1993 NSWRL season

The 1993 NSWRL season (known as the 1993 Winfield Cup Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the eighty-sixth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. The New South Wales Rugby League's sixteen teams competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final for the Winfield Cup trophy between the Brisbane Broncos and St. George Dragons. As Sydney celebrated winning the 2000 Olympic Games, Brisbane spoiled the party by retaining the NSWRL premiership.[1]

1993 New South Wales Rugby League
PremiersBrisbane colours.svg Brisbane (2nd title)
Minor premiersCanterbury colours.svg Canterbury (5th title)
Matches played182
Points scored6173
Top points scorer(s)North Sydney colours.svg Daryl Halligan (180)
Player of the yearCanberra colours.svg Ricky Stuart (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s)Canberra colours.svg Noa Nadruku (22)

Season summaryEdit

This season the 10-metre rule was introduced, which required the defensive team to retreat 10 metres from where the ball is being played, allowing more room for attacking players.[2]

On 16 June the Gold Coast club was fined $50,000 for exceeding their 1992 salary cap by $150,000.[3]

On 22 August, the Canberra Raiders beat the Parramatta Eels 68-nil. As of 2019 this is still the biggest winning margin where the losing team has been kept scoreless.

The Canberra Raiders' Ricky Stuart won both the Rothmans Medal and Dally M Medal as the best and fairest player in the League in 1993, while Steve Walters, also from the Raiders, was named Rugby League Week's player of the year.

A total of twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August, resulting in a top five of Canterbury, St. George, Canberra, Manly and Brisbane who would go on to battle it out in the finals.


The lineup of teams remained unchanged from the previous season, 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.

Balmain Tigers
86th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Alan Jones
Captain: Ben Elias
Brisbane Broncos
6th season
Ground: ANZ Stadium
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
12th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
59th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
27th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: Arthur Beetson
Captain: Dan Stains
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
86th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Mark Murray
Captain: Craig Salvatori
Gold Coast Seagulls
6th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Coach: Wally Lewis
Captain: Peter Gill & Brent Todd
Illawarra Steelers
12th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham Murray
Captain: John Cross

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
47th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Geoff Toovey
Newcastle Knights
6th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: David Waite
Captain: Michael Hagan
North Sydney Bears
86th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Peter Louis
Captain: Tony Rea
Parramatta Eels
47th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Brett Kenny
Penrith Panthers
27th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: John Cartwright
South Sydney Rabbitohs
86th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Frank Curry
Captain: Michael Andrews
St. George Dragons
73rd season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Michael Potter
Western Suburbs Magpies
86th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Paul Langmack


For the second year running the NSWRL and its advertising agency Hertz Walpole used the 1992 re-recording of "The Best" by Tina Turner and Jimmy Barnes which had been released as "Simply the Best", the title by which the song was more popularly known in Australia.

No new Tina footage was available until she came to Australia at the season's end, so further shots were taken from the 1992 Tina and Jimmy black & white film clip that accompanied the song's release and used in amongst the usual previous season action and pre-season training images.

The League and Winfield enjoyed additional advertising exposure late in the season when Tina aligned an Australian leg of her 1993 tour with the NSWRL's final series. She performed on-stage at the Grand Final, presented the victor's trophy and performed the next week in a number of full-scale rock'n'roll shows with her band at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22 17 0 5 464 254 +210 34
2   St. George Dragons 22 17 0 5 418 258 +160 34
3   Canberra Raiders 22 16 1 5 587 272 +315 33
4   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 16 0 6 442 232 +210 32
5   Brisbane Broncos (P) 22 16 0 6 517 330 +187 32
6   North Sydney Bears 22 14 1 7 448 325 +123 29
7   Illawarra Steelers 22 12 0 10 373 253 +120 24
8   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 22 11 1 10 343 356 -13 23
9   Newcastle Knights 22 10 0 12 337 381 -44 20
10   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 9 0 13 272 399 -127 18
11   Parramatta Eels 22 9 0 13 237 439 -202 18
12   Penrith Panthers 22 7 0 15 314 428 -114 14
13   Western Suburbs Magpies 22 7 0 15 319 475 -156 14
14   South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 6 0 16 319 560 -241 12
15   Balmain Tigers 22 6 1 15 327 412 -85 11
16 Gold Coast Seagulls 22 1 0 21 229 572 -343 2
  • Balmain were stripped of 2 competition points due to an illegal replacement in one game.


