Brett Kenny’s autobiography, The Natural (1993) sums it up well. ‘Bert’ was one of the most naturally gifted players the game has ever seen. Indeed, he was acclaimed as the best player in rugby league history by former GB and Wigan great Billy Boston, high praise for one who did not turn to rugby league until well into his teenage years.
Despite the late start, Bert’s talent was quickly noticed by Parramatta when playing in the juniors at Guildford. So successful was he in the lower grades that he was partnering established champion Mick Cronin by the end of that year, making seven first grade performances in his rookie season.
Possessed with cat-like anticipation, dazzling acceleration and a great step, Bert was a prodigiously skilled five-eighth. His running was often aided by feigning to deceive a would-be tackler or a quite simple dummy that would make the defender look stupid. He perfected the kick-chase which accounted for many of his 110 first grade tries for Parramatta. Bert was also a brilliant tackler, consistently able to bring down much bigger players like Meninga and Lewis in Origin games during the 1980s.
There wasn’t really anything this fellow couldn’t do!
Bert’s got a fascinating story to tell and you won’t forget the time you met The Natural.