33. Ernie Norman

When NSW defeated England in 1936, the celebrated Sun journalist Claude Corbett wrote enthusiastically about the performance of Easts' five-eighth Ernie Norman.

Corbett called the game ''one of the greatest seen for many years'' and reckoned Norman's sustained deeds in defence were ''almost bordering on the miraculous''.

The reporter continued, ''All through this game, Norman performed prodigious feats''.

Ernie Norman lived all his life in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. A product of the Paddington and Imperial clubs in Easts' juniors, Norman made his way to grade in 1931 after starring in the Tricolours' President's Cup side the previous year.

Equally at home at centre or five-eighth and described by team-mate Joe Pearce as ''an amazingly low tackler and a very good team player'', Norman made an instant impact in big-time football.

First-grade selection was followed by representative honours for both City and New South Wales within three months.

He wore the green and gold into one of the toughest Test series of all time in 1932, starring in the epic Battle of Brisbane, won 15–6 by Australia.

Injury cost Norman his place in the 1933–34 Kangaroo squad, but he quickly regained his position for the 1935 New Zealand tour and became a regular in Australian sides until the intervention of the war.

Norman was a member of the champion Eastern Suburbs sides which won three straight premierships and played 101 first-grade matches until his retirement in 1939.

Position: Five-eighth.

Club: Eastern Suburbs 1931–39.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Easts 1935–37.

Games for NSW: 15 (1931–37)

Tests for Australia: 12 (1932–37).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tour 1937–38; Australian tour of New Zealand 1935.