It is the Men of League Heritage round next weekend with NRL clubs wearing tradition jerseys and the Men of League socks among many celebrations of our game’s history.
And one of the pinnacle events to celebrate the round is the Men of League promotion to announce the greatest seven halfbacks in the Australian game since league has been televised (for the first time in 1961).
They will be hailed ‘The Magnificent Seven’.
To join the celebration, we are giving Titans fans a chance to win a great prize if you can match, or go close to matching, the seven great halfbacks decided through a combination selections of the Men of League judging panel that includes Titans media manager and long-time league scribe Neil Cadigan, and fans’ votes.
For our entrant who goes closest to matching the seven halves to be announced this Thursday night, will win a new Aquis branded Titans jersey and a 2015 signed Titans football. If we have equal correct votes (say numerous who pick six from seven) we will draw the winner from those at random.
If you go to the Men of League website (www.menofleague.com) you can see the 14 nominations (and career records and ‘form’ on all) and can even vote in their competition and have a say in who will be announced at their gala dinner in Sydney on Thursday night.
Voting is open until 9am this Thursday in the Men of League promotion (you do not have to be a member to place your votes) and until 4pm Thursday in our Titans competition.
To give you an idea of the great number sevens over the 64-year period we have asked South Sydney grand final hero and Gold Coast resident John Sattler to nominate his best seven number sevens.
And he has come up with a contemporary of his at number one who certainly will be remembered by those familiar with St George’s incredible 11-straight premiership victories in the 1960s, Billy Smith.
‘Satts’ also played with and against another current Gold Coast in Tom Raudonikis and has him third on his list. But he had due respect for the current and recent crop of No. 7s with Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston well in the reckoning.
Below is the Rabbitohs’ legend’s magnificent seven.
To enter our competition, fill out the entry form below.
JOHN SATTLER’S MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
1 - BILLY SMITH
Billy Smith was the best halfback during my playing career. He played at halfback or sometimes in the centres but was a front-rower when it came to toughness. He was mobile and had great ball sense, the complete halfback. There might have been other halves who were sharper off the mark, but not by too much, but he made up for that with everything else.
2- ANDREW JOHNS
Andrew Johns would have been a champion in any era because he had such a complete game. He was tough but sharp as well, especially close to the line, and could tackle like a forward, had a great kicking game and incredible awareness on the field.
3 –TOM RAUDONIKIS
I played with Tommy towards the end of my international career in a Test match in New Zealand and he was incredible competitor. He was tough and rugged but skilful as well and he annoyed everyone he played against because he was so intent on winning and getting over them. To be the Australian halfback for nearly a decade speaks for itself.
4 – JOHNATHAN THURSTON
I like Thurston because he is just such a competitor who never gives up and has shown time and again that he has the control and nerve to win a game when it is on the line. Has such an array of skills and his consistency at all levels for well over a decade is very impressive.
5 – PETER STERLING
‘Sterlo’ was an integral part of the brilliant Parramatta sides of the 1980s and had very astute passing and kicking skills and was a very consistent player under great pressure. He dominated player awards during his peak, probably the first player to do that and formed a great combination for Australia with Wally Lewis.
6 – ALLAN LANGER
Alf has to be in my top seven, he was just a wonderful player for such a little man. He could really read a game, and was so tough for a little bloke and was such a consistent performer over so many years whether it was for Brisbane or Queensland. His record speaks for itself.
7 – STEVE MORTIMER
He was just a brilliant player, quick on his feet and had a great short kicking game and could open up a game with his speed and skill; just one of those players who people wanted to watch during a great period for the Bulldogs. He was also very durable for a small man who was rarely injured. And his cover tackle was as good as anyone’s during his time.