Super Rugby


QRU Match No. 376 - Trinity Ascending

Queenslanders are Remembering

QRU Match No. 376 - May 10, 1973

The first match of the 1973 season included the minting of four new Queensland Representatives who would drive Queensland from a formidable opponent to the greatest provincial side in the world.

The starting side to face Sydney at Ballymore included debutants Dick Cocks, Mark Loane and Tony Shaw, becoming Queensland Representative Numbers 872, 873 and 874 respectively. Joining them from the bench was younger brother of established Winger Jeff McLean; the great Paul McLean, who became Queensland Representative Number 875.

The combination of University powerhouse No. 8 Mark Loane, brawny Brothers breakaway Tony Shaw and the razor sharp mind and boot of Brothers playmaker Paul McLean became known as the Holy Trinity. Together, the Trinity notched wins over New South Wales, Tonga, Japan, Victoria, Fiji, Canterbury, Waikato, California, Otago, Wellington, Italy, World XV, Scotland, United States and even the 1980 All Blacks, among many, many others.

Loane, described by Bret Harris in, The Marauding Maroons, as "the closest thing to a folk hero Queensland has seen" remains the State’s second most prolific captain, with 63 matches as skipper – after James Horwill’s 69. Shaw, a “cunning line-out technician would could outwit taller and more spring-heeled opponents” (Max Howell, Born to Lead - 2005) passionately provided the muscle in countless on-field judicial decisions, and captained Queensland 30 times. McLean, the highest-achiever of a Queensland Rugby dynasty stretching back to 1900, remained the Reds highest scorer until the great Michael Lynagh pipped him in 1991.

Between their debut in 1973 and Shaw’s final State match in 1983, the Trinity racked up 290 Queensland caps including 197 wins.

Queensland team that faced Sydney - May 10, 1973

Jersey No. QRU No. Name
1 867 Greg Dux
2 837 Michael Freney
3 859 Chris 'Buddah' Handy
4 817 Keith Bell
5 874 Anthony 'Tony' Shaw
6 864 Damien Barker
7 873 Mark Loane
8 872 Michael 'Dick' Cocks
9 865 Gary Pearson
10 848 Geoffrey Richardson
11 830 Jeffrey McLean
12 819 James Creagh
13 821 David L'Estrange
14 857 David Withers
15 856 Dugald Clark
Reserve 875 Paul McLean


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