Newcastle Rugby League: Strong links between Macquarie's two premierships

Mal Graham took a satisfying walk down memory lane over the weekend. 

In almost a carbon copy of his historic 1991 premiership triumph with Macquarie, the current crop of Scorpions again overcame a Western Suburbs side touted for glory.

Graham, the captain-coach at Toronto for the inaugural title, said 26 years on there was a similar vibe in both the nature of grand final victory and the ensuing celebrations.

SUCCESS: Adam Bettridge (2017) and Mal Graham (1991) are the two men to have led Macquarie to Newcastle Rugby League premierships. Although 26 years apart both grand finals were against Western Suburbs. Picture: Supplied

SUCCESS: Adam Bettridge (2017) and Mal Graham (1991) are the two men to have led Macquarie to Newcastle Rugby League premierships. Although 26 years apart both grand finals were against Western Suburbs. Picture: Supplied

“It just turned back the clock,” Graham said.

“The place [Toronto Workers Club] was packed, there were people queuing up in the foyer, everyone was celebrating and congratulating each other. And all well deserved.

“The best thing about watching [the game from the ground], it was never in doubt. We were just so dominant and Wests kept succumbing to the pressure.

“It was a very similar feeling and timeline to us.” 

Macquarie beats Wests 21-10 in the 1991 decider at Harker Oval.

This year’s Scorpions squad, under coach Adam Bettridge for a third straight season, add the Newcastle first grade crown to the State Cup and Mudgee Nines.