With one round remaining the Canberra Raiders were outright first on the ladder and favoured to participate in their 4th grand final in just 5 years. This was not to be however as a horrific leg injury sidelined Ricky Stuart for the last round of competition and the finals series. The Raiders went on to lose to Canterbury in round 22 of the competition and then to Brisbane and St George in the finals, all of which they had beat easily during the preceding season. By the end of the season there were only two points separating 1st and 5th. Week one of the finals saw St George easily account for the Canberra Raiders whilst Brisbane brushed aside Manly on their march through to week two. Canberra went into this game with their third halves combination in as many weeks and were unable to overcome the eventual premiers, succumbing to Brisbane 30–12. St. George beat Minor Premiers' Canterbury in the semi-final then had a week off to prepare for a Grand Final rematch with Brisbane who advanced through after beating Canterbury in a close and spiteful Preliminary Final.[4]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
  St. George Dragons 31–10   Canberra Raiders 4 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 31,429
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10–36   Brisbane Broncos 5 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 38,432
  Canberra Raiders 12–30   Brisbane Broncos 11 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 33,893
  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12–27   St. George Dragons 12 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 41,384
Preliminary Final
  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16–23   Brisbane Broncos 19 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 34,821
Grand Final
  St. George Dragons 6–14   Brisbane Broncos 26 September 1993 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 42,329


  Qualifying/Elimination Final Major/Minor Semi-final Preliminary Final Grand Final
1   Canterbury 12  
      St. George 27           St. George 6
2   St. George 31       Canterbury 16     Brisbane 14
3   Canberra 10         Brisbane 23  
  Canberra 12
4   Manly 10     Brisbane 30  
5   Brisbane 36

Grand FinalEdit

Brisbane Broncos Position St. George Dragons
Julian O'Neill FB Mick Potter (c)
Michael Hancock WG Ricky Walford
Steve Renouf CE Mark Coyne
Chris Johns CE Graeme Bradley
Willie Carne WG Ian Herron
Kevin Walters FE Tony Smith
Allan Langer (c) HB Noel Goldthorpe
Glenn Lazarus PR Tony Priddle
Kerrod Walters HK Wayne Collins
Mark Hohn PR Jason Stevens
Trevor Gillmeister SR David Barnhill
Alan Cann SR Scott Gourley
Terry Matterson LK Brad Mackay
Gavin Allen Bench Nathan Brown
14. Andrew Gee Bench 40. Phil Blake
John Plath Bench Gorden Tallis
Peter Ryan Bench Jeff Hardy
Wayne Bennett Coach Brian Smith

For the second year running Brisbane and St George played out the decider. The Broncos had momentum coming into the final, with only one loss in their last six matches. Even though that loss was to St. George in the final regular season round, Brisbane remained favourites.[5] The sides for the grand final replay were largely unchanged between the two years. Only one Bronco (Peter Ryan) had not played in the 1992 grand final and four of the Dragons (Jason Stevens, Nathan Brown, Gorden Tallis and Phil Blake). It was also Glenn Lazarus' fifth consecutive Grand Final appearance, having appeared the previous year's for Brisbane and the three years' before that with Canberra. In the pre-match performance, Tina Turner performed "The Best" on stage at the Sydney Football Stadium alongside her saxophonist, US session musician Timmy Cappello.[6] A ground record crowd for the Sydney Football Stadium of 42,239 was on hand for the match.[7]

First half
During the first minute of the game, St. George prop Jason Stevens suffered a badly broken thumb and would take no further part in the match.[8] Later, following a Tony Priddle error, the Broncos opened the scoring in the twenty-first minute after Kevin Walters threw a dummy thirty metres out and sliced through the St. George line then passed back inside to Chris Johns who dived over.[9] Julian ONeill converted the try so Brisbane led 6 - 0.[10] About seven minutes later it was Kevin Walters again who set up Terry Matterson on his inside to cross for a soft try from close range, [11] and ONeill missed his kick so Brisbane led 10 – 0 with seven minutes of the first half remaining. About two minutes away from half-time Andrew Gee gave St. George a penalty in the ruck and they decided to take the two points, meaning the score at the break was 10 - 2 in favour of the Broncos.

