|1990 New South Wales Rugby League premiership|
|Top points scorer(s)|
|Player of the year|
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.
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 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.
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.
For the 1990 season, the salary cap was introduced in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership.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 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 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.
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 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 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).
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 |
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Wayne Pearce
| Brisbane Broncos |
Ground: Lang Park
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Gene Miles
| Canberra Raiders |
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga
| Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs |
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
| Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks |
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Allan Fitzgibbon
Captain: David Hatch
| Eastern Suburbs Roosters |
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Russell Fairfax→Hugh McGahan
Captain: Hugh McGahan
| Gold Coast Giants |
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Coach: Bob McCarthy
Captain: Billy Johnstone
| Illawarra Steelers |
Ground: Wollongong Showground
Coach: Ron Hilditch
Captain: Chris Walsh
| Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles |
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Graham Lowe
Captain: Michael O'Connor
| Newcastle Knights |
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: Allan McMahon
Captain: Sam Stewart
| North Sydney Bears |
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Steve Martin
Captain: Tony Rea
| Parramatta Eels |
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Peter Sterling
| Penrith Panthers |
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Royce Simmons
| South Sydney Rabbitohs |
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: George Piggins → Frank Curry
Captain: Mario Fenech
| St. George Dragons |
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Craig Young
Captain: Trevor Bailey
| Western Suburbs Magpies |
Ground: Orana Park
Coach: John Bailey
Captain: Ivan Henjak
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 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" 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|12-4||28 August 1990||Parramatta Stadium||Bill Harrigan||19,174|
|16-0||1 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||30,965|
|16-26||2 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Eddie Ward||24,409|
|12-4||8 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||31,424|
|12-30||9 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Greg McCallum||35,263|
|32-4||16 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||31,628|
|18-14||23 September 1990||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||41,535|
|Qualifying/Elimination Final||Major/Minor Semi Final||Preliminary Final||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.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.
|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|
|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.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
The following statistics are as of the conclusion of Round 22.
Top 5 point scorers
Top 5 try scorers
Top 5 goal scorers
The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership since 1982. Over this period the club has won 3 premierships,, received 1 wooden spoon and had a total of 15 of its players selected to don the green and gold for Australia national rugby league team. The Raiders' current home ground is Canberra Stadium in Bruce, Australian Capital Territory. Previously, the team played home matches at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, with the move to the AIS Stadium in Bruce taking place in 1990. The official symbol for the Canberra Raiders is the Viking. The Viking, also a mascot at Raiders' games, is known as Victor the Viking.
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The Canterbury Cup NSW is a rugby league competition for clubs in New South Wales previously known as the Intrust Super Premiership, NSWNew South Wales Cup, and NSWRL Premier League. It has a history dating back to the NSWRFL's origins in 1908, starting off as a reserve grade competition. It is now the premier open age competition in the state. The New South Wales Cup, along with the Queensland Cup, acts as a feeder competition to the National Rugby League premiership.
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