1990 NSWRL season

Last updated
1990 New South Wales Rugby League premiership
Teams16
Premiers Canberra colours.svg Canberra (2nd title)
Minor premiers Canberra colours.svg Canberra (1st title)
Matches played183
Points scored6107
Attendance2209354
Top points scorer(s) Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (212)
Player of the year Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s) Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (17)
Seasons

The 1990 New South Wales Rugby League season was the eighty-third season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Sixteen clubs competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the premiership season, which culminated in a grand final between the previous season's premiers, the Canberra Raiders and the Penrith Panthers, who were making their grand final debut.

Contents

Season summary

For the 1990 season, the salary cap was introduced in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership. [1] Twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August, resulting in a top six of Canberra, Brisbane, Penrith, Manly, Balmain and Newcastle.

Parramatta's halfback Peter Sterling won the official player of the year award, the Rothmans Medal. The Dally M Medal was awarded to Manly's five-eighth Cliff Lyons. Rugby League Week gave their player of the year award to Canberra Raiders centre and captain, Mal Meninga.

Teams

The number of teams competing remained unchanged for the second consecutive year, with sixteen clubs contesting the premiership, including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, two from greater New South Wales, two from Queensland, and one from the Australian Capital Territory

Balmain Tigers
83rd season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Wayne Pearce
Brisbane Broncos
3rd season
Ground: Lang Park
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Gene Miles
Canberra Raiders
9th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Canterbury home jersey 1966.svg
56th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
24th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Allan Fitzgibbon
Captain: David Hatch
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
83rd season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Russell FairfaxHugh McGahan
Captain: Hugh McGahan
Gold Coast Giants
3rd season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Coach: Bob McCarthy
Captain: Billy Johnstone
Illawarra Steelers
9th season
Ground: Wollongong Showground
Coach: Ron Hilditch
Captain: Chris Walsh
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly home jersey 1972.png

44th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Graham Lowe
Captain: Michael O'Connor
Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights home jersey 1988.svg
3rd season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: Allan McMahon
Captain: Sam Stewart
North Sydney Bears
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1979.svg
83rd season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Steve Martin
Captain: Tony Rea
Parramatta Eels
44th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Peter Sterling
Penrith Panthers
24th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Royce Simmons
South Sydney Rabbitohs
83rd season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: George PigginsFrank Curry
Captain: Mario Fenech
St. George Dragons
70th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Craig Young
Captain: Trevor Bailey
Western Suburbs Magpies
83rd season
Ground: Orana Park
Coach: John Bailey
Captain: Ivan Henjak

Advertising

1990 saw the NSWRL's advertising shift to a new level of sophistication, marking the first use of Tina Turner's 1989 hit "The Best". The league and its Sydney advertising agency Hertz Walpole struck gold in forging a link between the game and the song, which would become the soundtrack to a marketing success story that skyrocketed right up to a point of self-implosion in the Super League war of 1996-1997.

Tina Turner's manager Roger Davies contacted agency chief Jim Walpole in 1989 to advise that Turner's upcoming album Foreign Affair was to contain a rendition of a Mike Chapman and Holly Knight song which might possibly be of interest to Walpole's NSWRL client. The track, which had been previously released by Bonnie Tyler with modest results, would prove to be one of Turner's most successful singles. After hearing demo tracks, Walpole and the NSWRL General Manager John Quayle and his marketing staff sensed the linkage could be perfect.

Turner was brought to Australia amid much public interest for a massive film shoot where enough footage was secured for advertisements for both the 1990 and 1991 seasons.

The finished 1990 advertisement, in its full two-minute version, tells the story of Turner's touchdown at Sydney Airport and a scurry through paparazzi; she then finds herself in a warehouse training scene that's more glamour than grit where players from a number of clubs are working out on weights and climbing vertical chains. She plays touch footy on a beach, attends a lunch where she cheekily surprises Gavin Miller, whom she had met at the 1989 UK shoot, and later arrives by helicopter to a black-tie dinner with Andrew Ettingshausen and Gene Miles. Throughout are the de rigueur big hits and action shots, with Turner cheering in a replica grand final crowd, and finally congratulating the 1989 premiership captain, Mal Meninga.

