Glory Days of the BRL

Brothers after winning the 1987 BRL grand final against Redcliffe. It was the last GF before the Broncos joined the (now) NRL in 1988.

With the NRL rugby league season now underway, who else out there remembers the glory days of the Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) competition prior to the Brisbane Broncos starting in 1988?

Who used to enjoy watching their favourite team at one of the home grounds used for the competition? Such as Wests Panthers at Purtell Park, Bardon; Brothers at Corbett Park, Grange; or Valleys at Neumann Oval, Albion? Who else remembers the Sunday match of the day at Lang Park? And how it was replayed later on TV with commentary by people such as Billy J. Smith, Mick Veivers and George Doniger?

The ‘70s and ‘80s were great times for the BRL, where many future super stars emerged – such as Wally Lewis and Mal Meninga. But even before this, there were other special events and memories.

The last BRL grand final – pre Broncos – was in September 1987. Brothers defeated Redcliffe 26-8.

And the last time Queensland defeated NSW in an interstate match – before Origin commenced in 1980 – was in 1975 at Lang Park. Queensland was captained by the legendary Ian ‘Bunny’ Pearce and coached by Barry Muir – who first coined the term ‘cockroaches’ to describe the NSW side.

The Enoggera and Districts Historical Society would love to hear people’s memories of the BRL from years gone by. Visit our Facebook page at and post a photo of a game or player – and write a comment about the time and place.

Take care, everyone.

Andrew McMicking


Wally Lewis
Mal Meninga

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