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)

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.

New South Wales Rugby League

The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) is the governing body of rugby league in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory and is a member of the Australian Rugby League Commission. It was formed in Sydney on 8 August 1907 and was known as the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) until 1984. From 1908 to 1994, the NSWRL ran Sydney's, then New South Wales', and eventually Australia's top-level rugby league club competition from their headquarters on Phillip Street, Sydney. The organisation is responsible for administering the New South Wales rugby league team.

Rugby league Full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Winfield Cup

The Winfield Cup was an Australian rugby league trophy awarded to the winner of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership (NSWRL) Grand Final from 1982 to 1994, and then to the winner of the newly-founded Australian Rugby League (ARL) Grand Final in 1995.

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.

In professional sports, a salary cap is an agreement or rule that places a limit on the amount of money that a team can spend on players' salaries. It exists as a per-player limit or a total limit for the team's roster, or both. Several sports leagues have implemented salary caps, using it to keep overall costs down, and also to maintain a competitive balance by restricting richer clubs from entrenching dominance by signing many more top players than their rivals. Salary caps can be a major issue in negotiations between league management and players' unions because they limit players' and teams' ability to negotiate higher salaries even if a team is operating at significant profits, and have been the focal point of several strikes by players and lockouts by owners and administrators.

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.

Peter Sterling Australian rugby league player

Peter Maxwell John Sterling OAM nicknamed Sterlo, is an Australian rugby league commentator and former player. He was one of the all-time great halfbacks and a major contributor to Parramatta Eels' dominance of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership in the 1980s. Sterling played eighteen Tests for the Australian national team between 1982 and 1988. He also played in thirteen State of Origins for New South Wales, winning man of the match on four occasions. He played in four premiership-winning sides with Parramatta in 1981–1983 and 1986 and has been inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame. His time spent playing for English club Hull F.C. also earned him membership in their hall of fame.

The Rothmans Medal was the premier individual award in both the New South Wales Rugby League and Brisbane Rugby League competitions, and later in the Australian Rugby League, which was given to the player voted by referees as the best and fairest in those competitions for the season. The award was established in both leagues in 1968, and ran until 1997. In 1998, with the establishment of the National Rugby League, the Rothmans Medal was replaced by the Dally M Medal as the official Player of the Year award.

Cliff Lyons Australian rugby league player

Cliff Lyons is an indigenous Australian former international rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. A Clive Churchill Medallist and two-time Dally M Medallist, he made 309 first-grade appearances with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, winning grand finals with them in 1987 and 1996. Lyons also represented New South Wales and Australia, being part of the successful 1990 Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain and France. Lyons, known as Napper or Cliffy to his mates, started his rugby league career playing Lock forward, but was often moved into the Five-eighth role which is where he was considered to be at his best. It was at five-eighth that Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles coach Bob Fulton started playing Lyons on a permanent basis. Lyons' success with the Sea Eagles, winning premierships in 1987 and 1996 saw him selected to the Manly Sea Eagles 60th Anniversary Dream Team in 2006. Lyons was named on the bench of the 17 man team. He was notable for his elusive cross-field runs, creating doubt in the minds of defenders and setting up gaps for support players to run back into. His most potent partnership was with Second-rower Steven Menzies, who was nicknamed, "Jesus" because he ran off the right hand of God.

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

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

Australian Capital Territory Federal territory of Australia, containing the capital city, Canberra

The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the 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 American-Swiss singer, dancer, actress, and author

Tina Turner is an American-born Swiss singer, songwriter, and actress. Turner rose to prominence with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm before recording hit singles both with Ike and as a solo performer. One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, she has been referred to as The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll and has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. Turner is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, career longevity, and trademark legs.

The Best (song) song recorded by Bonnie Tyler

"The Best" is a song originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler on her 1988 album Hide Your Heart. It was written by Mike Chapman and Holly Knight, and produced by Desmond Child. The single reached number 10 in Norway and number 95 in the United Kingdom.

The Super League war was the dispute over control of the top-level professional rugby league competition in Australia and New Zealand in the mid-1990s, between the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and the Australian Super League.

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.

Roger Davies is an Australian artist manager, business manager, and music producer, with a long established career in the music industry. He began by working as a roadie in Australia in the early 1970s to managing pop, rock performers including Sherbet, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, James Reyne, Tony Joe White, Dalbello (1984), Cher, Janet Jackson, Joe Cocker, Sade, M People, and Pink.

<i>Foreign Affair</i> (Tina Turner album) 1989 studio album by Tina Turner

Foreign Affair is the seventh solo studio album by Tina Turner, released on Capitol Records in 1989. It was Turner's third album release after her massively successful global comeback six years earlier, and although the album was not a major success in Turner's native United States, it was a huge international success in Europe. The album reached number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, her first number one album there. The album includes the single "The Best" which has gone on to become one of Turner's best-known songs.

Michael Donald "Mike" Chapman is an Australian record producer and songwriter who was a major force in the British pop music industry in the 1970s. He created a string of hit singles for artists including The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie, Mud and Racey with business partner Nicky Chinn, creating a formularised sound that became identified with the "Chinnichap" brand. He later produced breakthrough albums for Blondie and The Knack. Chapman received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2014 Australia Day Honours.

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), 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 (P)221615532245+28733
2 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 221615478278+20033
3 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 221516415286+12931
4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 221507395255+12530
5 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 221408432284+14828
6 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 221327344305+3928
7 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 221219354291+6525
8 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 221219387347+4025
9 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 2211110366361+523
10 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 2211011370359+1122
11 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 2210012322298+2420
12 St. George colours.svg St. George 228014371399-2816
13 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 226115323433-11013
14 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 226115283547-26413
15 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast-Tweed 224018233567-3348
16 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 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.

CanberraPositionPenrith
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.