Moorabbin vs Bulls - March 1975


I hope you enjoy this a set of photos from our first match as a senior club.

This was played in March 1975

So, how did Moorabbin get to First Division rugby after a humble start in 1965?

In 1974 we were in Second Division and had grown to field 3 open aged teams, a Colts team and a number of junior teams.

In that year the 1sts finished second on the ladder, the 2nds finished top of the ladder, 3rds were 7th and the colts finished third.

The 1sts played the in the Grand Final against Combined Services and lost.

The 2nds defeated Combined Services to win the flag

So who are the Combined Services?

They were a team drawn from the three armed services based around Melbourne. Navy from the Cerebus Naval base at Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula. Army from the Officers Cadet School (OCS) at Portsea, also on the Peninsula and the Air Force from RAAF Frognall, based in Camberwell, comprising junior officers who were enrolled at RMIT doing aeronautical engineering.

For a few years the Combined Services club had good teams but eventually this “engineered” club folded.  The Army closed the OCS, it is now part of the Point Nepean National Park at Portsea. Frognall was closed and sold off and today only Cerebus is left playing in the competition... Oh, and the Colts they bowed out in the preliminary final losing to Box Hill 8- 6.

Both Moorabbin and Combined Services won promotion to the First Division for the following year, taking the 1st Division club numbers from 8 up to 10.

Then, pre-season in March 1975 we had the opportunity to play Bulls, from the North Island of NZ, who were touring. (What’s not to like about playing a touring team!!!!)

The team that faced Bulls consisted of Rob Morley and Dave Robinson who were original Rams from 1965, Alan Duff and Paul Wilken who were originally Aspendale Tech students.

 A lot of expats - Gerry Craig from Ireland, Bob Robinson, Alan Brooke and Andy Beane from England (Alan actually came through the juniors and Andy subsequently captained the team to the 1978 Flag), Theo Nieuwoudt from Capetown, South Africa, Ron Pearce who was born in East Africa and a bunch of New Zealanders of course. As well as a group of home grown players that had come through the junior ranks.

And we had a Sri Lankan coach. Malcolm Wright. Malcom had been a Senior Representative player for Sri Lanka and an International referee and his two sons Griff and Lindsay went on to play first grade for Moorabbin.

The referee was Ross Morton (a New Zealander) who refereed First Grade for many years and his two sons (Ric and Greg) also played for Moorabbin.

We have no record of the Bulls players.

Interestingly, nine of the group in the photo went on to play in the 1978 Grand Final team and a further 4 were still playing down the grades in 1978.

While researching this article I am reminded that while my brother Graeme and I played together in this match, over the journey we played in 3 senior Grand Finals together for 2 wins.  In 1978 and 1982. Pretty lucky really.

Our father, Neil Ray, took the photos.

The Score... the Bulls won, maybe 20 points to 4... oh, and I scored the try;  there may just be a photo of me scoring between the posts.

So, enjoy the 1970s hairstyles and Ron Pearce’s headband.

Also, note how close the goal posts are to the school. This is where the original field was placed.

Speaking of school, this match was so long ago that Paul Gascoigne was still in school!!

Team List

1 Gerry Craig

9 Steve Collins (VC)

2 Paul Wilken

10 Peter Newson

3 Bob Robinson

11 Jim Griffin

4 Murray Martin

12 Peter Bleeser

5 Ron Pearce

13 Alan Brooke

6 Ian Ray  (C)

14 Chris Bradford

7 Kerry Anthony

15 Graeme Ray

8 Andy Beane



Theo Nieuwoudt

Cliff Bell

Dave Robinson

Winston Anderson

Alan Duff

Rob Morley

Coach: Malcolm Wright

Referee: Ross Morton