Jets

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

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Parramatta 1981 100
Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography
Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Flashback Friday – Newtown v Norths 1976 Brawl

Each week, thanks to Schofield King Lawyers, we bring you a story from our rich history.

It was a night where tempers flared and fists flew but video ultimately ruled the roost.

It was 12 May 1976 and Newtown was squaring off with fellow foundation club North Sydney at a sodden Leichhardt Oval in a midweek Amco Cup fixture.

With both teams anchored to the bottom of the premiership table after eight rounds, the AMCO Cup was shaping up as the only way either one of them would see any silverware that season, so a win in the knock-out competition was vitally important.

Despite the high stakes, most of the match was nothing much to write home about, with poor handling from Newtown and expert hooking from British Bear John Gray allowing North Sydney to dominate proceedings. However, the real action came midway through the final quarter when a vicious brawl broke out.

It all started when a North Sydney defender attempted a swinging arm on Newtown replacement Paul Johnson as the latter attempted to go to ground with the ball. Newtown hooker Ron Turner flew in to defend Johnson, which in turn sparked a donnybrook that even Muhammad Ali would have been reluctant to enter.

Former Jets half and Golden Gloves boxer Paul Hayward was particularly prominent in the brawl, going toe-to-toe with Gray who, despite hailing from Warwickshire, showed that he was more than capable of performing a Liverpool Kiss. 

“Well, it was certainly a bit more exciting than the Sound of Music,” remarked commentator Ray Warren, who didn’t seem to be particularly perturbed by the violence unfolding in front of him.

When the dust had settled, three players had been sent from the field, North Sydney’s Neville Makin for an alleged punch as well as Hayward and Newtown centre Mark Wright who were charged with kicking and punching.

Watch it here

That wasn’t the end of the story though. Three more players were also cited after league officials reviewed the tape post-game in what was the first instance of video being used to punish players for poor on-field behaviour.

Oh, and for the record, Norths won the match 19-7.

Schofield King Lawyers has spent the last decade representing underdogs against insurance companies and big businesses. For legal advice about your compensation claim, visit https://sklegal.com.au/

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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

web The Henson logo (Newtown RLFC)

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 thefootydog@mail.com)

Remembering forty years ago ….

web Coverforce Insurance logo (2021)

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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