1982 NSWRFL season
The 1982 NSWRFL season was the seventy-fifth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. This season saw the New South Wales Rugby Football League’s first expansion since 1967 with the introduction of the first two clubs in over half a century from outside the Sydney area: the Canberra Raiders and the Illawarra Steelers. Therefore, a total of fourteen clubs (including six Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, one from greater New South Wales, and one from the Australian Capital Territory) competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and newly created Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. This season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1982 KB Cup which was won by Manly-Warringah.
|1982 New South Wales Rugby Football League|
|Premiers||Parramatta (2nd title)|
|Minor premiers||Parramatta (2nd title)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Mick Cronin (279)|
|Player of the year||Greg Brentnall (Rothmans Medal)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Steve Ella (23)|
This year a bronze replica of “the Gladiators” – the 1963 photo taken by John O'Gready of Norm Provan and Arthur Summons’ post-game, mud-caked embrace - was first adopted to adorn the Winfield Cup, the new trophy to be awarded to the grand final winners. Because of the introduction of two new teams, twenty-six (rather than twenty-two) regular season rounds were played from February till August, resulting in a top five of Parramatta, Manly, Norths, Easts and Wests. The new teams, the Illawarra Steelers and the Canberra Raiders, would finish their debut seasons in second last and last place respectively.
The 1982 season saw the only nil-all scoreline in competition history. The Newtown Jets and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs drew their match at Henson Park on 28 March, with neither team scoring a point. The long-standing record for the longest suspension for a player in the League's history was broken during the season. Western Suburbs' Bob Cooper was suspended for 15 months for punching Illawarra’s Lee Pomfret.
The 1982 season's Rothmans Medallist was Canterbury-Bankstown’s Greg Brentnall and the Dally M Award went to Parramatta’s lock forward, Ray Price. Rugby League Week gave their player of the year award to Eastern Suburbs’ halfback Kevin Hastings for the third consecutive season.
This year the number of clubs in the League reached a new high of fourteen, with the addition of two clubs, Illawarra Steelers and Canberra Raiders. This saw the first inclusion of teams based outside of the Sydney area since the foundation Newcastle club departed the League in 1909. This was the first of several expansions that would take place over the next decade and a half which would see the Sydney-wide competition grow into a New South Wales-wide competition and eventually into a national league. Also, for the first time in three quarters of a century, the League's 1908 foundation teams were outnumbered by teams introduced after 1908.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|Eastern Suburbs||11-7||Western Suburbs||4 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||Jack Danzey||21,167|
|Manly-Warringah||26-3||North Sydney||5 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||John Gocher||24,690|
|North Sydney||10-12||Eastern Suburbs||11 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||Jack Danzey||19,566|
|Parramatta||0-20||Manly-Warringah||12 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||John Gocher||31,604|
|Parramatta||33-0||Eastern Suburbs||19 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||John Gocher||24,637|
|Manly-Warringah||8-21||Parramatta||26 September 1982||Sydney Cricket Ground||John Gocher||52,186|
|Graham Eadie||FB||Paul Taylor|
|John Ribot||WG||Neil Hunt|
|Chris Close||CE||Mick Cronin|
|Michael Blake||CE||Steve Ella|
|Phil Carey||WG||Eric Grothe|
|Alan Thompson (c)||FE||Brett Kenny|
|Phil Blake||HB||Peter Sterling|
|Geoff Gerard||PR||Geoff Bugden|
|Ray Brown||HK||Steve Edge (c)|
|Terry Randall||PR||Chris Phelan|
|Paul Vautin||SR||John Muggleton|
|Les Boyd||SR||Steve Sharp|
|Paul McCabe||LK||Ray Price|
|Max Krilich||Reserve||Peter Wynn|
|Bruce Walker||Reserve||Mark Laurie|
|Ian Thomson||Reserve||Gary Martine|
|Ray Ritchie||Coach||Jack Gibson|
The Eels won the minor premiership with ease - eight points ahead of Manly - and breezed through the decider with the same confidence. Manly opened the scoring through Phil Blake in the opening minutes, but Parramatta replied quickly when Brett Kenny put Steve Ella over. After a quiet period, Manly collapsed in the ten minutes before half-time with Parramatta scoring three tries. The first to Eric Grothe came when Brett Kenny had shown brilliant evasive skills on the second tackle after Manly dropped the ball, the second came when a Peter Sterling bomb deflected off a Parramatta player into Kenny's arms, and the third after quick hands saw Kenny send Neil Hunt over in the corner. The Eels led 16-3 at half-time and, despite Les Boyd scoring after playing the ball forward in the 48th minute, Brett Kenny's second try in the 62nd minute sealed victory.
Parramatta 21 (Tries: Kenny 2, Grothe, Ella, Hunt. Goals: Cronin 3.)
Manly 8 (Tries: P Blake, Boyd. Goal: Eadie.)