- 1977 NSWRFL season
1977 NSWRFL season Teams 12 Premiers St. George (14th title) Minor premiers Parramatta (1st title) Matches played 139 Points scored 4346 (total)
31.266 (per match)
Attendance 1,440,765 (total)
10,365 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Mick Cronin (225) Top try scorer(s) Russel Gartner (17)
The 1977 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the seventieth season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve clubs, including six of 1908's foundation teams and another six from around Sydney competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the St. George and Parramatta clubs. NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1977 Amco Cup.
Quite a stir was created at the start of the season by Newtown's recruitment of professional American football player, Manfred Moore. The club's first match of the season at Henson Park attracted the likes of Paul Hogan, Jeannie Little and John Laws who witnessed the American score Newtown's first try.
Twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August, resulting in a top four of Parramatta, St. George, Eastern Suburbs and Balmain who battled it out in the finals.
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Ron Willey
Captain: Trevor Ryan
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Mal Clift
Captain: Bob McCarthy
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Ted Glossop
Captain: Greg Pierce
Captain-coach: Arthur Beetson
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Frank Stanton
Captain: Ray Branighan
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Paul Broughton
Captain: John Floyd
North Sydney Bears
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Captain-coach: Bill Hamilton
Ground: Cumberland Oval
Coach: Terry Fearnley
Captain: Ray Higgs
Ground: Penrith Park
Coach: Don Parish
Captain: Mike Stephenson
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Ground: Redfern Oval
Coach: John O'Neill
Captain: George Piggins
St. George Dragons
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Harry Bath
Captain: Steve Edge
Western Suburbs Magpies
Ground: Pratten Park
Coach: Keith Holman
Captain: Tom Raudonikis
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts 1 Parramatta 22 19 0 3 448 280 +168 38 2 St. George 22 17 0 5 402 260 +142 34 3 Eastern Suburbs 22 15 1 6 392 207 +185 31 4 Balmain 22 13 2 7 417 288 +129 28 5 Manly-Warringah 22 14 0 8 352 269 +83 28 6 Cronulla-Sutherland 22 13 0 9 433 312 +121 26 7 Canterbury-Bankstown 22 10 1 11 283 239 +44 21 8 North Sydney 22 10 1 11 377 390 -13 21 9 Western Suburbs 22 7 0 15 247 438 -191 14 10 Penrith 22 6 1 15 319 408 -89 13 11 South Sydney 22 3 0 19 250 479 -229 6 12 Newtown Jets 22 2 0 20 254 604 -350 4
Home Score Away Match Information Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd Qualifying Finals St. George 19-14 Eastern Suburbs 27 August 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack Danzey 28,288 Balmain 23-15 Manly-Warringah 28 August 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 20,716 Semi Finals Parramatta 5-10 St. George 3 September 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack Danzey 29,794 Eastern Suburbs 26-2 Balmain 4 September 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 23,785 Preliminary Final Parramatta 13-5 Eastern Suburbs 10 September 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 39,095 Grand Finals St. George 9-9 Parramatta 17 September 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 65,959 St. George 22-0 Parramatta 24 September 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 47,828
St George Dragons Position Parramatta Eels Ted Goodwin FB Phil Mann Stephen Butler WG Jim Porter Graham Quinn CE Mick Cronin Robert Finch CE Ed Sulkowicz John Chapman WG Graeme Atkins Rod McGregor FE Mark Levy Mark Shulman HB John Kolc Bruce Starkey PR Graham Olling Steve Edge (c) HK Ron Hilditch Craig Young PR John Baker Robert Stone SR Ray Higgs (c) John Jansen SR Geoff Gerard Rod Reddy LK Ray Price John Bailey Reserve Denis Fitzgerald Tony Quirk Reserve John Peard Harry Bath Coach Terry Fearnley
Parramatta boasted an experienced outfit, making their second consecutive Grand Final appearance. The young St. George side dubbed "Bath's Babes", were able to draw on the experience and wiles of their coach Harry Bath, and as the day of the decider approached the betting market narrowed.
