THROW BACK THURSDAY – BACK TO LIFE AND BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Each Thursday, during the season, thanks to CRYO Sydney, we step back in time to bring you a story from our rich history. In the lead up to our game v Wentworthville, we’re going back to the 1992 Metropolitan Cup Grand Final.
BACK TO LIFE AND BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
It was arguably the proudest day in Newtown’s then 84-year history.
Less than a decade after being unceremoniously dumped from the Winfield Cup, the Jets claimed their first major title since the 1974 reserve grade premiership by beating Wentworthville 30-18 in the 1992 Metropolitan Cup Grand Final.
Newtown had entered the Metropolitan Cup in 1991 and while the club had missed the finals in their debut season, the next year was a completely different story. Spearheaded by former first graders like Barry Russell, Daryl Neville, Shane Kelly and skipper Fred Teasdell, the Jets swept all before them to take the minor premiership six points ahead of second placed Ryde Eastwood.
Coached by Brian Wakefield, the Jets quickly qualified for the grand final by deposing of the Ken Wilson-coached Ryde Eastwood 24-18. Wentworthville path wasn’t as simple. They also qualified for the big dance by defeating Ryde Eastwood, although the Magpies had to endure midweek replay after the previous meeting had resulted in a draw.
A crowd of almost 8,000 was on hand on at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday 29 August. The Bluebags scored the opening try after 18 minutes when Neville combined with Craig George and Craig Shaw to put centre Peter Baumgart away.
Baumgart was in for his second 19 minutes later after charging onto a clever pass from Russell. The former Cronulla halfback then gave the Jets an 18-0 lead at halftime when his darting run set up winger Bal Dhaldie.
Wenty struck back in the 53rd minute when the Jets’ inability to defuse a Craig Steadman bomb allowed the crafty five-eighth to regather and score. Newtown’s lead when then reduced to six points when a strong run from Wenty’s Steve Antonelli allowed their halfback Steve Edwards to cross under the sticks.
A penalty goal to Shaw put the Bluebags ahead by eight points not long after, but Wentworthville were far from done for. With 10 minutes left in the game, their lock Darren Seymour swooped upon an Edwards chip kick and scored to trail 20-18.
However, the Jets finally sealed victory minutes later when a superb cover tackle from Teasdell, forced Wentworthville to surrender possession and in turn allowed Tim Blasczack to score a runaway winner.
Robert Page’s conversion put the game out of reach but there was still time left for another try with Dhaldie capitalising on an error from Kataan Abdul-Wahab to make to make the final score 30-18.
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