St. George Dragons


St. George Dragons

Infobox rugby league club
clubname = St George Dragons


fullname = Saint George Rugby League Football Club
founded = 1921
exited = 1998
league = NSWRL, ARL, NRL
season = 1998
position = 8th of 20
premierships = 15 - 1941, 1949, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1977, 1979
runnerups = 12 - 1927, 1930, 1933, 1942, 1946, 1953, 1971, 1974, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1996
minorpremierships = 15 - 1928, 1946, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1979, 1985
spoons = 3 - 1922, 1926, 1938
win = 91 - 6 vs. Canterbury, 11 May 1935
loss = 0 - 61 vs. Manly, 3 July 1994
homejersey = St. George home jersey 1945.svg

The St George Dragons were a team in the National Rugby League competition in Australia.

Entering the New South Wales Rugby Football League in 1921, the club won 15 premierships, including 11 in succession between 1956 and 1966, a record for sporting competitions at the time. They are second to only the South Sydney Rabbitohs in terms of total premierships won in the NSW Rugby Football League/ National Rugby League.

The club merged with the Illawarra Steelers in 1998, forming the St. George Illawarra Dragons. The merged entity first fielded a side in the NRL competition in 1999.

St George are still represented as a stand alone entity at a junior level, with teams representing the district in the Harold Matthews Cup (under 16's) and the S.G. Ball Cup (under 18's).

History

Formative Years


St George had its beginnings in Rockdale Town Hall in 1908 when an attempt to launch the Dragons for the first time was unsuccessful. A committee for the St George Rugby League Football Club was elected with Ald. W. Taylor as president. Unfortunately due to pressure from rugby union influences only three players signed to play.

In 1910 a St George Rugby League Footballl Club finally took form got off the ground when a team played in the Sydney 3rd Grade Competition. This first historic game took place against Newtown at Sans Souci and St George were victorious 36-0.

The club was successful in November 1920 in petitioning the NSWRL for promotion and in February 1921 at the Kogarah School of Arts, the St George District Rugby League Club came into being. The first President was Arthur Jager, with Joe McGrath chosen as Secretary and Arthur Moynow named Treasurer.

1930s-40s

In 1935 the "Dragon Slayers" as they were then known defeated Canterbury 91-6, still the biggest win in the Club's history. It's also the biggest ever win by any club in history.

The long wait was over when in 1941 St George defeated Eastern Suburbs 31-14 at the Sydney Cricket Ground to take their first First Grade Premiership.

All three grades reached the Grand Finals in 1942 with the 3rd grade side victorious. Saints were runners up again in 1946, losing 14-12 to Balmain. They were premiers for the second time in 1949, beating South Sydney 19-12.

1950s

St George Football Club came of age in the 1950s. A move from Hurstville Oval to Kogarah Oval saw St George take on Souths before a crowd of 12,500 fans in their inaugural match at the ground.

Due to its close proximity to Kogarah Oval, the Carlton Hotel became the local watering hole for the players after training.

In 1953 the first St George Leagues Club was built on the corner of Princes Highway & Rocky Point Road. This Club was to become the site of many victory celebrations over the next 10 years.

In 1956 St George began their reign as Premiers. This reign would last until 1966 and would cover an unprecedented 11 victories. Names like Provan, Langlands, Gasnier, Raper and Smith would become household names. The 1959 team remained unbeaten throughout the season.

1960s

In 1963, a photo titled "The Gladiators" became an icon when Saint's Norm Provan and West's Captain Arthur Summons exhibited wonderful sportsmanship after St George defeated Wests 9-6 in one of the muddiest Grand Finals ever.

On the afternoon of August 24, 1963 Saints won the Grand Final in all three grades
*First Grade 8-3 Wests
*Reserves 5-4 Souths
*Thirds 12-2 Canterbury

1963 saw the opening of the now famous Taj Mahal. This modern Leagues Club became the hub of social life in the district.

St George set another record in 1965 when a crowd of 78, 056 football supporters packed the SCG to see them take on Souths.1965=10 premierships for the dragons

The end of Saints reign in this era came in 1966 when St George won their 11th Premiership in a row!defeating Balmain 23-4 in a grand spectical.

