Home' Focus : Focus Magazine Summer 2018 Contents 32
The Scotch College First Football XVIII of
1967 was fast, fit and full of talent.
It had endured a depressing run of losses
leading in to the season.
Full back Paul Rattle (’67) was the captain of
the team that was to create history by winning the
state independent schools’ football premiership
for Scotch for the first time.
“We had not won a game in three-and-a -half
seasons and we had lost 26 games in a row,”
Rattle recalled at a reunion in Launceston in
November for the class of ’67.
Despite its record prior to the campaign, Scotch
lost only one game in the season, setting up a
grand final against Hutchins.
Rattle, now 69 and living in Hobart, said the
game which was played in Hobart in front of
coach-loads of Scotch supporters, was a tense
affair until three-quarter time.
The 1967 First Football XVIII, with their coach, Mr John Sykes: the first Scotch College football team to win the State Independent Schools’ Premiership. Back, from left: Alan Fraser, Scott
Marshall, Andrew Gaby, David Sykes, Andrew Lindsay, Terence Heazlewood, John Balmforth, Christopher Barnes, Gary Whitney, David Brown. Middle: Rodney Stone, Michael Guest,
Hugh Houston, John Sykes, Malcolm Cunningham, Brent Crosswell, William Fotheringham, Nigel Carins, G. Roberts (boundary umpire). Front: Peter Gatenby, John McLaren, Donald
Suter, Paul Rattle (Captain), Mr John Trench Sykes (Coach), Jeremy Leonard, (Vice Captain), Trevor Luck, Donald Hogarth, John Nicolson. Mascot: Robbie Nicolson.
Glory days recalled: From left are Jeremy Leonard, Rodney
Stone, Peter Gatenby and Paul Rattle.
It’s a grand old flag
“Our back line played really well and kept our
opponents to a very low score, and the forward
line made the most of their opportunities,” he said.
“The final scoreboard did not reflect the
closeness of the game.”
Two events that day were crucial to inspiring
the players to give their best-ever performance,
according to centre half-forward Rod Stone (’68).
The first was the fact that mid-way through
the match, the Scotch boys were told Hutchins
was so confident that it had bought a cake to the
match in anticipation of victory.
“Well, that got everyone fired up,” said Stone,
68, of Greens Beach.
And the second was an unconfirmed report
that Ron Barassi, then captain-coach of Carlton,
was at the game to scout out the talent of
Scotch superstar Brent Crosswell (’68). To this
day, Stone doesn’t know if Barassi actually was
there, but given that Crosswell joined Carlton’s
premiership-winning side the following year, he
suspects it was true.
Ruckman and vice-captain Jeremy Leonard,
67, went on to become Professor Emeritus,
Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences at
the University of Alberta in Canada. He recalled a
sickening head clash with an opposing player in
the final quarter that resulted in stitches to a split
lip. Despite that, Leonard (’67) kicked a career-
defining wonder goal.
Forward flanker Peter Gatenby, 68, of
Launceston, was described at the time as ‘one of
the most creative players of the season’. He said
no-one expected Scotch to win.
“But we benefitted from having really close
matches during the season and we had learned
to play well under pressure,” Gatenby (’67) said.
“We were fit. We had a good training program
under Terry Nailer and a good coach in our
principal, Mr [John Trench] Sykes.”
Stone said that 13 of the team played senior
football after winning the state title – testament to
the calibre of the side.
Crosswell’s brilliant VFL career included 222
games, four premiership (two each with Carlton
and North Melbourne) and 257 goals.
Stone recalled that David Sykes played for
Box Hill in the VFA, Mal Cunningham with
Sandy Bay, Bill Fotheringham (dec) captained
East Launceston, and Scott Marshall and Gary
Whitney trained with Carlton. Stone himself played
with Launceston, North Hobart, Burnie, South
Brisbane and Western Suburbs Sydney.
In that historic match more than 50 years ago,
Scotch was 12 points down at half time and five
points ahead at three-quarter time. A storming last
quarter saw the final score at Scotch 8.9 (57) to
Hutchins 4.3 (27).
Scotch Oakburn College also won the SATIS
Senior Firsts Premiership in 2005.
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