Jets

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

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Parramatta 1981 100
ThrowbackThursdayRound1

Throwback Thursday: Electric Eels Shock Jets in Season Opener

Seeing as 2021 marks 40 years since our club’s remarkable charge to the 1981 NSWRFL Grand Final, this year Schofield King’s Throwback Thursday will focus exclusively on that season.

Each week we’ll revisit the fixture from the corresponding round, in a series of articles that we hope will take our long-time fans on a fun journey down memory lane, while also educating our newer fans on our club’s illustrious history.

As it’s round one of the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup this weekend, we are revisiting Round 1 1981.


ROUND 1 


Newtown’s 1981 season got off to an inauspicious start after they went down 33-9 to Steve Ella-inspired Parramatta at Cumberland Oval. 

Eels coach Jack Gibson dropped a selection bombshell earlier in the week by naming the specialist centre at five-eighth, but the gamble paid off with Ella repeatedly ripping the Jets’ defence to shreds. 

That said, Newtown started reasonably well. A try to Phil Sigsworth saw the scores locked at 7-all midway through the first half, however, Brett Kenny’s 21st minute try turned the game in the Eels’ favour. When the dust had settled, Kenny had crossed for two tries, while Peter Wynn, Ray Price, Peter Sterling and Steve Edge all scored a one apiece. Former rugby union international Tony Melrose also chipped in with seven goals and a field goal.  

“We played poorly, but full marks to Parramatta – they outshone us in every department,” lamented Newtown coach Warren Ryan after the match.

Sigsworth was the only Newtown player to leave Cumberland with his head held high. Not only did he score the Jets’ only try of the game, but he was the only player in the Newtown side to pose any kind of attacking threat.

The Jets did earn a piece of history, though, with hooker Barry Jensen becoming the first-ever player sent to the sin bin after repeated scrum infringements.


Parramatta 33 (B.Kenny 2, S.Edge, R.Price, P.Sterling, P.Wynn tries; T.Melrose 7 goals, field goal) def. Newtown (P.Sigsworth try; K.Wilson 3 goals)

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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

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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 ….

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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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