Western Suburbs First Grade 1976
Back Row: Bob Rowland-Smith (Conditioner), Wayne Smith, Peter Young, John Elford, John Donnelly, Don Parish (Coach)
Middle Row: Les Boyd, Tom Raudonikis (Captain), Geoff Foster, Don Rogers
Front Row: Graeme O’Grady, John Purcell, Ron Giteau, Robbie Parker
Absent: Russell Mullins

1976 continued the incredible decade of injuries. John Dorahy broke an ankle pre-season and was out for 18 weeks and John Elford seriously broke an arm in an Amco Cup match at Queanbeyan. Mick Liubinskas, Pat Hundy and John Heyward also suffered serious injuries. The effect of the injuries can be seen in how the season developed. Wests won 10 out of their first 12 matches but then fell away to miss the semi-finals by three points. It was a similar story in the lower grades, which never got into the semi-final race, although youngsters, Bob Cooper and Steve Rigney, were making a big impression.

On the positive side, the debuts of Les Boyd, Wayne Smith, Stephen Blyth and Peter Young promised a great deal for the 1977 season. Les Boyd was already touted as a future International. Tom Raudonikis, John Donnelly, Geoff Foster and John Dorahy all were selected in a Combined Sydney team which toured New Zealand.

Two stalwarts of Administration, Lou Moses and Rod McFarlane, passed away during the season. A large number of players in the time of residential qualification seemed to live at Lou’s house!


Les Boyd and Wayne Smith both had sensational debut seasons in 1976

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