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Sunday 6th Oct
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ANZ Stadium

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Image: mafphotography
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Throw Back Thursday – Polynesian Pioneer Helps Bluebags Beat the Bunnies

Each week, thanks to CRYO, we take a look back at a magical moment in our club’s history. Today, we remember a landmark signing for Newtown who orchestrated a big win over South Sydney in 1972.

POLYNESIAN PIONEER HELPS BLUEBAGS BEAT THE BUNNIES

While the name Oscar Danielson may not automatically ring a bell for many rugby league fans, in many ways the former Bluebags and Kiwi prop is a rugby league pioneer.

In the 1960s and 1970s, there was little to no participation from players of non-European backgrounds in the New South Wales Rugby League competition. However, in 1970, Newtown coach Harry Bath broke new ground by signing Danielson, a Samoan-born New Zealand international, from the Marist club in Auckland. Danielson is believed to be the first player of Samoan heritage to grace premiership rugby league in Australia.

“I think I was the pioneer,” Danielson told the New Zealand Herald in 2012.

“If it wasn’t for me, maybe they wouldn’t have all the Polynesians there today.”

Danielson went on to play three seasons for the Blues, with arguably his finest hour coming in 1972, when he played a leading role in Newtown’s 27-19 win over South Sydney at the SCG. This match turned out to be the last fixture between the two foundation clubs to be held at Headquarters.

Coming into this Round 20 match, Newtown needed a win to keep their hopes of forcing a play-off for the last spot in a four-team finals series alive. Things started badly for the Bluebags as Souths dominated the first half to lead 14-5 at the break. Enter Danielson.

The Kiwi was unstoppable during the second half, controlling the rucks, making excellent metres up the middle and offloading the ball at will. Souths led 19-10 after 52 minutes, but by the 72nd minute the Danielson-inspired Bluebags were ahead 22-19 courtesy of a controversial try to skipper Lionel Williamson. When the full-time whistle had blown, the Bluebags had triumphed 27-19 and Danielson was the talk of King Street.

Unfortunately, for Newtown they were unable to force a finals play-off in 1972, eventually finishing equal fifth with Canterbury. Danielson left the club at the end of the year to captain-coach the Corrimal Cougars, however, his legacy on the game remains large not just for his feats on the SCG in 1972, but for the number of Pacific Islander players who take the field in NRL matches each weekend.  

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(Left to right) Newtown Coach, Harry Bath with players Dave Cotter, Larry Raleigh and Oscar Danielson in 1970.
On 6th October 2019 at ANZ Stadium, the Newtown Jets defeated Burleigh Bears 20-16 in the NRL State Championship Final. This win effectively made Newtown the best club team (outside of the NRL competition) in Australia, New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea. Newtown centre Jackson Ferris (with the ball) is shown sprinting away for the winning try with less than ten seconds of regular time left to play, having seized upon a pin-point short kick by his team-mate Billy Magoulias. Newtown had trailed 10-2 at half-time and 16-14 going into the last ten seconds of the match. Photo: Michael Magee Photography

Newtown Jets celebrate one of the greatest years in their long history

Newtown’s rugged back-rower Daniel Vasquez was in full voice when he led his Jets team-mates in a victory chorus at the Mayoral Civic Reception, held at the Petersham RSL Club on the evening of the 9th October 2019. Photo: Michael Magee Photography

Reminder: RSVP for the Newtown Jets Victories Dinner and Presentation Night by Friday, 22nd November 2019

Newtown winger Ray Preston (with the ball) breaks clear in a match against South Sydney at the SCG in 1955. Newtown’s captain-coach Dick Poole is in the background. Photo: Supplied by Terry Williams.

Vale Ray Preston

Newtown’s captains Jack A. Williams (left) and Scott Sorensen (right) proudly hold aloft the two major trophies won in the club’s truly remarkable 2019 season – the Canterbury Cup NSW premiership trophy (left) and the NRL State Championship Trophy (right). This photo was taken at the Mayoral Civic Reception held at the Petersham RSL Club on the evening of Wednesday, 9th October 2019. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.

THE 2019 NEWTOWN JETS VICTORIES DINNER AND PRESENTATION NIGHT

Newtown Jets winger Sione Katoa scores his second try just five minutes out from full-time at ANZ Stadium last Sunday. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Jets claim national title with a sensational try in the game’s final seconds

Newtown Jets dynamic second-rower Scott Sorensen scores (off a perfectly-placed kick by Billy Magoulias) in the first half in last Sunday’s Canterbury Cup NSW Grand Final against Wentworthville, played at Bankwest Stadium. Photo:  Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Jets are fully primed for tilt at State Championship honours

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