Jets card

Saturday 22nd Feb
Henson Park

Image: mafphotography
Image: mafphotography

Throw Back Thursday – Blinded By The Flight (Of The Ball)

Each week, thanks to Cryo, we look back at a significant moment in our rich history. Today, the American NFL star who played for Newtown.  


“The corks popped, the champagne flowed, and the Newtown Rugby League Jets soared to delirious heights.”

Those were the opening words of Sydney Morning Herald reporter Brian Curran’s match report on Newtown’s 17-10 first round win over Western Suburbs at Henson Park in 1977. Champagne is usually reserved for celebrating a grand final win rather than a run-of-the-mill regular season game, but 20 March 1977 was no ordinary afternoon in Newtown’s history. On that day 8,743 people at Henson Park basked in the reflected light of stars both off and on the field.

As club benefactor John Singleton entertained celebrities like Paul Hogan, Jeannie Little and John Laws in the newly opened Jet Set Bar, one of rugby league’s most memorable cult stars set foot onto Henson Park for the first time after making a 12,000km trip from Oakland, California just three days earlier.

We are, of course, talking about Manfred Moore, the Oakland Raiders running back that Singleton lured to the Jets for the ‘77 season. Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of press surrounding Moore’s arrival at the club and during his first foray into Sydney premiership football, the big man did not disappoint. Chasing a bomb from captain Col Casey, Moore leapt above Test fullback John Dorahy to score the game’s opening try after 28 minutes. 

“The roar that went up around the ground from the ground from the crowd of 8,743 – the biggest at Henson Park for three years – sounded like it came from 50,000,” Curran wrote.

Tries to Dorahy and future Jet, Graeme O’Grady gave Western Suburbs a 10-3 lead a break. In an effort to motivate the Newtown faithful, Farrington orchestrated stunt that would go down forever in Newtown folklore. As the two teams trudged from the field, the Newtown secretary approached Moore with two footballs in his hand. 

Moore recounted their exchange in the Sydney Morning Herald back in 2007.

Farrington: “I want you to toss it over the stadium [grandstand].”

Moore: “You want WHAT! I’m not a quarterback.”

Farrington: “Oh, give it a try.”

By his own admission, Moore’s first throw was a shocker, but the second attempt was close to perfect.

“It was a perfect spiral and it spiralled up and up and over and out of the stadium and the crowd went crazy,” Moore recalled.

The stunt seemed to do the trick, Newtown stormed back during the second half, with a dogged performance from the forwards laying the platform for the seven-point victory against a much bigger Magpies side.

“They were like little terriers,” captain Casey said of his pack after the game.

“They never stopped.” 

The game proved the perfect start to season for both Newtown and their American import. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last. The Jets only managed just one more victory during the 1977 season and by point Moore was long gone. The big Californian played five games for the club before sustaining a cut above the eye against Cronulla in April which prompted him to return to the USA where he subsequently linked up with the Minnesota Vikings. 

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Manfred Moore’s famous spiral pass over the Grandstand at Henson Park.
webGlebe v Newtown promotional poster, second version (crop)

It’s only taken 91 years … but the Newtown Jets and the Glebe Dirty Reds will do battle again at Wentworth Park this Sunday, 16th February at 4.00pm

Big Wes Lolo is first out of the blocks in this pre-season training exercise at Henson Park. Photo: Wayne Leong

The Jets and the Dirty Reds set to renew an ancient rivalry

webThe Newtown RLFC 1908 team (NSWRL source)

Happy 112th birthday to the Newtown Jets

Newtown Jets head coach Greg Matterson pictured with members of the Jets pre-season training squad at Mahoney Reserve in South Marrickville on Tuesday, 17th December. Photo: Wayne Leong.

Updated information on the availability of Newtown Jets merchandise

Big Saulala Houma played with the Newtown Jets from 2012 to 2017 and was a member of Newtown’s 2012 NSW Cup premiership-winning team. These days Saulala is a rampaging front-rower for the Wagga Kangaroos RLFC down in Group 9 in southern NSW. Saulala features on the front cover of the updated Newtown Jets club history, Taking It To The Streets – The Second Life of the Newtown RLFC. Author of the book and Jets Director Glen “Bumper” Dwyer was in Wagga last Friday to present Saulala Houma with a copy of the book. (The book is on sale online at or by calling 9052 6580). Photo: Newtown RLFC

More Christmas merchandise information from the Newtown Jets

Jets Xmas card credits:
Photo: Michael Magee Photography.
Artwork: Mandy Mills.

2019 – The Year that the Newtown Jets Struck Gold Twice

Sydney Mutual Bank
Front of Jersey

Petersham RSL Club
Back of Jersey

The Siding Petersham
Back of Jersey

Jersey Minor

John Singleton Group

Schofield King Lawyers

Front of Shorts

The Henson
Back of Shorts

Sydney Park Hotel
Back of Shorts


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