Australia may be on top of the rugby league world these days but it wasn't always the case, with Great Britain enjoying three decades of domination of rugby league's Ashes in the first half of the 20th century.
That reign ended with a try by Australian outside back Ron Roberts at the Sydney Cricket Ground in July 1950, which decided the third and final Test of that year's series between the two nations.
Titled "The Greatest Moment", this article first appeared in Rugby League Week on August 27, 1986 and was written by Tony Durkin.
"As soon as I had the ball in my hands I knew I would score. There was no-one between me and the tryline, and I was running in the only bit of firm ground on the field."
Vivid memories indeed, considering the try was scored 36 years ago.
But the speaker has good reason to remember it well. For big Ron Roberts, the only try scorer in the Australia-Great Britain third Test at the SCG on July 22, 1950, his scorcher in the wet broke the Aussies' longest drought, 30 years without the Ashes.
"We all knew what an important match it was," remembered Roberts.
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"They won the first Test in Sydney 6-4, but Australia came back to win 15-3 in Brisbane. July 22 was Ashes day," he recalled.
This week the try became more famous still. On the vote of five authoritative judges, Ron Roberts' try was named the moment in Australian Rugby League history, in RLW's fascinating 'Greatest Moments' contest.
Late last week RLW visited Ron Roberts' hotel in Maryborough, Queensland to talk about the great moment. He recalled the game, and the series of that year, as clearly as if it had been yesterday.
It was Roberts' first Test of the series, his second – and last – for Australia. And what an impression Roberts left on league fans as he careered toward the Sheridan Stand corner for the try that sealed the match, and gave Australia the coveted Ashes.
"At the time, the Ashes were the last thing on my mind. When I got the ball, all I thought about was scoring the try. After I scored, all I thought about was winning the match," he said. "It wasn't until after the whistle that the impact of what had happened finally hit home. I then realised what a historic moment it might turn out to be."
That moment still lives vividly in the mind of the 58-year-old licensee of the White Lion Hotel in Maryborough.
"I got the ball from centre Keith Middleton, Doug McRitchie had drawn both the English centres, Ernie Ward and Eric Ashcroft, and my winger, Jack Hilton, went to Middleton," he recalled.
The crowd poured onto the ground, not as larrikins, but as Australian supporters with pride in their hearts.Ron Roberts
"When that happened, I knew that all I needed was a good ball from Keith, and I was as good as over. It was a perfect pass, and off I went. There was no-one in front of me, I was 25 yards out and there was still a fair bit of room between me and the touchline. And I was lucky, because one of the rare patches of the SCG that wasn't a bog was that 25 yards area."
A bog, indeed, was the SCG that day. In fact, such was the condition of the ground that the match was almost called off. It had rained continuously for almost two weeks.
"From memory, I think they dumped something like 50 tons of sand on the ground. I prayed and prayed they wouldn't call off the Test, because it was my first on Australian soil. Thank God they didn't, because as things turned out, it was to be my last," he said.
As soon as I had the ball in my hands I knew I would score.
Despite the general belief that the Roberts try sealed the win, and the Ashes, the big man isn't so easily convinced. "Even though we knew we had the upper hand, because of the conditions, I don't think there was one Australian that day who under-estimated the Poms," he said.
"Bernie Purcell missed the conversion from the corner, and with still 10 or so minutes to go and us ahead by only three (5-2) we knew we had to hang on. The Poms were capable of anything."
While the memory of scoring the try is uppermost in Ron Roberts' mind, the emotion-charged aftermath to the match also lingers on.
"It was something I'll never forget. The crowd poured onto the ground, not as larrikins, but as Australian supporters with pride in their hearts. And there was a tear or two in the eyes of some pretty big, tough, muddy Australian players, too," he said.
Ron Roberts likes to remember the good things about Rugby League – he's that kind of bloke.
That try at the SCG is, naturally, his favourite. But scoring 25 tries for the mighty St George Dragons in 1949 runs a close second.
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"At the time, it was a club record. Tommy Ryan broke the record nine years later," he said.
But 25 touchdowns for Saints wasn't the end of the section, not by a long shot. With interstate matches, Sydney-Country games and the New Zealand tour, Roberts totalled 43 tries for the 1949 season.
But despite his 25 for the Dragons, that still wasn't enough to be Sydney's leading try scorer. That title went to Newtown winger, Ray Preston, who scored 33.
And according to Roberts, who admits to still being a very avid league supporter, that statistic highlights one of the game's biggest problems today.
"The leading Sydney try scorer this season will probably finish with 14 or 15 tries, and that's from 24 games. We played nothing like that," he said.
He was a champion and had a heart as big as the moon. Clive was an inspiration to me.Ron Roberts on Clive Churchill
"I don't want to sound like I'm living in the past, but in my opinion, the manner in which forwards dominate the game these days is killing league. No-one will ever convince me that the reason crowds are falling off is not because of this total commitment to defence.
"I'm glad I'm not playing today. As a centre or a winger, I'd never get the ball. They could just about do away with wingers nowadays."
Roberts, though, still loves the game, and follows his beloved Dragons with a religious fervour. He hasn't missed a Sydney grand final since 1945 and attends most St George reunions. And not surprisingly, he rates two of the St George greats as the best exponents of the game of Rugby League in his time.
"There are some terrific players around today, but I can't separate Gasnier and Raper as the best players I've seen. They were something else, those two," he said.
And as an ex-Test winger, who preferred to play in the centres, he says he wouldn't mind playing outside Australia's current Test centre pairing of Gene Miles and Brett Kenny.
"They'd be as good as we've had," stated the big man.
But he holds a special place in his heart for the man they called "The Little Master", the late and great Clive Churchill, who led Australia at the SCG the day Roberts scored his history-making try.
"He was a champion and had a heart as big as the moon. Clive was an inspiration to me, and to everyone who played alongside him. He's the best fullback I've ever seen," he said. "The way he ran the football is the way I believe Rugby League was meant to be played. I hope people in charge of the game at the moment haven't lost sight of that."
At 93kg (14+ stone) and standing 191cm (6 foot 3 ins), there's little doubt a 22-year-old named Ron Roberts also knew how to run the football, particularly that day back in 1950 when a 25-yard burst gave Australian Rugby League its "GREATEST MOMENT".