Internationals Kiwi Hardman team.

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bruce

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Hard to compare era's but some players were really dominant. One of the big differences in comparison is fitness and Size. Modern players are bigger and fitter.
That is true, but TV is making the game soft. The props who carried the ball up in the no tackle limit days were genuine hard nuts. Of that group Maunga Emery, Stacey Jones grandfather was one of the toughest.
Williams
Vatuvei
Bell
K. Iro
T.Iro
Filipaina
Stirling
Pongia
H. Tamati
K.Tamati
Graham
Kearney
McGahan

Res. K.Sorensen, McCracken, Cayless , Freeman
Of that group the genuine tough players were McCracken (so tough SK spear tackled him and broke his neck),
Tony Iro hit Wally Lewis so hard he broke his arm in the 1988 test at Eden Park. The joke was that Lewis was trying to put a hit on Iro!!
Kevin Tamati was just bloody insane with the shoulder charges he put on people. They thought he was genuinely mad so tried to avoid him.
Hugh McGahan was a very courageous player in the air, for such a big man. He wasn't a dirty player but IMO was genuinely tough. He was really in the clean TV era too.

Dean Bell was a combination of hardness, toughness and speed. We never saw the best of him in NZ.

I have to pay mention to the forwards who made it from the outer areas, especially the South Island.

Tony Coll, Ray Baxendale, Mark Broadhurst, John Greengrass and the big man from Taranaki Graham West. If you read Mark Graham's book about these guys they were genuine hard men, not flashy but real tough nuts. They were enforcers in the days before TV replays when if somebody did something dirty the ref often missed it so the offending players had to be sorted by a forward.

Another Kiwi who got signed for the Bulldogs (in fact was Bulldog Moore's first signing) was Bill Noonan. He was from Christchurch and was another genuine hard bastard. he played 10 seasons in the NSWRL and couldn't play for the Kiwis because they wouldn't select players from Australia.

One thing is for sure the Australians lost when our forwards got on top of theirs, and that has happened plenty of times.
 
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Hardyman's Yugo

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A lot of the players mentioned played club rugby in England.

For a not very big guy, Dean Bell could be physically intimidating. Testament to how tough he was for me was when I watched a documentary In the 90’s about Wigan. He took a stray boot on the head in a game and trotted off to have numerous stitches in his head whilst laid in the changing room before going straight back onto the pitch with a large bandage on his head.
 
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95 'til infinity

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Verne Wilson was a legendary hard nut on the Auckland scene...would've went all the way if not for the tragic accident that saw his life cut short.
 
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Chchfanatic

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I used to ball boy at the addington Showgrounds and the memories I have from the late eighties to mid nighties are priceless. Some hard buggers I remember were Brent Stuart , Logan Edwards , Pongia , Esene Faimalo was a beast. Lance Setu , Wayne Wallace , Barry Edkins , Tai Arona. And many more I’ve forgotten. I did the Canterbury Auckland final in 1993. One of the greatest games I’ve ever been too. Lucky enough to do 4 test matches as well. Great childhood.
 
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Pozza

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That is true, but TV is making the game soft. The props who carried the ball up in the no tackle limit days were genuine hard nuts. Of that group Maunga Emery, Stacey Jones grandfather was one of the toughest.

Of that group the genuine tough players were McCracken (so tough SK spear tackled him and broke his neck),
Tony Iro hit Wally Lewis so hard he broke his arm in the 1988 test at Eden Park. The joke was that Lewis was trying to put a hit on Iro!!
Kevin Tamati was just bloody insane with the shoulder charges he put on people. They thought he was genuinely mad so tried to avoid him.
Hugh McGahan was a very courageous player in the air, for such a big man. He wasn't a dirty player but IMO was genuinely tough. He was really in the clean TV era too.

Dean Bell was a combination of hardness, toughness and speed. We never saw the best of him in NZ.

I have to pay mention to the forwards who made it from the outer areas, especially the South Island.

Tony Coll, Ray Baxendale, Mark Broadhurst, John Greengrass and the big man from Taranaki Graham West. If you read Mark Graham's book about these guys they were genuine hard men, not flashy but real tough nuts. They were enforcers in the days before TV replays when if somebody did something dirty the ref often missed it so the offending players had to be sorted by a forward.

Another Kiwi who got signed for the Bulldogs (in fact was Bulldog Moore's first signing) was Bill Noonan. He was from Christchurch and was another genuine hard bastard. he played 10 seasons in the NSWRL and couldn't play for the Kiwis because they wouldn't select players from Australia.