A crowd of 66,000 flocked to the Sydney Cricket Ground to see an enthusiastic St. George side come out with all guns blazing. Dragons lock forward 'Rocket' Rod Reddy, initially dominated proceedings with his brutal defensive play.
In attack, diminutive Dragons halfback Mark Shulman made inroads and they went ahead 4-0 with two penalty goals to Ted Goodwin. Just before half time, "Lord Ted" scored a miraculous try when he burst through and chipped ahead from halfway. Confronting his opposite fullback Phil Mann, Goodwin kicked again. A foot race followed with cover defenders Graeme Atkins and Ed Sulkowicz joining. The ball trickled towards the dead-ball line but Goodwin got there first, hitting the ground hard and knocking himself out in the process. He had run 50 yards and beat every defender to score a breath-taking individual try. John Chapman converted and though Goodwin took no further part in the match, he had given his side a handy 9-0 lead going into the break.
The second half began like the first, with uncompromising defence. Reddy was targeting Parramatta's champion lock, Ray Price but in the process gave away a number of penalties. Mick Cronin slotted three pressure goals to make it 9-6 and the older Eels were well positioned for a come-back against a tiring Dragons defence.
With 10 minutes to run, Parramatta pounced when Cronin drew three defenders and found Price in support who stepped through and gave a final pass to Sulkowicz who scored the equaliser out wide. Now Parramatta had the chance to snatch victory through Mick Cronin's conversion attempt. A prolific goal-kicker throughout his career, Cronin had an opportunity which young players dream of - to kick his team to premiership glory. But the ball sailed to the right of the uprights and moments later the fulltime scoreboard read 9-all. For the first time in history, a New South Wales Rugby Football League Grand Final was forced into 20 minutes extra time.
Parramatta took command of the re-start and looked strong. The Eels almost scored when prop Graham Olling found space near the line, but he failed to pass to his unmarked front rower partner Ron Hilditch. St. George then lifted a notch, grafted out some territory towards the Eels' end and began to think of field goals. Shulman and Chapman both made unsuccessful attempts before reserve Tony Quirk had a third attempt from close range. Quirk's kick initially looked on target but the ball bounced off the post and into the arms of St. George's hooker, Steve Edge. He grounded the ball over the line but was ruled offside by referee Gary Cook.
With one minute left Cook awarded a penalty to the Dragons within kicking range. In a final twist, Chapman's attempt went the same way as Cronin's earlier kick and after 100 minutes of Grand Final play, the scores were still locked at 9-all. The players initially appeared confused, then began shaking hands. The ground announcer advised that a replay would be required.
Greenwood's reference described the match as 'the game of the century'. This is a bold claim but it was undoubtedly a brave effort by both sides and a ground-breaking match in Australian rugby league history.
St. George 9 (Tries: Goodwin. Goals: Goodwin 2, Chapman.)
Parramatta 9 (Tries: Sulkowicz. Goals: Cronin 3.)
Grand Final replay
St George Dragons Position Parramatta Eels Ted Goodwin FB Mark Levy Stephen Butler WG Jim Porter Graham Quinn CE Mick Cronin Robert Finch CE Ed Sulkowicz John Chapman WG Graeme Atkins Rod McGregor FE John Peard John Bailey HB John Kolc Bruce Starkey PR Graham Olling Steve Edge (c) HK Ron Hilditch Craig Young PR John Baker Robert Stone SR Ray Higgs (c) John Jansen SR Geoff Gerard Rod Reddy LK Ray Price Barry Beath Reserve Denis Fitzgerald Harry Bath Coach Terry Fearnley
From the first match, the Dragons had lost halfback Mark Shulman, who suffered a kneeing in the back by Parramatta skipper Ray Higgs, although otherwise their team had come through unscathed. The Parramatta camp had players showing multiple cuts, bruises and bite marks with Ray Price in particular looking like he had been used as a punching bag.
