Upper Hunter Rugby Union Grand Final 1967

Upper Hunter Rugby Union Grand Final 1967

Featured Image: Upper Hunter Rugby Union Grand Final 1967 (per favour David Bath)

In the lighter blue Scone colours from left to right on the field:

James Clydesdale, Neil Moxham, Peter MacCallum, Robby Lisle, Ken Warner, David Bath, John McDonald, Ned Kater, Bill Rose.

Missing from the picture are other team members:

Peter Rose, Ralph Bryant, David Pinkerton, Ken McConville, Ken MacCallum, Richard Holmes, Mick Hagan

Robbie Lisle was voted the ‘best and fairest’ while Ken Warner was awarded the most improved player trophy.

Four teams made up the re-emergence of Rugby Union in the Upper Hunter Valley in 1967 after an absence pre-dating WWI. Rugby League had filled the void since the early 1920s. The teams were Scone, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Singleton Army. Both weekly interclub matches were played at one Saturday venue on a rotation basis. The successful teams to emerge as Grand Finalists were Scone & Singleton Army. The Army team included several players who were ‘Nashos’ serving their mandatory conscripted time in the armed forces. A few were ex-first graders from Sydney Rugby League Clubs possibly playing their first matches of Rugby Union. The Colonel in charge of Singleton Army Camp was an ardent Rugby Union aficionado. Rules are rules; you will play Rugby!

The Scone side was made up almost entirely of players with an agricultural background from local farming and grazing enterprises. A few were stud stock and station agents; notably John McDonald, Pitt Son & Keene and Bill Rose, AML& F although the latter was from a good solid family farming enterprise in the Riverina. Dalgetys was also a productive nursery through manager Paul Chapman. British Tobacco then owned both Glenrock and Belford Park Stations employing a lot of ‘jackeroos’. Most of these had been educated at institutions like the Hawkesbury Agricultural College (now Western Sydney University) or Wagga Agricultural College (now Charles Sturt University). Most of the sons of graziers had only recently left private school secondary education institutions; notably Scots College, The Kings School and Shore in Sydney plus The Armidale School (TAS). These school sides have always formed the nursery of NSW Rugby providing most of the playing talent.

Bill Rose and Isis River Primary School Teacher Ken McConville (ex-St Joseph’s College, Hunter’s Hill, Sydney) were the nodal point and ‘drivers’ behind the rebirth and reformation of the Scone Rugby Club. The club was successful in defending its inaugural title in 1968, this time with victory over Murrurundi which club had just ‘converted’ from Rugby League. Merriwa had also formed its own club making six teams in all in the competition.