The Cumberland Throw

Bob O’Reilly Interview – Part 1

The Cumberland Throw continues to salute the legends of our great club, this time, we were privileged to be able to sit down with the one and only Bob “The Bear” O’Reilly.


In this first part, Bob talks to us about his first stint with Parramatta, from his grading, playing along side legends such as Rayner, Thornett, Lynch, Hambly as well as being the first Parramatta junior to be selected to play for Australia.





Stay tuned …. we’ve got more of Bob to follow soon


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17 thoughts on “Bob O’Reilly Interview – Part 1

  1. DK Eel Post author

    for those interested, keep an eye out on the action around the 5:00 minute mark ….. watch The Bear, playing for Australia, lay on a classy pass for a try

  2. Parramatta Tragic

    I would keep The Bear and his wife in any alcohol and food of their choice if I had the opportunity to sit down and talk about 1975 with him. I probably would have given him my highlights DVD which took me 40 years to get. If ever you read these things Bob, thanks so much for the great memories and for that great one on one fight with John Donnelly in front of the old Cumberland Grandstand. Outstanding stuff Bob!
    As Bob was getting up to play the ball, Dallas was jogging back on side and delivered a sneaky short left hand to the side of Bobs face. Bob was about to play the ball at this stage but threw the ball away and chased Donnelly and the two of them stood toe to toe and went blow for blow with both landing good shots. Both looked very professional and it was the weekend television match called by Rex Mossop on channel 7. The fight went on for some time and not one other player interfered and the fans went off and were loving it. Rex called that they may both get sent off and they were. The Bear landed more cleaner hits than Dallas and I am calling a points decision to Bob. The Parramatta officials claimed the next day that Bob was irresponsible for throwing the ball away whilst in possession but the fans loved every minute of it. It was a quality fight and I remember it as clearly as Ali versus Frazier.
    Here is some footage from 1975 of The Bear scoring tries and passing under pressure:
    From memory, Provan changed Bob’s style to play him as wide running second rower and it did work out OK. The Bear was very quick for a big man and had great hands.
    I remember Bob being on Controversy Corner with Rex and the panel in mid 1981 and he categorically stated that Parra would win the comp because every time he stuck his head out of a scrum they were 60 yards further upfield. Not a bad judge. Bob was rightly man of the match in the 1981 GF and I maintain he won the game by taking two steps down the blind side which set up the Atkins try and turned the game
    There was one club match in 1981 when Bob dominated the game like most had never seen. No one man has ever single handedly dominated a match like this before or since.
    Thanks for the memories Bob you absolute bloody legend

      1. Parramatta Tragic

        Much appreciated SB and congrats to all again on a wonderful site. Tell The Bear I cook a mean Laksa or Risotto!

          1. sixties

            Your Dad’s a great man Karen. Thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him, though I only seem to be able to catch him on his mobile when he’s at work!

          2. Anonymous

            Thanks for that, mum just told me you have organized them to be dropped in today. He is a great man, you did an amazing job with the interviews.

          3. Amanda

            Hey there,

            My Dad is an old friend of Bob’s and has been trying to get in touch with him is there any chance you could pass on my Dad’s mobile to him (my Dad played for Easts back in the day). Please email me if possible so I can send you Dads mobile. cheers, Amanda

          4. Amanda

            Hi Karen

            My Dad has been trying to get in contact with your Dad. Any chance you could pass on my Dads mobile?


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