1992 NSWRL season

Last updated

1992 New South Wales Rugby League
Teams16
Premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (1st title)
Minor premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (1st title)
Matches played182
Points scored5993
Attendance2282194
Top points scorer(s) North Sydney colours.svg Daryl Halligan (168)
Player of the year Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s) Western Suburbs colours.svg Mark Bell (16)
Balmain colours.svg Tim Brasher (16)
Seasons

The 1992 New South Wales Rugby League Premiership season was the eighty-fifth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Sixteen teams competed for the J.J. Giltinan Shield during the season which culminated in a grand final for the Winfield Cup between the Brisbane Broncos, making their grand final debut, and the St. George Dragons. [1]

Contents

Season summary

The 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand also took place during the season. Having decided in May that a team from Auckland would join the premiership in 1995, the NSWRL announced in November that three more new clubs – from Townsville, Perth and a second team from Brisbane – will also be invited.

Twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August, resulting in a top five of Brisbane, St. George, Illawarra, Newcastle and Wests, who battled it out in the finals. The 3rd-place finish for the Illawarra Steelers would be the best season they ever had in its time as a standalone club.

The 1992 season's Rothmans Medallist was the Brisbane Broncos' halfback and captain, Allan Langer. The Dally M Award went to Eastern Suburbs' halfback, Gary Freeman, while Western Suburbs forward Paul Langmack was named Rugby League Week's player of the year.

The 1992 season also saw the retirement from the League of future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, Wally Lewis.

Teams

The lineup of teams remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive season, with sixteen clubs contesting the 1992 premiership, including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, two from elsewhere in New South Wales, two from Queensland, and one from the Australian Capital Territory.

Balmain Tigers
Balmain Jersey 1991.png

85th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Alan Jones
Captain: Steve Roach

Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Jersey 1991.png

5th season
Ground: Lang Park
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer

Canberra Raiders
Canberra Jersey 1991.png

11th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Canterbury-Bankstown Jersey 1989.png

58th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Cronulla-Sutherland Jersey 1984.png

26th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: Arthur Beetson
Captain: Dan Stains

Eastern Suburbs Roosters
Eastern Suburbs Jersey 1984.png

85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Mark Murray
Captain: Craig Salvatori

Gold Coast Seagulls
Gold Coast Jersey 1992.png

5th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Captain & Coach:
Wally Lewis

Illawarra Steelers
Illawarra Jersey 1992.png

11th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham Murray
Captain: John Cross

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly-Warringah Jersey 1991.png

46th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Graham Lowe
Captain: Michael O'Connor

Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Jersey 1989.png

5th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: David Waite
Captain: Michael Hagan

North Sydney Bears
North Sydney Jersey 1992.png

85th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Steve Martin
Captain: Peter Jackson

Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Jersey 1986.png

45th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Peter SterlingBrett Kenny

Penrith Panthers
Penrith Jersey 1991.png

26th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Greg AlexanderJohn Cartwright

South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Jersey 1986.png

85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Frank Curry
Captain: Michael Andrews

St. George Dragons
St George Jersey 1984.png

72nd season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Michael Beattie

Western Suburbs Magpies
Western Suburbs Jersey 1990.png

85th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Joe ThomasPaul Langmack

Advertising

Riding the consistent Australian popularity of "The Best" since its 1989 release, due partially to its use and association with the NSWRL, Tina Turner went into a Los Angeles recording studio in early 1992 with Jimmy Barnes to record a duet version specifically for Australian release. [2] The production capitalised on the complementary vocal styles of Turner and Barnes and also features Barnes' brother-in-law Johnny Diesel on guitar.

A simple black-and-white film clip shot around the recording sessions was produced and the track was released and renamed "Simply the Best" to coincide with the 1992 NSWRL season. That year the track peaked at #13 on the Australian charts.

In 1992 and 1993 the League and its advertising agency Hertz Walpole would use the new duet performance of the song in the season launch ads. Excerpts from the black-and-white film clip start the 1992 ad with firstly Tina and then Barnes in wistful solo shots before coming together and displaying a camaraderie that's intended to capture the good times they appear to have had in recording the track. Diesel also appears in the black-and-white footage before the ad bursts into colour with the standard fare of big hits and previous season action.

Ladder

TeamPldWDLPFPAPDPts
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (P)221804506311+19536
2 St. George colours.svg St. George 221507401283+11830
3 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 221318318259+5927
4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 221228363267+9626
5 Western Suburbs colours.svg Wests 221219356327+2925
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Easts 2212010392319+7324
7 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 2210210423417+622
8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 2210210334335-122
9 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith 2211011274309-3522
10 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 2210111402398+421
11 North Sydney colours.svg Norths 2210111376381-521
12 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 2210012435409+2620
13 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla 228014284395-11116
14 South Sydney colours.svg Souths 227015429533-10414
15 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 226115276491-21513
16 Canadacolours.png Gold Coast 226115288423-13511

Finals

A great advertisement for the expansion of the game was the appearance of three non-Sydney teams in the final five - Brisbane, Illawarra and Newcastle - all of whom had only been admitted to the NSWRL within the previous decade. The "steel-city cousins", Illawarra and Newcastle, both won their first semi-finals from their initial attempt, Illawarra defeating St George, and Newcastle downing Wests.

