Jets

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

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Parramatta 1981 100
web Jets TBT Updated 200312

Throwback Thursday – Wilson and the Wok’s debut assignment

Thanks to Schofield King Lawyers, Throwback Thursday is back for another season and this week we’re looking at the last time we took on the Bunnies in Round 1 at Redfern.

The year was 1979 and following a last-place finish the previous three seasons, Newtown recruited a relatively unknown coach from Western Suburbs’ lower grades to mentor their first-grade side. His name – Warren Ryan.

The Wok wasn’t the only significant signing for the year though, with local junior Ken “Squeaker” Wilson returning to the club after a three-season stint playing with Port Kembla and Penrith. 

After strong form in the pre-season competition, Ryan was given a tough assignment in his first-ever premiership game, going head-to-head with a South Sydney Rabbitohs side coached by none other than legendary coach Jack Gibson. It was the first meeting between the two coaches who would oppose each other in the 1981 Grand Final.

In many respects, Newtown was quite lucky to win, as South Sydney’s kicker, John Berne had a shocker with the boot, kicking just three goals from nine attempts and missing a potentially match-winning kick from right in front of the posts just 30 seconds out from full-time.

The rookie coach passed his first premiership test, with Newtown triumphing 7-6 over Souths. Wilson proved the hero for the Jets scoring every point via three goals and a field goal in what the Sydney Morning Herald described as a “drab match.”

Despite their promising start, 1979 would not go down as an especially memorable season for the Jets with a seven-game mid-season losing streak consigning them to second-last place on the final table. However, history shows that better times lay ahead for Squeaker and the Wok, with both men playing vital roles in Newtown’s elevation to grand finalists two years later.

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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

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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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