Wests First Grade 1981
Back Row: George Moroko, Garry Dowling, Paul Merlo, Terry Leabeater, John McLeod, John Ribot
Middle Row: Garry Jack, Bob Cooper, Jim Leis, Tom Arber, Ian Schubert, Roy Masters (Coach)
Front Row: Greg Cox, Mark Beaven, Alan Neil (Captain), Ross Conlon, Terry Lamb, Jack Jeffries

Wests were in the semi-final race until a poor loss in Round 19 to Parramatta. They finished with 11 wins and draw, with 10 losses. Alan Neil, who was promoted to the captaincy after a serious leg injury to Warren Boland, played all premiership matches and, even though small in stature, led from the front. New players in Greg Cox (Cronulla), Garry Dowling (Parramatta), Trevor Ryan (Newtown) and Ian Schubert (Eastern Suburbs) all contributed to the good season. Ron Giteau’s move to Eastern Suburbs left them short a goal-kicker, but Ross Conlon took over the role effectively. First Grade debuts included Ross Conlon, Garry Jack, Mick Pinkerton, Trevor Cogger and Geoff Spotswood.

Alan Neil was promoted as captain after Warren Boland’s injury

Representative honours were achieved by John Ribot (Sydney Firsts, NSW, Australia – two Tests against France), Bob Cooper (Sydney Seconds), Garry Dowling (NSW v Queensland) and Terry Lamb (State of Origin). Lamb also came third in the Rothmans Medal. Enfield Federals Junior, Wayne Smith, played his 100th game during the season. John Donnelly seemed to be targeted by the judiciary and was handed an unprecedented 14-week suspension. Roy Masters had already announced that he was, regretfully, leaving to coach St George. Terry Fearnley had been announced as the new coach for 1982.

There was success, however, in Reserve Grade, where the Premiership was won in a great 19-2 Grand Final victory over Parramatta. Geoff Spotswood played every game, while Trevor Cogger was inspirational.

Reserve Grade Premiers Squad 1981
Back Row: Ray Bernasconi (Secretary), Laurie Freier (Coach), Garry Jack, Bruce Clark, Steve Broughton, Geoff Spotswood, Paul Merlo, Peter Barr, Terry Leabeater, Bob Cooper, Jeff Case, Brett Gale, Trevor Ryan, John Crow, Colin Dennis, John McLeod, Brian Cook, John Cochrane (Manager)
Seated: Neville Sinclair, Wayne Smith, Michael Duke, Brett Davidson, Ian Schubert (Captain), Trevor Cogger, Tony Armstrong, Mick Pinkerton
Front Row: Alan Latham, Robert Ryan, Mick Evans

Tom Arber in another powerful surge

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