Ladder

South Sydney went from minor premiers in 1989 to wooden spooners in 1990, becoming the third club to suffer this ignominy after Canterbury from 1942 to 1943 and Western Suburbs from 1952 to 1953 – however, the Rabbitohs’ decline of sixteen and a half wins is easily the most severe in league history. It would mark the beginning of a 22-year barren wilderness for the Rabbitohs spanning 1990-2011 (which included two seasons excluded from the competition in 2000-01), during which they would only record a solitary finals appearance in 2007. Canberra won their first and to date only minor premiership.

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
1 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders (P)221615532245+28733
2 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 221615478278+20033
3 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 221516415286+12931
4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 221507395255+12530
5 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 221408432284+14828
6 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 221327344305+3928
7 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 221219354291+6525
8 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 221219387347+4025
9 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 2211110366361+523
10 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 2211011370359+1122
11 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears 2210012322298+2420
12 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 228014371399-2816
13 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs Magpies 226115323433-11013
14 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters 226115283547-26413
15 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast Chargers 224018233567-3348
16 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs 222020302652-3504

Finals

Balmain and Newcastle both finished on equal competition points in fifth position at the end of the regular season, so had to play off for the chance to advance through the finals.

HomeScoreAwayMatch Information
Date and TimeVenueRefereeCrowd
Playoff
Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 12-4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 28 August 1990 Parramatta Stadium Bill Harrigan 19,174
Qualifying Finals
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16-0 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 1 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 30,965
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 16-26 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 2 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward24,409
Semi Finals
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 12-4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 31,424
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 12-30 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 9 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum35,263
Preliminary Final
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 32-4 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 16 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 31,628
Grand Final
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 18-14 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 23 September 1990 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 41,535

Chart

 
 Qualifying/Elimination FinalMajor/Minor Semi FinalPreliminary FinalGrand Final
                   
1 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 12 
   Penrith colours.svg Penrith 30     Penrith colours.svg Penrith 14
2 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 16   Canberra colours.svg Canberra 32  Canberra colours.svg Canberra 18
3 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 26    Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 4 
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 12
4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 16  Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 4 
5 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 0

Grand Final

The 1990 season's grand final was played on the afternoon of Sunday, 23 September at the Sydney Football Stadium before a crowd of 41,535. [2] Penrith were attempting to become the first team to win a grand final in their first attempt, but were coming up against an experienced Canberra team.

Canberra RaidersPositionPenrith Panthers
Gary Belcher FB David Greene
Paul Martin WG Alan McIndoe
Mal Meninga (c) CE Brad Fittler
Laurie Daley CE Col Bentley
John Ferguson WG Paul Smith
Chris O'Sullivan FE Brad Izzard
Ricky Stuart HB Greg Alexander
Brent Todd PR Paul Clarke
Steve Walters HK Royce Simmons (c)
Glenn Lazarus PR Barry Walker
Nigel Gaffey SR Mark Geyer
Gary Coyne SR John Cartwright
Dean Lance LK Chris Mortimer
Matthew Wood Bench Steve Carter
Phil Carey Bench Joe Vitanza
Craig Bellamy Bench
David Barnhill Bench
Tim Sheens Coach Phil Gould

Extra time in the reserve grade grand final followed by the pre-match entertainment (including a performance by John Farnham) running late meant that referee Bill Harrigan blew time on for the kick-off half an hour behind schedule. This may have worked to the advantage of the more experienced Raiders and served to rattle the young Panthers. Canberra jumped to a 12-nil lead in the opening minutes after their half-back Ricky Stuart laid on tries for winger John Ferguson and Laurie Daley and the match appeared as good as over despite a strengthening of Penrith's defence as they recovered. The Panthers came back to trail 12-10 after Greg Alexander put Brad Fittler in for a try just before half-time and Paul Smith in for another seven minutes into the second half. Canberra moved to 18-10 in the second half when replacement winger Matthew Wood scored. A late try from Alexander still left Penrith trailing 18-14 at the full-time siren. [3] Both sides finished with three tries each but the wizardry of Stuart and the kicking boot of Meninga were the difference that saw the Raiders with their second consecutive premiership.

Canberra's Ricky Stuart was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match.

Canberra Raiders 18
Tries: Ferguson, Daley, Wood
Goals: Meninga 3/3

Penrith Panthers 14
Tries: Fittler, Smith, Alexander
Goals: Alexander 1/3

Player statistics

The following statistics are as of the conclusion of Round 22.

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References

  1. Middleton, David (2008). League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia (PDF). National Museum of Australia. p. 27. ISBN   978-1-876944-64-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-12.
  2. D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  3. "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.