Western Suburbs First Grade 1977
Back Row: Robert Rowland Smith (Conditioner), Doug Lucas, Peter Young, Geoff Foster, Russell Mullins, Ron Giteau, Wayne Smith, Mick Liubinskas, Keith Holman (Coach), Stephen Blyth
Middle Row: John Donnelly, Shane Day, John Purcell, Tom Raudonikis (Captain), Don Moseley, Neville Sinclair
Front Row: Les Boyd, Gavin Miller, Graeme O’Grady, John Dorahy

1977 was a mixed year. The First-Grade team only won seven out of 22 matches but the emphasis on the Amco Cup later in the season definitely affected performance. Keith Holman took over as Coach, but it was to be only for one season, as the successful U23’s Coach, Roy Masters, was appointed for the 1978 season. The Reserve Grade also made the semi-finals for the first time since 1962.

Significant player gains were Doug Lucas from Newtown and Don Moseley from Canterbury, while Robbie Parker moved to Manly. There were good debuts from Bob Cooper, Alan Neil, Peter Rowles and Gary Walsh. Graeme O’Grady had an excellent season, being named Amco Player of the Year.

Injuries were again a factor – Jim Murphy out for the season and Russell Mullins, Don Moseley and Les Boyd all out for long periods. The loss of Jim Murphy to Kempsey and Russell Mullins to Penrith in 1978 would leave gaps that needed to be filled. Ron Giteau scored 12 tries in 16 games, a great effort in a losing team.

Two men who had given a lifetime of service to the club, Roy Liston and Jack Drewes, both passed away during the year.

There were two highlights in the season. The first was the winning of the Amco Cup. On the way to the Final, Wests defeated the Premiers, St George, and had an excellent For and Against record of 121/21. The Final was a nail-biting affair, with Wests prevailing 6-5 against Eastern Suburbs. It was a win that captured the imagination of the fans.

The 1977 Amco Cup

The second highlight was the win in the Grand Final over Parramatta by the U23’s to become the 1977 Premiers. Peter Walsh scored 180 points in the season and Mark Manston scored 10 tries. Geoff Gardner was the Captain, while Terry Leabeater and Geoff Spotswood were important contributors.

U23 Premiers 1977
Back Row:
George Downie (U23 Secretary) George Moroko, John Crow, Ron Brodrick, Bob Cooper, Nathan Cole, Brian Cook, Roy Masters (Coach)
Front Row: Alan Neil, Mark Manston, Peter Lema, Geoff Gardner (Captain), Dave Kennedy, Peter Duggan, Peter Walsh
Front Sitting (Ball Boys): Brett Downie, Mark Cochrane

U23’s Premiers, led by Coach Roy Masters, do a Lap of Honour at the SCG

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