Meaney means a lot in rugby league

DENIS MEANEY won't know who to barrack for tonight.

In fact, he has asked that officials find him a nice seat ‘on the fence'.

The 73-year-old has played a major role at the rugby league clubs of both Marist Brothers and Ballina.

And tonight they will honour him by playing for the Denis Meaney Shield.

Before moving to the Northern Rivers, Meaney had a distinguished first grade career in the NSWRL.

After a few seasons with Manly-Warringah, the big running forward played in three grand finals for the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1961 to 1963 – all of them losses to the unstoppable St George side that was on its way to 11 straight premierships.

Meaney played a leading hand in the controversial 1963 grand final which St George won in the mud – the match became famous for the embrace between opponents Arthur Summons and Norm Provan, now immortalised in the NRL premiership trophy.

When he finished his playing career in Sydney, Meaney moved to the Northern Rivers, but he couldn't stay away from the game for long.

He was coaxed into coaching a struggling Brothers side. And with Meaney at the helm, they would make three straight grand finals for two premierships.

When Meaney moved to Ballina he became tied up with the Ballina Seagulls and spent almost a decade as a club director and senior vice-president.

Poor health has since forced Meaney into retirement but he will be at Oakes Oval tonight – on the fence – just hoping to see a good game of footy.



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