The Ipswich Rangers Rugby club was formed in 1968 and continues to make strides towards its goal of entry into the Queensland Rugby Union’s Premier Rugby competition.
To follow is a snapshot of some interesting historical Rangers facts:
The club formed in the kitchen of Almondsbury House, the home of Reg, Bettie, Jim, Benn and Robb Hardie. After most home games, the Hardies would shout a ten gallon keg which was consumed at their house by home team and visitors. Great for morale!
We lost the sub-districts A grade grand final 11-10 to Commonwealth Bank when their five eighth “Chooky” White kicked a field goal in the last minute which just cleared the crossbar. Acquired a lease on Woodend Park as our home ground after playing at Ipswich Grammar School and ST Edmunds College (1968-1972). The clubs first First New Zealand trip takes place.
We turned the tables, beating Surfers Paradise 38-4 in the A grade final. Keith Wadley was brilliant on the day, making many breaks in the mid-field. Club members banned together to help rebuild Woodend Park ground after 1974 floods, after three house and four cars were dug out of the playing surface!
We played in the Brisbane “Second Division” competition along with Gold Coast, Surfers and Redcliffe. The reserve grade sides of the eight Brisbane clubs also played in the same competition. Rangers make the preliminary final, and are beaten by GPS with an intercept try to Bunny Burrows (another pesky five eighth) while we were attacking from inside our own quarter. GPS go on to beat Brothers in the Grand Final by more than they beat us in the preliminary. Opened a new clubhouse at Woodend, funded mainly by club members delivering the local weekly paper, the West Moreton Mirror.
We played in the Brisbane A grade competition and recruited a whole stack of Kiwis to bolster the ranks. We only won one game, but that was against reigning premiers University at Woodend Park. We won 21-19, and the turning point in the game was a magnificent 50 metre field goal from Rangers fullback Ron (Souphead) Hill, who took the ball in front of the clubhouse from a clearing kick by (Wallaby) Steve Rowley, and calmly slotted it back between the posts!
Won the A grade subbies competition undefeated, despite fielding a 39 year old fullback in one game, and a 42 year old ex Junior All Black forward (Mak Fatialofa) for most of the season.
The club celebrated the opening of a brand new clubhouse and the installation of top class lighting for its 2 full size grounds.
The club celebrated its 40th year anniversary with a Gala Dinner at the Ipswich RSL. The evening was attended by many past players, coaches and administrators, with former Wallaby (and Rangers) great and current ARU Chairman Paul McLean present as guest speaker.
Ipswich Rangers A Grade side took out the Minor Premiership in the Barber Cup Competition. The week leading into the Grand Final saw the funeral for long serving Club Patron and former Wallaby Jeff McLean after his long and strong battle with illness. Ipswich Rangers took out the Grand Final defeating the Pine Rivers Boars 27-22.
Club of the Year.
Club of the Year.
Rangers celebrates 50th Anniversary! 20th-22nd of July is a whole weekend full of anniversary celebrations! The Rangers website is also given a whole new look and well needed upgrade.