1992 NSWRL season

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]

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

Season summaryEdit

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.


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
85th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Alan Jones
Captain: Steve Roach
Brisbane Broncos
5th season
Ground: Lang Park
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
11th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
58th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
26th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: Arthur Beetson
Captain: Dan Stains
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Mark Murray
Captain: Craig Salvatori
Gold Coast Seagulls
5th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Captain & Coach:
Wally Lewis
Illawarra Steelers
11th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham Murray
Captain: John Cross
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

46th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Graham Lowe
Captain: Michael O'Connor
Newcastle Knights
5th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: David Waite
Captain: Michael Hagan
North Sydney Bears
85th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Steve Martin
Captain: Peter Jackson
Parramatta Eels
45th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Peter SterlingBrett Kenny
Penrith Panthers
26th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Greg AlexanderJohn Cartwright
South Sydney Rabbitohs
85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Frank Curry
Captain: Michael Andrews
St. George Dragons
72nd season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Michael Beattie
Western Suburbs Magpies
85th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Joe ThomasPaul Langmack


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.


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Brisbane Broncos (P) 22 18 0 4 506 311 +195 36
2   St. George Dragons 22 15 0 7 401 283 +118 30
3   Illawarra Steelers 22 13 1 8 318 259 +59 27
4   Newcastle Knights 22 12 2 8 363 267 +96 26
5   Western Suburbs Magpies 22 12 1 9 356 327 +29 25
6   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 22 12 0 10 392 319 +73 24
7   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22 10 2 10 423 417 +6 22
8   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 10 2 10 334 335 -1 22
9   Penrith Panthers 22 11 0 11 274 309 -35 22
10   Balmain Tigers 22 10 1 11 402 398 +4 21
11   North Sydney Bears 22 10 1 11 376 381 -5 21
12   Canberra Raiders 22 10 0 12 435 409 +26 20
13   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 8 0 14 284 395 -111 16
14   South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 7 0 15 429 533 -104 14
15   Parramatta Eels 22 6 1 15 276 491 -215 13
16   Gold Coast Seagulls 22 6 1 15 288 423 -135 11
  • Gold Coast Seagulls were docked 2 points due to exceeding the replacement limit in one game.


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. The "steel-city-cousins", Illawarra and Newcastle, both won their first semi finals from their first attempt, Illawarra defeating St George and Newcastle downing Wests.

An all non-Sydney grand final 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 the Newcastle Knights 3-2 in the semi final and the Illawarra Steelers 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, 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 had held on to win 4-0 and ensure a Sydney club appeared in the grand final once again (this Sydney representation in grand finals would be maintained until 2006).

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
  St. George Dragons 16–18   Illawarra Steelers 5 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley 28,521
  Newcastle Knights 21–2   Western Suburbs Magpies 6 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 28,571
Semi Finals
  St. George Dragons 3–2   Newcastle Knights 12 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley 38,772
  Brisbane Broncos 22–12   Illawarra Steelers 13 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 38,859
Preliminary Final
  Illawarra Steelers 0–4   St. George Dragons 20 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 38,928
Grand Final
  Brisbane Broncos 28-8   St. George Dragons 27 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 41,560


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

Grand FinalEdit

In their fifth year of competition, Brisbane finally put together the right combination to reach the grand final. Their big names in Langer, Renouf, Hancock and Lazarus had been unstoppable all year and helped the club power their way straight through the finals. This meant the Broncos went into the grand final as 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 Broncos Position St. 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, drawing the defence before flicking the ball back in to the little half to nip in and score untouched beneath posts. Terry Matterson kicked the simplest of conversions to make it 6-0 in favour of the Broncos. The Dragons hit back about five-minute 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 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 in and after winning a scrum close to the Dragons try-line, Langer scurried through the defence from dummy-half and reached out to put the ball down. Terry Matterson kicked the extras and Brisbane's lead was now 12-4. A few minutes later they scored again when, about thirty metres out, the Broncos again decided to run on the fifth tackle, the ball reaching Alan Cann who beat several defenders to put it down.[8] Matterson kicked the extras so now Brisbane led 18-4. Around the midpoint of the second half, after Willie Carne did well to return a kick from his own in goal to the field of play before being tackled, the Broncos decided to swing the ball left, out to centre Steve Renouf, who took off on a 90-metre run to the try-line in what was a defining moment in the game and the Broncos' season.[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 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 Scott Gourley crossed in the right corner and as the full-time siren sounded, Herron's kick from the sideline missed 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 bear 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 TourEdit

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]

Game Date Result Venue Attendance
1 6 June   Great Britain def.   Canberra Raiders 24–12 Bruce Stadium, Canberra 4,728
2 9 June   Great Britain def.   Illawarra Steelers 11–10 Steelers Stadium, Wollongong 9,500
3 16 June   Great Britain def.   NSW Country 24–6 Pioneer Oval, Parkes 8,014
4 19 June   Parramatta Eels def.   Great Britain 26–12 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney 18,220
5 23 June   Great Britain def.   Newcastle Knights 22–0 Marathon Stadium, Newcastle 9,758
6 30 June   Great Britain def.   Gold Coast Seagulls 28–10 Seagulls Stadium, Tweed Heads 6,700

World Club ChallengeEdit

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.


The regular season attendances for the 1992 season aggregated to a total of 2,282,194 at an average of 12,540 per game.

The highest ten regular season match attendances:[14]

Crowd Venue Home Team Opponent Round
28,828 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Newcastle Knights Round 21
28,821 Marathon Stadium   Newcastle Knights   Brisbane Broncos Round 6
25,867 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Round 20
24,902 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Balmain Tigers Round 12
24,884 Marathon Stadium   Newcastle Knights   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Round 2
24,192 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Canberra Raiders Round 1
23,906 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Eastern Suburbs Roosters Round 14
23,617 Marathon Stadium   Newcastle Knights   Canberra Raiders Round 22
23,192 Lang Park   Brisbane Broncos   Gold Coast Seagulls Round 2
22,258 Marathon Stadium   Newcastle Knights   Penrith Panthers Round 17

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 1992 J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup Archived 3 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine at rleague.com
  2. ^ Creswell, Toby and Trenoweth, Samantha (2006). 1001 Australians You Should Know. Australia: Pluto Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-86403-361-8.
  3. ^ Hadfield, Dave (26 February 1992). "Brisbane backs on parade". The Independent. UK: The Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  4. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  5. ^ Stephens, Tony (27 September 1992). "No hard Feelings, the Broncos deserved to win". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 1. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  6. ^ Sarno, Tony (27 September 1992). "Forget the Tactics, the Broncos were just too good". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 47. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. ^ MacDonald, John (27 September 1992). "The Bennett Stamp carries new Premiers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 26. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  8. ^ Masters, Roy (27 September 1992). "Broncos rejoice, but the plotting begins". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 27. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  9. ^ Heads, Ian (27 September 1992). "This will take League into the 21st Century". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 48. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  10. ^ "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Retrieved 30 June 2012.[permanent dead link]
  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

External linksEdit