DREAM: Gerry Edser with a picture of his state rep team back in 1964. Picture: Dean OslandIF you want to bottle Novocastrian pride, and paranoia, look no further than the 1964 Rugby League State Cup final.
Newcastle won, but never got the trophy. This, after they’d beaten Souths, Norths, St George and Parramatta. It was textbook Sydney petulance.
‘‘That was very petty, as far as we were concerned,’’ says Gerry Edser, the team’s then-18-year-old five-eighth.
Furious calls from Newcastle officials led to a secondary trophy heading up from Sydney. It was a laughable anticlimax to a 14-7 final win over the Eels before 20,000 fans at the No.1 Sportsground.
Everyone had expected Newcastle’s cup dream to halt in the semi-final against St George, who’d won eight straight premierships.
But under captain-coach Dave Brown, Newcastle stunned the champions 5-3.
Edser says Brown studied the Dragons’ sweeping plays, or ‘‘moves’’, and adapted them for his own troops.
The victory was a jolt of confidence for the city, and planted seeds for a Newcastle team to join the NSW Rugby League 24 years later.
‘‘That taught us we could survive in the Sydney comp, and we wanted to be in it,’’ says Edser.
‘‘Sydney had found out we weren’t their poor cousins.’’
The giant clubs swooped to sign players from the Newcastle team, including Edser, who went to Parramatta.
Those few weeks in his teens have been hard to top.
‘‘It was a dream. I often think about it. We have reunions of those blokes, and we talk about it. Everyone adds a few tries.’’
Newcastle got some penance for the cup snub, eventually.
The 1997 ARL trophy, won by the Knights, was replaced the next year when the NRL formed.
So Newcastle got to keep that one. It’s displayed in the Knights’ Rugby League office at Tudor Street.
Bennett opens to kids
NOTE to self: if one wishes to grill Wayne Bennett, one should preferably be a school-aged child.
The super coach made a rare and surprisingly candid public appearance yesterday at Wallsend South Public School, where KO-FM’s David and Tanya were broadcasting.
He took questions from kids, and admitted that his public and private selves are very different.
‘‘I like the private one more than I like the public one,’’ he said.
As well as being far more adorable than your average press scrum, the kids and their questions were vetted by the principal.
If only there was such a filter for pesky journalists.
Online myth busted
HERE’s a myth we can bust: that entering your PIN backwards summons the police.
It’s been circulating online.
‘‘If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN in reverse,’’ goes the myth.
‘‘For example, if your PIN number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM recognises that your PIN is backwards [and]… will still give you the money you requested but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location.’’
While undeniably cool, this one’s false. Thanks to the Brisbane Water Police Facebook page for the info.
WE asked what you miss, and for one reader it’s handwritten letters and postcards from friends and family in far-off lands.
‘‘So much more personal, memorable and cherished than a status update or photo posted on Facebook.’’
DREAM: Gerry Edser playing in the 1964 final.