1985 NSWRL season

The 1985 New South Wales Rugby League premiership was the seventy-eighth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Thirteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Canterbury-Bankstown and St. George clubs. This season NSWRL teams also competed for the 1985 National Panasonic Cup.

1985 New South Wales Rugby League
PremiersCanterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown (5th title)
Minor premiersSt. George colours.svg St. George (15th title)
Matches played163
Points scored5416
Top points scorer(s)Parramatta colours.svg Mick Cronin (204)
Player of the yearBalmain colours.svg Wayne Pearce (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s)St. George colours.svg Steve Linnane (17)

Season summaryEdit

Twenty-six regular season rounds were played from March till September, resulting in a top five of St. George, Balmain, Canterbury, Parramatta and Penrith battling it out in the finals

The 1985 season's Rothmans Medallist was Balmain's lock, Wayne Pearce. The Dally M Award was given to Penrith's halfback, Greg Alexander, while Rugby League Week gave its player of the year award to Parramatta's lock, Ray Price.


The lineup of clubs remained unchanged from the previous year, with thirteen contesting the 1985 premiership, including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, one from greater New South Wales and one from the Australian Capital Territory

Balmain Tigers
78th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Frank Stanton
Captain: Wayne Pearce
Canberra Raiders
4th season
Ground: Seiffert Oval
Coach: Don Furner
Captain: Dean Lance
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
51st season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Steve Mortimer
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
19th season
Ground: Ronson Field
Coach: Terry Fearnley
Captain: David Hatch
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
78th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Arthur Beetson
Captain: Ron GibbsJohn Tobin
Illawarra Steelers
4th season
Ground: Wollongong Showground
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Brian Hetherington
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

39th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Glen RyanPaul Vautin
North Sydney Bears
78th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Greg HawickBrian Norton[1]
Captain: W. Honeywood→Fred Teasdell→Mark Graham
Parramatta Eels
39th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: John Monie
Captain: Ray Price
Penrith Panthers
19th season
Ground: Penrith Park
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Royce Simmons
South Sydney Rabbitohs
78th season
Ground: Redfern Oval
Coach: Ron Willey
Captain: David Boyle
St. George Dragons
65th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Roy Masters
Captain: Craig Young
Western Suburbs Magpies
78th season
Ground: Lidcombe Oval
Coach: Ken Gentle
Captain: Lee Crooks


Team Pld W D L B PF PA PD Pts
1   St. George Dragons 24 18 2 4 2 470 264 +206 42
2   Balmain Tigers 24 18 0 6 2 494 304 +190 40
3   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 16 2 6 2 435 267 +168 38
4   Parramatta Eels 24 16 0 8 2 458 311 +147 36
5   Penrith Panthers 24 13 1 10 2 460 379 +81 31
6   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 13 1 10 2 404 345 +59 31
7   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 24 10 3 11 2 374 389 -15 27
8   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 11 0 13 2 440 404 +36 26
9   South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 10 0 14 2 373 419 -46 24
10   Canberra Raiders 24 8 2 14 2 432 534 -102 22
11   North Sydney Bears 24 6 1 17 2 281 491 -210 17
12   Western Suburbs Magpies 24 5 2 17 2 311 661 -350 16
13   Illawarra Steelers 24 5 0 19 2 303 467 -164 14


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
  Penrith Panthers 10-7   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 3 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Mick Stone 16,428
Qualifying Finals
  Parramatta Eels 38-6   Penrith Panthers 7 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 18,939
  Balmain Tigers 8-14   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 8 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Mick Stone 25,194
Semi Finals
  Balmain Tigers 4-32   Parramatta Eels 14 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 25,423
  St. George Dragons 17-6   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 15 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Mick Stone 39,013
Preliminary Final
  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 26-0   Parramatta Eels 22 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 34,915
Grand Final
  St. George Dragons 6-7   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 29 September 1985 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 44,569

Grand FinalEdit

St. George Dragons Position Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Glenn Burgess FB Michael Potter
Steve Morris WG Matthew Callinan
Michael O'Connor CE Chris Mortimer
Michael Beattie CE Andrew Farrar
Denis Kinchela WG Peter Mortimer
Steve Linnane FE Michael Hagan
Perry Haddock HB Steve Mortimer (c)
Pat Jarvis PR Peter Kelly
Phil Ritchie HK Billy Johnstone
Craig Young (c) PR Peter Tunks
Graeme Wynn SR Brian Battese
Billy Noke SR Steve Folkes
Graeme O'Grady LK Paul Langmack
Chris Johns Reserve David Gillespie
Chris Guider Reserve Greg Mullane
Stephen Funnell Reserve Mark Bugden
Alan Neil Reserve
Roy Masters Coach Warren Ryan

The 1985 Grand Final was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground before a crowd of 44,569.[2] Canterbury continually put St George fullback Burgess under the test of the high-ball in his in-goal area, which, under the rules of the time, resulted in a line drop-out with the Bulldogs regaining possession. After felling St George's Peter Wynn as a scrum broke up, Canterbury's prop Peter Kelly was surprising awarded a penalty and shortly thereafter Kelly used the blindside to send winger Peter Mortimer over out wide for a 6-0 half time lead.

Bulldogs half and skipper Steve Mortimer seized control of the match and centre Andrew Farrar clinched it with a field goal in the 72nd minute to take the score to 7-0. A last light of hope appeared for the Dragons when Steve Morris scored and Michael O'Connor converted with five minutes left on the clock. In the end a practised and clinical approach from Canterbury shut out the Dragons who had been the minor premiers.

Canterbury-Bankstown 7
Tries: P Mortimer. Goal: Farrar. Field Goal: Farrar.

St. George 6
Tries: Morris. Goal: O'Connor.

Man-of-the-match: Steve Mortimer


  1. ^ "History". northsydneybears.com.au. North Sydney Bears. Archived from the original on 17 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  2. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.

External linksEdit