An all non-Sydney decider was a real possibility, with Illawarra and St George meeting a second time in the preliminary final, with Brisbane waiting to play the winner in the grand final.

The Dragons played two of the lowest scoring matches in finals history as they beat Newcastle 3–2 in the semi-final, and Illawarra 4–0 in the preliminary final.

The preliminary final saw four disallowed tries, with Saints denied once in the first half and Illawarra three times in the second half. Illawarra looked as though they were going to finish on top and began opening up the St George defence after the half-time break, only to be denied twice by referee Greg McCallum for forward passes. A late attacking movement from the Steelers saw winger Alan McIndoe excitedly appeal for a try off a John Simon grubber kick, but was denied by the in-goal touch judge. St George held on to win 4-0 and ensure a Sydney club appeared in the grand final once again (with this Sydney representation in grand finals being maintained until the Brisbane-Melbourne decider of 2006).

HomeScoreAwayMatch Information
Date and TimeVenueRefereeCrowd
Qualifying Finals
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 16–18 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 5 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley28,521
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 21–2 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs Magpies 6 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum28,571
Semi Finals
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 3–2 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 12 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley38,772
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 22–12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 13 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum38,859
Preliminary Final
Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 0–4 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 20 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum38,928
Grand Final
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 28-8 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 27 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum41,560

Chart

 
 Qualifying/Elimination FinalMajor/Minor Semi FinalPreliminary FinalGrand Final
                   
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 22 
   Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 12     Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 28
2 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 16   Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 0  St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 8
3 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 18    St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 4 
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 3
4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 21  Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 2 
5 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs Magpies 2

Grand Final

In just their fifth year in the competition, Brisbane finally put together the right combination to reach the grand final. Their big names in Allan Langer, twins Kevin and Kerrod Walters, Steve Renouf, Michael Hancock and Glenn Lazarus had been unstoppable all year and helped the club power their way straight through to the finals as minor premiers, losing just four games in the regular season, and easily winning their only semi-final. This meant the Broncos went into the grand final as runaway favourites. [3]

The 1992 grand final was played on the afternoon of Sunday, 27 September at the Sydney Football Stadium before a crowd of 41,560. [4] For the pre-match entertainment, Debbie Byrne sang I Still Call Australia Home in a duet with the late Peter Allen, thanks to video on the big screen. Yothu Yindi also performed, and Jodie Gillies sang the national anthem. [5]

Brisbane BroncosPositionSt. George Dragons
Julian O'Neill FB Mick Potter
Michael Hancock WG Ricky Walford
Steve Renouf CE Mark Coyne
Chris Johns CE Michael Beattie (c)
Willie Carne WG Ian Herron
Kevin Walters FE Peter Coyne
Allan Langer (c) HB Noel Goldthorpe
Glenn Lazarus PR Tony Priddle
Kerrod Walters HK Wayne Collins
Gavin Allen PR Neil Tierney
Trevor Gillmeister SR David Barnhill
Alan Cann SR Scott Gourley
Terry Matterson LK Jeff Hardy
Mark Hohn Bench Brad Mackay
Andrew Gee Bench Matthew Elliott
John Plath Bench Tony Smith
Tony Currie Bench Rex Terp
Wayne Bennett Coach Brian Smith

Referee Greg McCallum blew time on and, early in the first half, St. George came very close to scoring first when Ricky Walford dived over in the corner, but had only just slipped into touch. Around the ten-minute mark, Brisbane were on the attack when, on the last tackle, Allan Langer cleverly stepped and passed inside to Gavin Allen who charged at the line. Allen drew the defence before flicking the ball back to the little half off the head of the Dragons fullback Mick Potter. Langer then nipped in to score untouched between the posts. Terry Matterson kicked the simplest of conversions to make it 6–0 in favour of the Broncos.

The Dragons hit back about five minutes later when Scott Gourley charged from just within his own half and produced a remarkable off-load for Michael Beattie in support, [6] who then passed it out for Walford to race off and score in the right-hand corner. [7] Ian Herron hooked the conversion attempt wide, so Brisbane remained in the lead at 6–4. Both sides then came close to scoring from kicks but no further points were posted before half-time.

In the second half, the Broncos ran away with the game. About ten minutes after the break, following a scrum win close to the Dragons’ try-line, Langer scurried through the defence from dummy-half and reached out to put the ball down. Matterson kicked the extras and Brisbane's lead was now 12–4. A few minutes later, they scored again when, from about thirty metres out, the Broncos again decided to run on the fifth tackle, the ball reaching Alan Cann who beat several defenders to ground the ball before celebrating the try by throwing it down, inadvertently into the forehead of an exhausted and demoralised Potter. [8] Matterson once again kicked the extras to give Brisbane an 18–4 lead.

