Throw Back Thursday – Seventh Heaven – Seven Years Ago
Each week thanks to Cryo, we look back at a significant moment in our rich history. Today, we remember a victorious last Sunday in September.
SEVENTH HEAVEN – SEVEN YEARS AGO
Seven years ago, on Sunday 30 September 2012, the Newtown Jets completed one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of Australian sport by beating Balmain Ryde-Eastwood Tigers 22-18 in the NSW Cup Grand Final.
It was an achievement 29 years in the making. After seven years of emptiness following our expulsion from the top grade in 1983, nine eventful years in the Metropolitan Cup and 13 seasons in the NSW Cup, (including two grand final losses) we had finally done it!
There was plenty of excitement surrounding the game as both teams were foundation clubs and had last contested a premiership decider in 1944. Additionally, both teams had battled hard to reach the big dance. Newtown finished the regular season in 7th and our opponents had finished 8th.
On a surprisingly warm September day at ANZ Stadium, Newtown dominated possession early and scored first when winger Daniel Tupou leapt above the pack to take Daniel Mortimer’s cross-field kick. The Jets soon enjoyed a 12-0 lead after Jack Bosden barged over midway through the first half.
However, the Tigers soon struck back when Ava Seumanufagai touched down. Balmain Ryde-Eastwood then went back-to-back when Sean Meaney chased down a Nathan Waters grubber and at half time, the Jets held a 12-10 lead.
The Tigers carried this momentum into the second half, taking a 14-12 lead when replacement Dane Chisholm crossed five minutes after the resumption, but by the 50th minute, the Jets were back in front 16-14 after centre Francis Vaiotu completed a nice blindside raid.
The see-saw nature of the game continued throughout the second-term with Balmain-Ryde Eastwood sticking their nose ahead thanks to a try to Josh Davis, but Meaney’s wayward goal-kicking kept the Jets within two points with 13 minutes remaining.
The decisive moment of the game came in the 71st minute when livewire hooker Nafe Seluini caught the Tigers’ goal-line defence napping to nip over from dummy-half, in turn securing the club’s first reserve grade premiership since 1974!
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