MONTY PORTER PLAYED IN six grand finals (1958–1960, 1962–64), and while he didn’t win the representative honours awarded to many of his teammates, he was a relentless and an important figure in the premiership run.
In Never Before, Never Again, he remembered an era where you really did have to be tough and brave to survive …
‘We’d knock the fight out of our opponents in that first, vital 20 minutes. Those of us who played on the left side competed with the guys on the right. I reckon I’d have topped the tackle count because opponents ran to my side of the ruck to avoid running into Norm Provan on the right! He was all elbows and legs and arms.
‘It was simple. In defence, we moved up in a straight line and we all had the ability, and the inclination, to tackle and tackle hard. Each man in our pack could knock an opponent backwards. Part of the reason is that we were conditioned to be hard. There were never any soft tackles.
‘We really did crunch blokes. We were not a dirty side, but high tackles were in. You’d be very unlucky to get sent off for a stiff-arm tackle in those days. Most of us wouldn’t last five minutes playing under today’s rules. That’s why Harry Bath was so good. He could absorb the stiff-arms yet still get the ball away. He had a knack of covering up. Later on, playing against Sattler and the Souths blokes, we still drew our man and put a support through a gap, but you were always a chance of copping a cracked jaw. There were many broken jaws in my day.’