DURING SEPTEMBER, WE WILL feature here some of the opinions and attitudes of the great St George players from 1956–66, as they explained them to author Larry Writer in Never Before, Never Again.
First up, Harry Bath — who played his finest football for Warrington in England before returning to Australia to win three premierships with Saints from 1957 to 1959 — explains his philosophy on attacking forward play …
‘In ’57, the Saints side used to drive me mad with some of the bash-and-barge tactics they were using, but they got the hang of what I was telling them ...’
(Which was) ‘Follow me, back me up, run off my passes and you’ll find yourself in open space. League is a collective game. Every man should make it easier for the guy beside him. Draw your man, make the gap, put your teammate through it. Simple. Unless you’re hitting the ball up to settle the play or charging at a much smaller opponent, never try to bust a tackle but get the ball away to a man in a better position. Two-on-one is the way to play. Make the ball do the work, not the body. I could read the opposition defence then position myself to take advantage of any lapses long before I got the ball. Then, when I did, I went into the defence, drew two defenders, created a gap where they’d been, brought the ball out of it and popped the pass for a teammate to run onto ...’