1970s

In the 70's, Goodwin, Edge, Beath & Rocket Reddy were now the names St George supporters had on their lips.

During 1970, St George became the first club in any code of Football to provide three International Captains in the same season - Graeme Langlands, Phil Hawthorne & Billy Smith.

A year of injuries in 1974 saw St George miss the semi finals for the first time in 23 years.

In 1975, Graeme "Changa" Langlands wore white boots in the Grand Final against Easts. Langlands had problems with a groin injury and although he battled on, St George were defeated 38-0. A record loss in a Grand Final.

In 1977, St George met Parramatta in a thrilling Grand Final, which went into 20 minutes of extra time. Nerves were felt amongst players, officials and supporters. It was the first time Rugby League had a drawn Grand Final. The game was locked at 9-9 and a rematch was scheduled for the next week. In the rematch St George proved too strong, defeating Parramatta 22-0.

1977 was also Saints best year financially. The crowd average was over 19,000 and Kogarah Oval was about to be updated.

1978 was the year the St George Secretary Frank Facer died with cancer.

In 1979, Saints got back into the swing of things and won the Grand Final against Canterbury 17-13. As it turned out this would be the last Premiership St George would win to this day.

1980s

In 1985, Saints were represented in all three Grades. After winning both the lower grades, Saints were defeated in First Grade by Canterbury 7-6. At the end of this year, plans to build a new stand were deferred. A decision to move from Kogarah to the SCG had supporters and even some officials very disheartened.

In 1986, with the SCG as their new home ground, Saints missed the semi finals in all three grades for the first time in 50 years.

A decision was made at the end of 1987 to move St George from the SCG to Belmore in 1988 with the hope of returning to Kogarah Jubilee Oval at a later stage.

In 1989, Saints returned home to Kogarah Jubilee Oval and a new Grand Stand was built in 1990.

1990s

The 90's saw St George on a roller-coaster ride. They made the Grand Final in 1992, 1993 and 1996, but were unable to take a Premiership.

After the 1998 season was complete, the formation of the competition's first Joint Venture team occurred when St George joined with the Illawarra Steelers to form the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Records

Club

*Biggest Win: St. George 91 - Canterbury 6 at Earl Park, 11 May, 1935 (Premiership record)
*Worst Defeat: St. George 0 - Manly Sea Eagles 61 at Brookvale Oval 3 July, 1994
*Longest Winning Streak: 12 matches from 6 June, 1958 - 24, May 1959 (St. George went through the 1959 season undefeated, however they drew one game. During this period, the Saints played 23 matches without loss)
*Longest Losing Streak: 8 matches from 3 July - 28 August, 1926
*Largest Home Crowd: 23,582 v South Sydney Rabbitohs at Kogarah Jubilee Oval 4 May, 1975

Individual

*Most Tries in a Match: 6 by Jack Lindwall v Manly-Warringah at Hurstville Oval on 3 May, 1947
*Most Goals in a Match: 15 by Les Griffin v Canterbury-Bankston at Earl Park on 11 May, 1935
*Most Points in a Match: 36 by:
**Les Griffin (2 tries, 15 goals) v Canterbury-Bankstown at Earl Park on 11 May, 1935
**Jack Lindwall (6 tries, 9 goals) v Manly-Warringah at Hurstville Oval on 3 May, 1947

*Most Tries in a Season: 26 by Tommy Ryan in NSWRFL season 1957
*Most Goals in a Season: 108 by Harry Bath in NSWRFL season 1958
*Most Points in a Season: 225 (3 tries, 108 goals) by Harry Bath in NSWRFL season 1958

*Most Tries in Club History: 143 by Johnny King from 1960 to 1971
*Most Goals in Club History: 648 by Graeme Langlands from 1963 to 1976
*Most Points in Club History: 1,554 (86 tries, 648 goals) by Graeme Langlands from 1963 to 1976
*Most Appearances (1st grade only): Norm Provan 256, Billy Smith 234, Craig Young 234, Graeme Langlands 227, Michael Beattie 210, Mark Coyne 207, Ricky Walford 207, Rod Reddy 204

