January 2005

Gorden puts the bite on old foe

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Sunshine Coast Daily, January 2005


News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, front page, Thursday 19th January, 2005

Each wanted to be the man in control in the middle, their eyeballing exchanges a thing of rugby league legend.

And yesterday, a day after being appointed to the National Rugby League Board, former Bronco, Queensland and Test “hard man” Gorden Tallis was happy to have former Test referee Bill Harrigan exactly where he wanted him – in the middle of a crocodile pond at Australia Zoo.

While big Gordie chuckled, the ref called “Hollywood,” battled with what onlookers were convinced was a snapping three-metre crocodile.

What the whistle blower was actually manhandling was an animatronic croc, made for the filming of a Lowes TV commercial. The mechanical croc was so realistic, police and Australia Zoo officials received a number of complaints. They reportedly thought somebody was carrying a real-life croc on the back of a truck, when it was spotted on route to the shoot.

Tallis and Harrigan have signed one-year contracts with Lowes, a menswear retail firm.

It was clear yesterday that they were over their past. “The conflict was only ever on the field,” Gordie said. While Gordie now fulfils a far less physical lifestyle, with commitments with Lowes, on the board of the NRL, an ambassador for Bluescope Steel, and other things “in the pipeline,” he admits he is loving spending time with his family, and was not missing the game – yet. “I certainly don’t miss the eight kilometre runs at training every day,” Gordie said. The advertisement goes to air this Sunday.