• Description

Larry Corowa played for the Balmain Tigers between 1978 and 1983 before entering an early retirement.  Larry made a remarkable comeback in 1991 for the Gold Coast side.

Larry was a very quick footballer and was known as the Black Flash.  Larry played 5 games for NSW and twice for Australia

Heroes of Yesterday, Interview 9 - 27 April 2016 - Larry Corowa

Where did you grow up?

Tweed Heads, Chindara, the same place where Matty Seers grew up.

What was your first football experience?

Dad took me to sign on at tweed junior rl, I always was pretty quick, I played on the wing for Canberra, before that I was in the halves

As a child what was your most memorable experience of Rugby League ?

Saturday afternoons, Norm and May calling the game, Souths mainly played.

Who were your footballing heroes as a kid ?

Eric Simms and Arthur Beetson.

Did you collect footy cards as a kid ?

They were not around

Do you remember your first game in first grade, and what were the highlights and lowlights?

I do, it was in 1978 against Penrith at Leichardt Oval.  In the second half I got the ball with some space and scored a try, which helped us to help win the game.  Ron Wiley told them to get the ball to me.

What was your highlight of playing First Grade football?

Playing in the First Test Match in 1979 at LangPark, with my parents coming to watch. 

I scored 5 tries against the Poms in Monaro in 1977 undefeated, with percy knight.  

The Kangaroo Tour of 1978.  She was hard playing the local english teams, 13 tries on tour, great learning. 21, Mick Cronin was my roommate.  I forged great relationships wth Steve Rogers and Peter Moore.

The First Test match of 1979. 

Who was your most respected rival?

Wingers: Terry Fahey, Kerry Bousthead, Eric Grothe, Ian Schubert, Chris Anderson and Tom Mooney

What was the best team you played against?

Late 70s Dragons sides lead by Rod Reddy and Craig Young, then early 80s was Parramatta

When did you know it was time to give the game away?

I retired because my mother was dying.  I had been away from home since the age of 15 and hadn't spent a lot of time her.  This was in 1983 and in 1991 I was the sprint coach for the Gold Coast Tweed Seagulls and one night Wombat threw me a pair of boots and asked me to play.  The game was certainly a lot faster and the players were much fitter.

What followed after football?

I am heavily involved with the Indigenous side of Rugby League along with Ricky Walford, development stuff.  We set up programs for the Under 16s.  More money is required to be pumped into the Indigenous development for the up and coming players.  Rugby League central need to concentrate more on this

Where do you see the game going and what changes need to be implicated?

All Stars concept needs to remain and have different coaches every two years.  The reasoning for this is to expose different coaches to Indigenous experiences within the Rugby League community.  There needs to be strong leadership throughout the grass roots of the game, and country areas of both NSW and QLD. 

Advice for NSW is you need strong country rugby league to win Origin, QLD are doing this much better through places like Townsville and Rockhampton. 

The game at the moment is suited to Polynesians

The game is too structured, not enough individual flair and brilliance

Chicken wing tackles and wrestling are not in the nature of the game

The game used to be a war of attrition.

How has the game changed since your playing days?

Tradition has gone from the game.  The game is a lot faster now and the players are fitter.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Chinese

Did you keep a scrap book?

My sister kept a scrap book for me