1981 Grand Final Re-imagined:
Newtown vs. Parramatta
Sunday 26th September, 3pm

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Parramatta 1981 100
Impressive Newtown Jets back-rower Toby Rudolf looks to wrong-foot the Newcastle Knights defence at Henson Park on Saturday. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.
Impressive Newtown Jets back-rower Toby Rudolf looks to wrong-foot the Newcastle Knights defence at Henson Park on Saturday. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.

Jets challenged by Knights second half fightback

The Newtown Jets led 28-6 at half-time in their 24th and final Canterbury Cup NSW competition round played against the Newcastle Knights at Henson Park on Saturday. The Jets then had to scramble to defend that lead in the second half, with the final score being 34-22 in Newtown’s favour.

The Jets ran up a 28-0 lead after just twenty-five minutes and dominated possession and field position. The Knights gained a bigger share of possession in the second half and pulled back to trail 28-18, with enough time left for the visitors to potentially stage one of the comebacks of the year.

Newtown had an 82 per cent completion rate in the first half but this fell back to 62 per cent in the second forty minutes. The Jets overall performance fell away after half-time and allowed the Knights back into the contest.

Newtown’s try-scorers included fullback Will Kennedy who scored twice, halfback Braydon Trindall, prop Wes Lolo, and second-rowers Teig Wilton and Scott Sorensen. Trindall converted four of these tries and kicked a penalty goal.

The Jets finished in seventh position on the Canterbury Cup NSW competition table after having lost six of their first seven games. Newtown had a good record in their ten home games at Henson Park in 2019, winning eight, drawing one and losing one. One other Newtown Jets “home game” was played at PointsBet Stadium (Shark Park) on 23rd March, which resulted in a loss to Mounties.

Newtown will play sixth-placed Mounties in an elimination semi-final at Campbelltown Stadium next Saturday, 7th September, with the kick-off timed for 12.45pm.

Saturday’s match details were:

Newtown 34:

Will Kennedy 2, Braydon Trindall, Wes Lolo, Teig Wilton, Scott Sorensen tries;

Braydon Trindall 4 conversions, 1 penalty goal


Newcastle Knights 22:

Jacob Gagai 2, Starford Toa, Brodie Jones tries;

Bayden Searle 4 conversions.

Half-Time: Newtown led 28-6.

Referee: Cameron Paddy.

Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Mitchell Stone.

Playing surface: Very good.

Weather: Grey skies, overcast, 15 degrees, strong southerly breeze.

The match timeline was:

Will Kennedy try in 3rd minute, not converted. Newtown 4-0.

Braydon Trindall try in 7th minute, converted by Trindall in 8th. Newtown 10-0.

Wes Lolo try in 11th minute, converted by Trindall in 12th. Newtown 16-0.

Will Kennedy try in 14th minute, converted by Trindall in 15th. Newtown 22-0.

Teig Wilton try in 26th minute, converted by Trindall in 27th. Newtown 28-0.

Jacob Gagai try in 35th minute, Bayden Searle converted in 36th. Newtown 28-6.

Half-Time: Newtown led 28-6.

Starford Toa try in 62nd minute, converted by Searle in 63rd. Newtown 28-12.

Brodie Jones try in 65th minute, converted by Searle in 66th. Newtown 28-18.

Braydon Trindall penalty goal in 69th minute. Newtown 30-18.

Jacob Gagai try in 72nd minute, not converted. Newtown 30-22.

Scott Sorensen try in 75th minute, not converted. Newtown 34-22.

Full-Time: Newtown won 34-22.

Newtown’s team was:

Will Kennedy, Luke Polselli, Aaron Gray, Jackson Ferris, Tyrone Phillips, Jack A. Williams, Braydon Trindall, Monty Raper, Teig Wilton, Scott Sorensen, Wes Lolo, Blayke Brailey, Jimmy Jolliffe.

Bench: Matt Evans, Toby Rudolf, Kayleb Milne, Greg Eastwood.

Coach: Greg Matterson.

Newcastle Knights:

Starford Toa, Kiah Cooper, Braydon Musgrove, Mitch Andrews, Jacob Gagai, Tex Hoy, Bayden Searle, Jamie Buhrer, Ben Talty, Brodie Jones, Tevita Alifa, Zac Woolford, Jirah Momoisea.

Bench: Cleveland McGhie, Brandon Russell, Jack Cameron, Daniel Ticehurst.

Coach: Rory Kostjasyn.

Young backrower Monty Raper made his senior rugby league debut in a very capable manner with the Newtown Jets at Henson Park on Saturday. Monty is a product of the Cronulla-Sutherland juniors system, and he has represented the Sharks in the Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Jersey Flegg junior competitions. Monty’s great-uncle Johnny Raper played with Newtown from 1956 to 1958 before moving on to a stellar career with St George. Another of Monty’s great-uncles Peter Raper played with Newtown in 1976 and 1977 and was at Henson Park on Saturday for the annual Newtown Jets player reunion. Monty’s mother is the daughter of the former St George and Cronulla-Sutherland forward Monty Porter. There’s no doubting that Mr Monty Raper has one heck of a rugby league pedigree!

Newtown’s next game details: –

NSWRL Canterbury Cup NSW – Elimination Semi-Final:

Saturday, 7th September 2019

Campbelltown Stadium

Mounties (6th position) versus Newtown (7th position)

Kick-Off: 12.45pm.

This match will be televised live on the Fox League channel.

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This week’s sponsor in focus is – SMI Sports Medicine Institute

Chris Lane’s panoramic shot of ANZ Stadium after fulltime on the 6th October captures the unbridled elation of the Newtown Jets after their astounding last-minute victory.

Recalling the extraordinary events at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, 6th October 2019

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This week the Newtown RLFC pays tribute to the tremendous support given to our club by The Henson, conveniently located close to our home ground, Henson Park

Tom Raudonikis celebrates after scoring a try in the 1981 NSWRL Grand Final (colourised by

Remembering forty years ago ….

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This week we gratefully acknowledge the staunch support of the Coverforce organisation, who have been sponsoring the Newtown RLFC since 2014

Newtown forever - The Class of 1981. Image: Newtown RLFC Archives

1981 Grand Final Re-imagined

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