One Percenters: Ballymore turns 50

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Ballymore, the spiritual home of Queensland rugby, turns 50 today.

It took blood, sweat and tears to build the famous stadium and 50 years on, plenty of those three things have been shed on the hallowed turf.

David Crombie, who went on to an esteemed business career and to serve as both QRU and ARU president, was one of the men behind the building of the ground, back in 1967.

He sowed the first seed of grass that now holds such high esteem in Queensland rugby lovers hearts and minds and was one of the first to play on the ground as well, for his beloved University club.

"All the major games of Queensland rugby were played at the old Normanby ground, right beside Vic Park," he told RUGBY.com.au.Ballymore in its earliest days. Photo: QRU Media"It was extraordinary - all the club rugby was played there, interstate games were played there and Queensland played South Africa there.

"It was a very small venue, very restricted with just one wooden grandstand down one side and a car park so it was pretty informal.

"The QRU had a very active management committee at the time and they were looking around for alternative grounds and that's when Ballymore was thrown up.

"It was sensational, Queensland rugby had a heart and that was Ballymore."

The Herston site was handpicked and work commenced.The first match day program. Photo: QRU MediaThere wasn't a great deal of money in the coffers, so working bees were held at each of the eight clubs, chipping in to build the ground that housed famous Reds wins until the turn of the century.

A golden era of Queensland rugby followed in the immediate aftermath of the ground being built, including the famous 42-4 towel up of NSW in 1976, and Crombie said that was no coincidence.

"It was our first genuine home, it was the home of Queensland rugby and it still is to this day.

"It's a special ground that everyone who loves and cares about Queensland rugby, they know what this ground means.

"It really is a special place."

Happy birthday, Ballymore.

Royals do the double

Their men’s side notched the perfect season on Saturday and the Royals’ women’s side added another trophy to the mix on Sunday

Even without their Wallaroos representatives the Royals took the premiership title out down at Viking Park.

Their win made it a hat-trick of titles for the Royals women - an impressive feat in an ever-expanding women’s code.

Quade Cooper on the comeback trail

Quade Cooper has been typically active on social media, taking some time out from rugby after missing out on the Wallabies squad.

One tweet from the Reds flyhalf caught our eye this week, though, when the 29-year-old  gave a small insight into his current mindset when asked whether he’d ever consider a code switch.

Cooper was at Ballymore on Sunday along with plenty of his Queensland Reds teammates for the Queensland Premier Rugby final, back in training ahead of the NRC opening round in a fortnight. 

Bittersweet for Samu Kerevi


Samu Kerevi played just a half in Australia’s 54-34 Bledisloe loss on the weekend, but the game was already significant for the outside centre.

Kerevi was playing in front of his parents for the first time as a Wallaby, with his family travelling to Sydney for the game.

Kerevi was brought up by his grandfather in Brisbane, with his parents based in Fiji and he took to Instagram to share the moment with his followers this week.

I Mustache how you grew this?

It was a perfect season for Harlequin in the Dewar Shield, but this incredible 'stache on the face of skipper Angus Hamilton might just be the highlight of the season for us.

 

 

Is there a better moustache in Australian rugby? 🤔 Well played Harlequin's captain Angus Hamilton. 👏

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