1972 saw the appointment of Don Parish as coach, who came with a 3-year plan and innovative coaching methods. There was an injection of new players – Peter Handcock, Steve Satterly and Olaf Prattl from Balmain (Prattl was sensationally dropped from the first match of the season for not attending training), John O’Bryan from Manly and John Walker from Easts. A significant buy was Stephen Knight (ex-RU International) who provided great thrust in the centres. Debuts also from Geoff Foster, John Heyward, Allan Ashmore and John Sheridan provided a much better team on paper and there was improvement with eight wins in the season, although inexplicably they lost their last eight matches to finish seventh.

Two of the World Cup Representatives, Stephen Knight and John Elford (with ball), in action

Tom Raudonikis, John Elford and Stephen Knight were all selected in the Australian World Cup team, while Raudonikis and John O’Bryan were also selected in City Firsts and John Elford, John Heyward and Stephen Knight made City Seconds. Tony Ford topped the points scoring with 131 points, while Don Rogers was again the leading try-scorer with 10.

John Heyward 1972 “Rookie of the Year”

Significant ex-players in Neil Matterson (Life Member) and Fred Yanz Snr passed away during the year.

Tom Raudonikis was justly awarded the Rothmans Medal (now the Dally M) for the Best and Fairest First Grade Rugby League footballer in the NSWRFL.

Tom Raudonikis 1972 Rothmans Medal Winner


Western Suburbs President Cup team – Semi-Finalist 1972
Standing: H Burns (President), D Clare (Selector), N Newton, S Coghlan (Secretary), P Young, J Churchyard, D Johanson, S Sellwood, W Martin (Coach) R Blyton (Manager), D Byrnes, W Ginn (Rep. Secretary)
Sitting: J Bourne, D Whitelaw, N Stubbs, L Sinclair, Paul Young (Captain), M Carr, W Hill, J McGuire
Front: R Smith, W Ginn, T McGarry, G Weale (Sand Boy), P Miles (Ball Boy), S Ashkar, G Dern, J Swan

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