Although a Grand Final replay had not occurred in the Australian game, the young Dragons were able to draw on the experience of "the Old Fox", Harry Bath who had played in the drawn 1953–54 Challenge Cup final at Wembley in England, and whose Warrington side won the replay in front of a then record crowd of over 102,000. Interestingly, the 1977 Victorian Football League's Grand Final played the same day, also finished as a draw and would need to be re-played.
With a strong breeze at their backs, St George began the match in a determined fashion and were soon in front 7-nil when John Jansen scored following a great forward charge by tireless front rower Bruce Starkey.
Twelve minutes into the second half, St George furthered their lead with a penalty goal to Ted Goodwin. Led by Steve Edge, Craig Young and Robert Stone, with the ruthlessness of Rod Reddy and the experience of veteran Barry Beath, the strong Dragons forward pack laid a good foundation and as the match wore on their backline took advantage. Robert Finch and Graham Quinn began to find room in the centres, and the halves John Bailey and Rod McGregor started to outpace their older opposition. A drop goal from Goodwin took the score to 10-nil and then after Parramatta were found offside, Goodwin kicked another penalty goal.
An incident occurred when touch judge Brian Barry was hit by a projectile from the crowd and collapsed. He had to be replaced by a referees' official Ray O'Donnell wearing normal street attire.
Late in the match, Robert Stone found the ball and ran 30 metres to score a rare forward's try right in front of the St. George faithful who, as per the club's tradition, had massed in the Sheridan Stand. With a scoreline of 17-nil the Dragons had the game but then, following a wonderful display of backing up, Saints were awarded a penalty try by referee Gary Cook when John Bailey was taken out by the tired defence. After Goodwin's final conversion and 180 minutes of bone-crushing football, St George were declared the 1977 champions, winning their club's 14th premiership 22-0.
It was a fitting farewell for the stalwart Dragons second rower Barry Beath, the last Dragon to retire who had been involved as a player in their unbeaten eleven year run of the mid 50s to 60s. Beath is credited with the unusual statistic of winning a premiership in his first season (1966) and his last (1977), but none in ten seasons between.
St. George 22 (Tries: Jansen, Stone, Bailey. Goals: Goodwin 5. Field Goal: Goodwin 1.)
- ^ Rothfield, Phil (2010-08-23). "Buzz names his top 10 NRL chokers". The Daily Telegraph (Australia: News Limited). http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/buzzwords/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/buzz_names_his_top_10_nrl_chokers/. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- ^ "Form over five years". The Sun-Herald. 19 March 1978. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XftjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=feYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=630,6357490. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Greenwood, Geoff. Australian Rugby League's Greatest Games.
- Rugby League Tables - Season 1977 The World of Rugby League
- When an American bled for Newtown - article at leaguehq.com.au
- 1977 Tied Rugby League Grand Final at eraofthebiff.com
- 1977 Grand Final Replay at eraofthebiff.com
- Results:1971-80 at rabbitohs.com.au
- 1977 J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup at rleague.com
- NSWRFL season 1977 at rugbyleagueproject.com
- St. George 1977 season at showroom.com.au
NRL seasons NSWRL era
1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909
1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919
1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929
1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939
1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949
1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959
1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969
1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979
1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989
1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994
ARL / SL war
· 1996 · 1997 (ARL / SL)1995
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
1983 NSWRFL season — Teams 14 Premiers Parramatta (3rd title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1978 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers Manly Warringah (4th title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1981 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers Parramatta (1st title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1976 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers Manly Warringah (3rd title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1982 NSWRFL season — Teams 14 Premiers Parramatta (2nd title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1967 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers South Sydney (17th title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1974 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers Eastern Suburbs (10th title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1979 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers St. George (15th title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1909 NSWRFL season — Teams 8 Premiers South Sydney (2nd title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia
1975 NSWRFL season — Teams 12 Premiers Eastern Suburbs (11th title) Minor premiers … Wikipedia