One thing is for sure the Australians lost when our forwards got on top of theirs, and that has happened plenty of times.
Hey Bruce how’s this for a tough front row. Maunga Emery who you’ve mentioned, Sam Edwards and Jock Butterfield. My old footy coach Neville Denton had some good yarns about those three
 
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I used to ball boy at the addington Showgrounds and the memories I have from the late eighties to mid nighties are priceless. Some hard buggers I remember were Brent Stuart , Logan Edwards , Pongia , Esene Faimalo was a beast. Lance Setu , Wayne Wallace , Barry Edkins , Tai Arona. And many more I’ve forgotten. I did the Canterbury Auckland final in 1993. One of the greatest games I’ve ever been too. Lucky enough to do 4 test matches as well. Great childhood.
Awesome.
Ive been to a lot of big games now but still nothing beat the atmosphere at a packed out show grounds- halswell Hornby finals were the best.
My old coach Phil Prescott dropped Wallace with a right hook once- that got the crowd going.
Darryl hawker was a nutter- everyone steered clear of.
The most feared player in Canterbury tho I reckon was augie smith (Jeremy smiths uncle)- probably would've made the kiwis if he didn't get locked up the night before the trial. Held the bench press record at paparoa prison and played on into his 40s.
Tragically died of a heart attack after playing a game bout 15 years ago now- rip uncle Auggie.
 
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brightman

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Only think though was that Tony Coll was a bank manager, hardly the standard WC miner ... know what you mean though.
To be honest I think being a bank manager amongst those people would require even greater resilience..
 
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bruce

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Hey Bruce how’s this for a tough front row. Maunga Emery who you’ve mentioned, Sam Edwards and Jock Butterfield. My old footy coach Neville Denton had some good yarns about those three
Yes Sam and Jock were hard nuts as well. Neville Denton was was an excellent footballer too.
To be honest I think being a bank manager amongst those people would require even greater resilience..
Didn't Tony Coll go into local body politics as well? BTW didn't he and Baxendale go deer hunting regularly, real Southern Men types.
 
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Chchfanatic

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Yes Sam and Jock were hard nuts as well. Neville Denton was was an excellent footballer too.

Didn't Tony Coll go into local body politics as well? BTW didn't he and Baxendale go deer hunting regularly, real Southern Men types.
From memory I think he owned a sports shop in Greymouth.
Bernard Green , Glen Gibb , Chris Neame other good coasters. Gareth Cook and Slade Griffin probably the best in recent years.
 
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Tim burgess

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One other kiwi hardmann was Brad Hepi. He never played for the kiwis but wouldn't take a backward step.

When he played for Hull FC the crowd would sign Hepi is going to get you, more often or not he would.
 
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One other kiwi hardmann was Brad Hepi. He never played for the kiwis but wouldn't take a backward step.

When he played for Hull FC the crowd would sign Hepi is going to get you, more often or not he would.
A legend in Cumbria is Hepi, saw him play countless times for Workington after we signed him from Carlisle. We won back to back promotions and got into the first ESL season with him playing either centre or in the back row. Not quite big enough to be a top line forward nor quite skilful enough to be a top line centre, but loved by the fans as he was that slightly unhinged 100% trier that they identify with. Got into a spot of bother off the pitch in Carlisle and appeared in court after a fight, was cleared of charges though and was so well liked and respected as a bloke even the local MP at the time stood in court as a character witness for him.

His son plays championship level RL here now, another nut job on the pitch but not as talented.
 
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A legend in Cumbria is Hepi, saw him play countless times for Workington after we signed him from Carlisle. We won back to back promotions and got into the first ESL season with him playing either centre or in the back row. Not quite big enough to be a top line forward nor quite skilful enough to be a top line centre, but loved by the fans as he was that slightly unhinged 100% trier that they identify with. Got into a spot of bother off the pitch in Carlisle and appeared in court after a fight, was cleared of charges though and was so well liked and respected as a bloke even the local MP at the time stood in court as a character witness for him.

His son plays championship level RL here now, another nut job on the pitch but not as talented.
Nice recollection of Hepi. Off the pitch he certainly had a few scrapes in Hull.

I remember Peter Walsh telling me how much Hepi, James Pickering were loved in Workington. Hopefully those halcyon years are not to far away again.
 
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Pozza

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A legend in Cumbria is Hepi, saw him play countless times for Workington after we signed him from Carlisle. We won back to back promotions and got into the first ESL season with him playing either centre or in the back row. Not quite big enough to be a top line forward nor quite skilful enough to be a top line centre, but loved by the fans as he was that slightly unhinged 100% trier that they identify with. Got into a spot of bother off the pitch in Carlisle and appeared in court after a fight, was cleared of charges though and was so well liked and respected as a bloke even the local MP at the time stood in court as a character witness for him.