Around the midpoint of the second half, after Willie Carne did well to return a kick from his own in-goal area to get back into the field of play before being tackled, the Broncos decided to swing the ball left, out to centre Steve Renouf, who outpaced Walford on a 90-metre run to the try-line. This try became a defining moment in the game, the Broncos' season and Renouf’s career. [9] Matterson missed the conversion attempt so the score remained at 22–4. About five minutes later, Cann scored a second try when he ran from over twenty metres out, stepping past tired and lazy defence to score untouched. The extras were kicked successfully this time by Matterson, giving the Bronocos a lead of 28–4.

In the seventy-ninth minute, St. George got a consolation try when Gourley crossed in the right corner and as the full-time siren sounded. Herron's kick from the sideline was unsuccessful, leaving the final score Brisbane 28, St. George 8. [10]

Brisbane Broncos 28
Tries: Langer 2, Cann 2, Renouf
Goals: Matterson 4/5

St. George Dragons 8
Tries: Walford, Gourley
Goals: Herron 0/2

For Langer to play as he did, after a week of hearing how St George must stop him, confirms he deserves to be talked about with Peter Sterling and Wally Lewis as one of the three best players of the past decade.

The Sydney Morning Herald , 27 April 1992 [11]

The win enabled Brisbane captain Allan Langer, in his first year in the role, to hoist the Winfield Cup and ring the trophy and title back to Queensland. As a result of his two-try performance, Langer also became the first Queenslander to be awarded the Clive Churchill Medal. Brisbane thus became the second non-New South Wales team to win the premiership after the Canberra Raiders’ previous victories in 1989 and 1990.

Great Britain Lions Tour

The 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia was a tour by the Great Britain national rugby league team, nicknamed the 'Lions', of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand which took place between May and July 1992. The tour was the last of such length undertaken by the Great Britain team, and included a test match against Papua New Guinea, a three-test series against Australia for The Ashes, and a two-test series against New Zealand for the Baskerville Shield, all interspersed with matches against local club and representative teams.

The British team was coached by two-time premiership winner with Manly-Warringah, Mal Reilly, who had toured as a player in 1970 and was coach of the 1988 team. The team captain was Ellery Hanley who was making his third Lions tour as a player, though injury to Hanley would see the Lions captained by Garry Schofield in The Ashes tests.

Taking place following the conclusion of England's 1991–92 Rugby Football League season and during Australia's 1992 Winfield Cup premiership season, the tour led to friction between the Great Britain team's management and the Australian Rugby League over match scheduling and promotion. For the first time ever, a Lions tour was shown live on television in the United Kingdom through Sky Sports. The commentators for the tour were Eddie Hemmings and former Lions World Cup hooker Mike Stephenson who had a greater insight into the Australian game having spent most of the 1970s and 1980s, playing, coaching and commentating in the Sydney premiership. [12] The Lions finished the tour with thirteen wins and four losses and a profit of £244,645. Unfortunately for the Lions, three of their losses came in the Test matches, two against Australia and one against New Zealand with the other loss coming against Sydney club side Parramatta. [13]

GameDateResultVenueAttendance
16 June Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain def. Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 24–12 Bruce Stadium, Canberra 4,728
29 June Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain def. Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 11–10 Steelers Stadium, Wollongong 9,500
316 June Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain def. Country colours.svg NSW Country 24–6 Pioneer Oval, Parkes 8,014
419 June Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels def. Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain 26–12 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney 18,220
523 June Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain def. Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 22–0 Marathon Stadium, Newcastle 9,758
630 June Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain def. Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast Seagulls 28–10 Seagulls Stadium, Tweed Heads 6,700

World Club Challenge

On 31 October the Broncos travelled to England to play in the World Club Challenge against British champions, Wigan. Brisbane became the first team since 1975's premiers, Eastern Suburbs, to defeat the English champions, and the first to do so on English soil, winning the match 22 - 8 in front of 17,460 spectators.

Attendances

The regular season attendances for the 1992 season aggregated to a total of 2,282,194 at an average of 12,540 per game. Each of the top ten most attended games of the season were home games for either the Brisbane Broncos or the Newcastle Knights, with the two highest attended games featuring both clubs.

The highest ten regular season match attendances: [14]

CrowdVenueHome TeamOpponentRound
28,828 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights Round 21
28,821 Marathon Stadium Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Round 6
25,867 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Round 20
24,902 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers Round 12
24,884 Marathon Stadium Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Round 2
24,192 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Round 1
23,906 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters Round 14
23,617 Marathon Stadium Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Round 22
23,192 Lang Park Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast Seagulls Round 2
22,258 Marathon Stadium Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers Round 17

See also

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References

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  11. Williams, Daniel (27 September 1992). "Beaten Saints take Defeat on the Chin". The Sydney Morning Herald . Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 47. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  12. Great Britain's 1992 Tour Of Australasia
  13. Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1992 New Zealand Rugby League, 1992. p.p.52-73
  14. 1992 NSWRL season - Venues