Phil Gould was deeply affected by Bob Hawke’s death.
Phil Gould was deeply affected by Bob Hawke’s death.

Gus rocked by tragic on-air news

NRL commentator Phil Gould was deeply saddened by the death of former Australian Prime Minster Bob Hawke as he broke the news to NRL fans during Melbourne's win over the Wests Tigers last night.

Gould became emotional when he received word of Hawke's death and was clearly affected by the tragic news while relaying it to TV viewers.

"We have some very sad news here this evening and it makes me very sad to have to say it, but some say that Bob Hawke was our most popular Prime Minister ever. Sadly, he passed away today," Gould said.

"Sad news for Australia."

Gould was fortunate enough to meet Hawke multiple times as they were both members of Sydney's Bonnie Doon Golf Club and the rugby league icon shared some touching memories of the much-loved politician during Channel 9's post-match broadcast.

"He was wonderful man, I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions," Gould said.

"I was a member of the Bonnie Doon Golf Club in Sydney and he was a member there too. He was often out there with the same group of blokes every week having a game, loved his game of golf. Loved a beer after the game at the clubhouse.

"I remember one special moment, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea called me. I was up there and he gave me two big bags of Papua New Guinea coffee. He said, 'Chief Hawke loves the coffee. Can you take these home for him'.

"So I took them home and dropped them into the golf club and they rang him and told him to come and get it. And somehow he got my number and rang to thank me and asked me to thank the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. A wonderful man, he never forgot the little man at all."

Bob Hawke will be sorely missed by many.
Bob Hawke will be sorely missed by many.

Gould continued to reflect on Hawke's legacy, saying his impact on Australia has extended beyond politics and made a mark on all generations.

"It was really sad news tonight. What I noticed was when we first got the news, even young people who weren't very old when Hawke was around, some weren't even born when he was Prime Minister, going, 'Wow, Bob Hawke'," Gould said.

"And I think that was the gravity of which that was felt.

"He was such a special character in our history, a great Prime Minister, easily one of the most popular Prime Ministers of the post-war period and he'll be sadly missed.

"He was one of those fellas whose character and charisma transcended the political divide. I think all Australians liked Bob Hawke, he just happened to be our Prime Minister as well."

 

ROOKIE SHINES IN STORM MIRACLE

Fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen has given Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy plenty to think about after a dazzling display in the Storm's last ditch win over the Tigers.

While the home side escaped with a 24-22 win thanks to a 77th-minute try by Will Chambers, Papenhuyzen starred in his first NRL start.

Replacing the injured Jahrome Hughes in the No. 1 jersey, he ran for a game-high 241m which included a brilliant 80m solo effort when he returned a kick and burst through the defence.

While he has speed to burn, Papenhuyzen also didn't shirk the tough stuff and was happy to carry through the middle and man up in the first line of defence.

Following the retirement of Billy Slater, Papenhuyzen started the season behind first-choice custodian Scott Drinkwater, who has been sidelined since the trials with a pec injury, and then Hughes with concussion. But the 20-year-old may find himself elevated from third string to top dog after scoring three tries in his past three games.

He earned the praise of Bellamy for his performance.

"I thought he did a great job," the coach said. "A slow game like that probably didn't suit him but he obviously made an impression and came up with some really important plays.

"He did a really good job with the two wingers as well."

Bellamy had warned the youngster he would be in for a tougher night than during their Magic Round romp against Parramatta, when he blitzed off the bench. And he was pleased with how he handled the challenge.

"Everything went right for him last week and we knew it wouldn't against the Tigers but he stuck at his job," Bellamy said.

"He's played six games off the bench now and last week would have given him plenty of confidence but he's a confident kid who knows his strengths and he's a hard worker so we're really happy for him."

Hughes, who has hardly put a foot wrong this season, is expected to be available for next Sunday's clash with Canterbury, giving Bellamy something to ponder.

"We've got a couple of days off over the weekend so I will give it a little bit of thought," he said.

Ryan Papenhuyzen had a blinder.
Ryan Papenhuyzen had a blinder.

With AAP


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