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Ellery Hanley with the Balmain Tigers in 1988


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I came across this video on YouTube today - only posted in July this year.

It is a wonderful 15 minutes highlighting Ellery Hanley's stint with the Balmain Tigers in Australia following the 1988 Great Britain tour.

For those of us old enough to see it first time around (on Winfield Cup videos in the UK!) it is some great memories and those younger fans it is a small glimpse into why Ellery Hanley is (in my opinion) the greatest Rugby League player of all time.

 

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4 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I came across this video on YouTube today - only posted in July this year.

It is a wonderful 15 minutes highlighting Ellery Hanley's stint with the Balmain Tigers in Australia following the 1988 Great Britain tour.

For those of us old enough to see it first time around (on Winfield Cup videos in the UK!) it is some great memories and those younger fans it is a small glimpse into why Ellery Hanley is (in my opinion) the greatest Rugby League player of all time.

 

Difficult to call a player the greatest with all the different era's, but there is no doubting Hanley was up there with the best.

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28 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I came across this video on YouTube today - only posted in July this year.

It is a wonderful 15 minutes highlighting Ellery Hanley's stint with the Balmain Tigers in Australia following the 1988 Great Britain tour.

For those of us old enough to see it first time around (on Winfield Cup videos in the UK!) it is some great memories and those younger fans it is a small glimpse into why Ellery Hanley is (in my opinion) the greatest Rugby League player of all time.

 

Thanks for posting this.  Brought back some great memories. I too used to rent the weekly video of Winfield cup games  from the local shop. Along with some all time great Aussies playing at that time,  it was always good to see how the Brits were getting on in their short stints down under. 

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Thanks for posting this video; I've added it to my watchlist for after work.

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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I bought the Winfield Cup season review 1988 through "Open Rugby". Took it along with a number of others to a charity shop about 15 years ago because there was no longer anything to play it on.

Even just the 15 minutes of it here confirms a lot of my impressions of that era.

There was more depth in the attacking lines. More desire to offload, particularly from deep. And most of all, times when the ball came loose and went to ground. Back then it was "play on" and a chance for players to scoop it up and unleash broken-field excitement. Whereas now it would be a whistle and a call of knock-on, double knock-on, ball-steal.

NRL administrators, coaches, media, and match officials would do well to watch footage from this era. There are some aspects, where due to rule changes, the clock can`t be turned back. But they could certainly ask themselves whether their current obsessive pursuit of "little bobbles" and "hints of knock-ons" is necessary or good for the game. The evidence here shows that when refs are free of fear and paranoia, they can let the players and the game flourish.

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That truly was a golden era, Hanley was the best British player I have seen in the last 60 years, every time he got the ball you expected something to happen, it took that spell with Balmain for the Aussies to appreciate just what a special talent he was.

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On 17/11/2020 at 12:10, Dunbar said:

For those of us old enough to see it first time around (on Winfield Cup videos in the UK!) it is some great memories and those younger fans it is a small glimpse into why Ellery Hanley is (in my opinion) the greatest Rugby League player of all time.

 

Best rugby player in either code that I have seen. 

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I’ve only seen Hanley on video but he never  gives me the impression of being a speed merchant - though I’m sure he was quick.

It’s his supernatural awareness to be in the right place at the right time, the balletic footwork and incredible elusiveness that’s so impressive. It’s a bit like watching a contortionist breaking free of chains. 

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

I’ve only seen Hanley on video but he never  gives me the impression of being a speed merchant - though I’m sure he was quick.

It’s his supernatural awareness to be in the right place at the right time, the balletic footwork and incredible elusiveness that’s so impressive. It’s a bit like watching a contortionist breaking free of chains. 

He was quite simply a once in a lifetime player and one who emerges once in every millennium. 

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I remember that spell with Balmain very well, Hanley joined the Tigers for the last 3 games of the regular season and then drove them to the Grand Final. The Tigers were 6th on the ladder when he arrived.

He set the game alight. He was superb, so much so that I can't recall another player ever having a similar impact on a team. 

It is still talked about and remembered 32 years after it happened!!

Here's some more fantastic footage of the great man.

Starts at 7min 56sec

 

Edited by rlno1
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I have tried to find the clip but not been able to.  Hanley's stint with Balmain reminds me of one of the best bits of commentary I have ever heard.

Hanley had just set off on one of his typical mazy runs and the Aussie commentators called it like this (it was a long time ago so I paraphrase)

"Hanley runs laterally across the defense.  That won't work against Sydney defences, he will need to run straighter"

then

"and Hanley scores in the corner"

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I have tried to find the clip but not been able to.  Hanley's stint with Balmain reminds me of one of the best bits of commentary I have ever heard.

Hanley had just set off on one of his typical mazy runs and the Aussie commentators called it like this (it was a long time ago so I paraphrase)

"Hanley runs laterally across the defense.  That won't work against Sydney defences, he will need to run straighter"

then

"and Hanley scores in the corner"

I remember Wigan Rugby league 'experts' at the time informing me that the only reason Hanley looked good at Balmain was because he was playing behind a great forward pack⁉️😂

When I pointed out that Ellery was Wigan and GB loose forward but was that good he could adapt to playing centre as he was an all time great I was subjected to much derision and abuse‼️😂

Funny that in 1989 he was the Golden Boot winner ie. World's best player. 

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7 hours ago, rlno1 said:

I remember that spell with Balmain very well, Hanley joined the Tigers for the last 3 games of the regular season and then drove them to the Grand Final. The Tigers were 6th on the ladder when he arrived.

He set the game alight. He was superb, so much so that I can't recall another player ever having a similar impact on a team. 

It is still talked about and remembered 32 years after it happened!!

Here's some more fantastic footage of the great man.

Starts at 7min 56sec

 

Remember I had that on VHS👍

Thanks for posting it 👏🍾

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