Ronnie Palmer On The Time Gus Gould’s Threat Changed The Game! “He Threw The Walkie Talkie! It Smashed Everywhere!”

Legendary NRL trainer Ronnie Palmer joined Aaron Woods for Footy Talk’s latest edition of Woodsy’s Club Tour.

And he shared his perspective from when Gus Gould, coaching the Sydney Roosters at the time, managed to pull a football-like Sir Alex Ferguson move and turn the refereeing and the match on its head.


1995, a must-win game for the Eastern Suburbs side.

Ronnie Palmer was doing his trainer duties for the Tri-Colours.

The Chooks faced a league-leading, dominant Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

A Northern Beaches outfit who were on a 15-game winning run.

“He was up in the stands with James Packer,” Palmer started to recall.

“We wanted this game bad. And he wanted it bad.

“It was all important to us to win this game.”

In a tight, brutal contest, Gus Gould grew more agitated and frustrated at the way the game was being officiated.

In the meantime, Gus, as spoken on Channel 9, stated that he charged down onto the field and passes a message onto Palmer.

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“Ron, I’ve had enough of this referee,” said Palmer.

“I want you to get Sean Garlick in front of the referee and tell him we’re going off!

“The penalties are killing us!”

Palmer runs off to relay the message, though unsure how to pass something of such severity on, communication lines get interrupted.

“Unbeknownst to me, he’s cracked it and thrown the walkie talkie.

“It smashed everywhere!

“We lost communication.”

Ronnie then passes his messaged to Garlick, which took the Chooks skipper by surprise, a command he refused to do.

As Palmer and Garlick went back and forth about adhering to Gould’s demand, the young referee may have started to feel the pressure.

“But as things turned out, the penalty count changed dramatically,” chuckled Palmer.

The Roosters would end up winning that game 21-16.

“It’s funny how that happens,” said Woodsy.

“Sometimes things happen,” chuckled Palmer.