at another club.

The Bulldogs had their hands on Jonathan Thurston but allowed him to move to the Cowboys.

The Eels had Paul Gallen as a junior but decided he was too small. He moved to the Sharks.

Tyson Frizzell was a Shark but is now a Dragon.

James Tedesco was a Tiger but is now a Rooster.

Damien Cook ran around with the Dragons for two games before being let go.

In hindsight, all of the above clubs would have kept these players if they knew how their careers were going to pan out.

However one of the biggest regrets by a club was the non-signing of Cameron Smith at the Broncos as a 17 year old.

Smith wanted to play for the club but they went cold as they required a more senior hooker after Luke Priddis left.

The Broncos would get another chance several years ago but this time Smith’s wife would convince him to stay at the Storm.

Quick thoughts

HEROES: 1. Racing industry. One of the only sports still going and they are benefiting big time with a huge spike in TV ratings.

2. John Millman. He can’t play the sport he loves but that hasn’t stopped him thinking outside the box to get some action going when we get back on the court.

Villains: 1. Channel Nine. The network tried some heavy-handed tactics with the NRL by blasting the administration. If Nine don’t want the coverage, I am sure channels Seven or Ten will take that.

2. Queensland premier. I understand her caution in these devastating times but to say that State of Origin may be out of the question will lose her a lot of votes come election time.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1972 - Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lankan champion spinner who holds the Test and ODI wicket-taking records with 800 and 534 respectively).

2. 1973 - Brett Maher (Australian basketball guard born in Adelaide).

3. 1973 - Ross Aloisi (Australian soccer midfielder born in Adelaide).

4. 1985 - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (French tennis player born in Le Mans).

On this day: 1. 1869 - The 1st pro baseball game was played between the Cincinnati Red and Amateurs.

2. 1939 - Joe Louis KO’s Jack Roper in the first round to retain the heavyweight title.

3. 1976 - Evonne Goolagong wins her second WTA Championship defeating Chris Evert 6/3 5/7 6/3.

4. 1988 - Ethiopian Belayneh Densimo breaks the marathon world record running 2.06.50.

5. 2015 - James Anderson becomes the greatest wicket-taker in English cricket history, claiming his 584th victim.