Western Suburbs First Grade 1979
Back Row: Jack Jeffries, Trevor Reardon, Bruce Gibbs, Gerard Crowe, Pat Hundy
Middle Row: Bob Cooper, Wayne Smith, Don Moseley, John Dorahy, Graeme O’Grady, Mark Beaven, John Heyward
Front Row: Roy Masters (Coach), John Donnelly, Buddy Cain, Tom Raudonikis (Captain), Ray Brown, Warren Boland, Bill Cloughessy

After a very promising start, where Wests looked headed for a top three spot, they lost five matches in a row in the Second Round. They still made the semi-finals but lost to Canterbury 20-6 in the Preliminary Semi-Final. Major gains were Mark Bevan, Warren Boland and Gerard Crowe from Balmain, Pat Hundy from Parramatta, and Jack Jeffries from St George. They lost, on transfer, Steve Blyth and Peter Rowles to Newtown and Mick Liubinskas to Balmain. Major debuts by youngsters were from Tony Armstrong, Peter Barr and Terry Leabeater.

Warren Boland was an immediate fan favourite after transferring from Balmain.

John Dorahy was, once again, the top points-scorer with 149 points, Wayne Smith the top try-scorer with 13. Wayne Smith had played 46 out of 47 games in the 1978/9 seasons – a real ironman.

Tom Raudonikis and Les Boyd were again in the Australia team against Great Britain, while John Dorahy also joined them in the NSW side.

The major event of the year was Tom Raudonikis playing his 200th match and the news he was leaving for Newtown. He had played on with a severe rib injury but was still hailed as “Captain Courageous”, yet again the best player on the field even near the twilight of his career. He was quite rightly admitted to the Western Suburbs Hall of Fame.

Tommy Raudonikis as the fans loved him – leading from the front.

Scroll to Top