Players Of Note

Australian Rugby League's Team of the Century

*Frank Burge (1927)
*Norm Provan (1951-1965)
*Reg Gasnier (1959-1967)
*Johnny Raper (1959-1969)
*Graeme Langlands (1963-1976)

Australian rugby league's 100 greatest players

*Harry Bath
*Brian Clay
*Ken Kearney
*Johnny King
*Eddie Lumsden
*Herb Narvo
*Billy Smith
*Ian Walsh

Internationals while at St.George

*Wayne Bartrim
*Barry Beath
*Tony Branson
*Bob Bugden
*George Carstairs
*Mark Coyne
*Percy Fairall
*Eric Freestone
*Wally Fullerton Smith
*Fred Gardner
*Ted Goodwin
*Scott Gourley
*Norman Hawke
*Phil Hawthorne
*Charlie Hazelton
*Jack Holland
*Pat Jarvis
*Albert "Rick" Johnston
*Brian Johnston
*Arthur Justice
*Harry Kadwell
*Ross Kite
*Ray Laird
*Brad Mackay
*Ken Maddison
*Steve Morris
*Noel Mulligan
*Matt McCoy
*Allan McKean
*Doug McRitchie
*Kevin O'Brien
*Michael O'Connor
*Bryan Orrock
*Noel Pidding
*Henry Pierce
*Peter Provan
*Graham Quinn
*Elton Rasmussen
*Rod Reddy
*Johnny Riley
*Ron Roberts
*Eddie Root
*Kevin Ryan
*Tommy Ryan
*Ross Strudwick
*Bill Tyquin
*Billy Wilson
*John Wittenberg
*Graeme Wynn
*Craig Young

See also: All Time Player List

Coaching Register

*David Waite 1996-98
*Brian Smith 1991-95
*Craig Young 1989-90
*Ted Glossop 1988
*Roy Masters 1982-87
*Harry Bath 1977-81
*Graeme Langlands (while playing) 1972-76
*Jack Gibson 1970-71
*Johnny Raper 1969 (while playing)
*Norm Provan 1962-65 (while playing), 1968
*Ian Walsh 1966-67 (while playing)
*Ken Kearney 1954-55, 1957-61 (while playing)
*Norm Tipping 1953, 1956
*John Hawke 1951-52 (while playing)
*Jim Duckworth 1948-50
*Doug McRitchie 1947 (while playing)
*Arthur Justice 1936, 1947
*Charlie Lynch 1947
*Herb Narvo 1946 (while playing)
*Percy Williams 1945
*Bill Kelly 1944
*Neville Smith 1939-41, 1943 (while playing)
*Len Kelly 1942 (while playing)
*Norm Pope 1938 (while playing)
*Frank Burge 1927 (while playing), 1929-30, 1937
*Peter Burge 1937
*Eddie Root 1936 (while playing)
*Albert Johnston 1933-35
*Harry Kadwell 1931-32 (while playing)
*Herb Gilbert 1921 (while playing), 1922-24

District Juniors

The St George junior district covers an area of southern Sydney from Cooks River and the M5 Motorway in the north, Botany Bay to the east, Salt Pan Creek to the west, and the Georges River to the south.

Current St George junior clubs are:
*Renown United
*Arncliffe Scots
*Hurstville United
*Brighton Seagulls
*Riverwood Legion
*Earlwood Saints
*Penshurst RSL Panthers
*Peakhurst Hawks
*Kingsgrove Colts
*Kogarah Cougars
*Rockdale Bulls
*The Grove

Notable recent NRL players who were St George juniors:
*Mark Gasnier - Renown United
*Anthony Mundine - Hurstville United
*Lance Thompson - Hurstville United
*Jason Stevens - Brighton Seagulls
*Wes Naiqama - Arncliffe Scots
*George Ndaira - Arncliffe Scots
*Jason Nightingale - Renown United
*Darryl Millard - Renown United
*Adam Peek - Peakhurst Hawks

ee also

*St George Illawarra Dragons

External links

* [http://www.rl1908.com/Clubs/St-George-Dragons.htm RL1908 history of St George]


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