His son plays championship level RL here now, another nut job on the pitch but not as talented.
Watched a few You Tube highlights of his. Looks like he went to the same school for low tacking that Kurt Sorenson did
 
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Nice recollection of Hepi. Off the pitch he certainly had a few scrapes in Hull.

I remember Peter Walsh telling me how much Hepi, James Pickering were loved in Workington. Hopefully those halcyon years are not to far away again.
Walsh was top class mate, although rumoured to like a drink a bit too much. He had built a really good team quickly and was starting to bring in some talented younger local lads like Wayne Kitchen and Jonty Gorley. They had spent too much getting promoted though and it all went pear shaped. Walsh subsequently coached Hepi at both Illawarra (assistant) and Hull iirc
 
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Walsh was top class mate, although rumoured to like a drink a bit too much. He had built a really good team quickly and was starting to bring in some talented younger local lads like Wayne Kitchen and Jonty Gorley. They had spent too much getting promoted though and it all went pear shaped. Walsh subsequently coached Hepi at both Illawarra (assistant) and Hull iirc
Watched a few You Tube highlights of his. Looks like he went to the same school for low tacking that Kurt Sorenson did
Funny, it play the game hard. I should have a look At some of them.
 
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Yeah the definition of a "hardman" is pretty open for interpretation.

Tbh I never thought guys who we're serial headhunters particulary "tough". Anyone can throw a stiffarm. Just cheap shots really. The ball carrier aint expecting it. The likes of Brendon Tuuta i'd put in this category.

Guys like Mannering and Mark Graham who'll carry on giving a hundy even tho their body's wrecked is pretty hard. And I always thought the little blokes ala Geoff Toovey who have to handle the giants running at them all day tough as well.
 
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bruce

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Tbh I never thought guys who we're serial headhunters particulary "tough". Anyone can throw a stiffarm. Just cheap shots really. The ball carrier aint expecting it. The likes of Brendon Tuuta i'd put in this category.
To be fair to Brendon, he was so short he had a problem getting to head high anyway.;)
Guys like Mannering and Mark Graham who'll carry on giving a hundy even tho their body's wrecked is pretty hard.
Mark Broadhurst, another Canterbury man, would have to go down as being in that category. I would put Brent Todd in as well, he wasn't a scrapper but he was very bloody tough indeed.
 
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Pozza

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To be fair to Brendon, he was so short he had a problem getting to head high anyway.;)

Mark Broadhurst, another Canterbury man, would have to go down as being in that category. I would put Brent Todd in as well, he wasn't a scrapper but he was very bloody tough indeed.
Two guys from the 70’s who would rate would be Don Mann and Alby Hansen. I was at a Fox final between Ponies and Ellerslie, from the kick off Don Mann drove Lindsey Proctor into the advertising hoardings. Real test match intensity.
Alby Hansen while never playing for NZ had a bit of a name for himself on the Auckland club scene.
There’s a bit of a story going around which which is documented in Mark Graham’s book about him laying out two Aussie bouncers in the days when Auckland were playing in the Amco Cup.
 
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Two guys from the 70’s who would rate would be Don Mann and Alby Hansen. I was at a Fox final between Ponies and Ellerslie, from the kick off Don Mann drove Lindsey Proctor into the advertising hoardings. Real test match intensity.
Alby Hansen while never playing for NZ had a bit of a name for himself on the Auckland club scene.
There’s a bit of a story going around which which is documented in Mark Graham’s book about him laying out two Aussie bouncers in the days when Auckland were playing in the Amco Cup.
Alby was a tough bastard all right. If I recall he came to league from Manukau rugby union. He was an ok guy but not one to be messed with. I don't know that he started fights so much as finished them, a bit like Monty Betham.

Both Don Mann and Lindsay Proctor were hard nuts, but lovely mild mannered guys in normal life. Lindsay is Ngapuhi but grew up near MSS when it was a tough area. Lindsay had an uncle Ike Proctor who played for Halifax and Leeds in the English competition after WWII. Ike played for the NZEF (Kiwis) union team tour of Britain in 1946-7.

Somebody mentioned Doug Gailey, another really tough bastard but a lovely gentle guy if he was left in peace. Doug and Lindsay were the props for Ellerslie, who never really rated Ponsonby and as they were the incumbent Kiwi props of the day were always targets for shots from the other front row.

All of those three were NSW first grade material, without any doubt, it just goes again to show the standard of the Fox back them.

I am pretty sure they both had offers from Sydney but they both had good jobs, Lindsay Proctor was a cop and Doug made heaps as a blocklayer. Kiwis only got offered cheap contracts from Sydney back then, and although it was more than they would earn in the Fox it wasn't worth packing up sticks for.
 
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