Old Foes United In Title Surge
It's a historic Rugby League partnership between two foundation clubs, 110 years in the making.
Newtown and Glebe were the first two Rugby League clubs formed in Australia, and have a wealth of folklore in the early years of our game. The Jets were minor premiers in 1910, Glebe in 1911; the two neighbours sharing a fierce rivalry in the NSWRFL competition.
The clubs split in different directions as the years progressed where Glebe endured an 87-year exile , but here in 2018 they have joined forces across the NSWRL competitions and are reaping the benefits come finals time.
Both sides have firmly entrenched themselves among the premiership heavyweights in the Ron Massey Cup and Intrust Super Premiership, with a top four and fifth-place finish respectively.
It was a case of fourth time lucky for the newly-named Glebe-Burwood Wolves on Saturday – after three straight Elimination Finals losses they finally reaped the rewards with a 38-14 victory over the Asquith Magpies.
Pride and relief ran deep through veins of the players following the full-time siren, and co-coach Mick Habib lauded the Jets for their significant involvement and assistance throughout the 2018 season.
"Firstly, we've learned from our previous seasons, but I think we got a better roster this year and especially in key positions in [particular] our halves and the spine," Habib told NSWRL.com.au.
"There's no other way to say it but the Jets have been a tremendous help, all the boys train together at Henson Park.
"We're all one club and they've been great, they've been accommodating, and they've helped us out right through the season and I think it's just been a great partnership."
That victory was character building; now their upcoming semi-final with Mounties marks the closest the Dirty Reds have been to the premiership since they were runners-up in 1922.
After missing out on fourth-place by just a points differential of eight, the Wolves still remain confident they can challenge for the title but not before adopting a simple 'game by game' mantra that's as old as the club itself.
"The old cliché is one game at a time but [I believe] we can beat anyone on our day," he said.
"We've pushed 'Wenty' (the minor premiers, Wentworthville Magpies) to the last minute in both games this season and it was disappointing to not finish in the top-four, but we've won today so we get through to next week with some confidence."
For the Newtown Jets, they will be rueing their two-point loss to the Dragons on Sunday but will relish their second-chance when they also take on the Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership semi-final.
Their match is scheduled for a 1.10pm kick-off at Jubilee Oval, before the Wolves go head-to-head with the Mounties immediately following the game's conclusion at 3.15pm.