Second half
St. George opened the scoring in the second half, again with an Ian Herron kick following a penalty from Andrew Gee, bringing the deficit back to a converted try at 10 - 4. Brisbane withstood further raids from the Dragons and when another penalty was awarded to St. George in front of the posts they again took the two points, with Herron making it three from three so the score was 10 - 6 in favour of the Broncos with just over three-quarters of the match gone. However, these would be the last points the Dragons would score with the Broncos getting in close to St. Georges line before passing the ball out to Willie Carne on the right wing to dive over in the corner for the game's third try in the sixty-eighth minute.[12] ONeill missed the sideline conversion attempt so the score was 14 - 6 with under ten minutes of the match remaining. There were no more points before the full-time siren, so this would remain the final score.

  • Brisbane Broncos 14
    Tries: Johns, Matterson, Carne
    Goals: Matterson 1/3
  • St. George Dragons 6
    Goals: Herron 3/3

Clive Churchill Medal: Brad Mackay (St. George)[13]

After the match Tina Turner presented the trophy to Allan Langer and joined in Brisbane's post-game victory song.[14] Despite being on the losing side, Dragons lock Brad Mackay was chosen by NSWRL General Manager John Quayle, Don Furner and two St. George legends, John Raper and Reg Gasnier to be awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as man-of-the-match, with Queensland premier Wayne Goss questioning the decision.[15] By retaining their title Brisbane had also become the first team in history to win a premiership from fifth spot. The match also drew remarkably strong ratings nationwide.[16]


The regular season attendances for the 1993 season aggregated to a total of 2,625,467 at an average of 14,426 per game.

Due to a sponsorship dispute between the Castlemaine XXXX sponsored Queensland Rugby League and the Powers Brewery sponsored Brisbane Broncos, the defending premiers moved from the 32,500 capacity Lang Park to the 59,000 capacity ANZ Stadium for 1993. At the host venue of the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the Broncos set a new league record average home attendance of 43,200. This was almost 27,000 more than the next best for the season set by Canterbury-Bankstown.

The highest ten regular season match attendances:[17]

Crowd Venue Home Team Opponent Round
58,593 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   St. George Dragons Round 22
57,212 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Gold Coast Seagulls Round 12
54,751 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Round 17
51,517 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Parramatta Eels Round 3
46,001 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Canberra Raiders Round 4
40,733 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Western Suburbs Magpies Round 10
39,193 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Balmain Tigers Round 14
35,904 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   Penrith Panthers Round 6
35,641 Sydney Cricket Ground   St. George Dragons   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Round 21
31,896 ANZ Stadium   Brisbane Broncos   South Sydney Rabbitohs Round 14

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Huxley, John (26 September 1993). "Buckin' Broncos rain on our games parade". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 1. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  2. ^ Middleton, David (2008). League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia (PDF). National Museum of Australia. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-876944-64-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2010.
  3. ^ AAP (22 April 2010). "Melbourne Storm salary cap quotes". The Roar. Australia: The Roar Sports Opinion. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  4. ^ "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  5. ^ Lingard, John (25 September 1993). "LANGER INJURY SHOCK". The Sun-Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 69. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  6. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7022-3536-8.
  7. ^ AAP (27 September 1993). "COACHES PINPOINT SAINTS' MISTAKES". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 46. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  8. ^ Ian Heads (26 September 1993). "Broncos snuff out the Party Candles". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 42. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  9. ^ John MacDonald (26 September 1993). "Broncos make it two-time Champs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 44. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  10. ^ Casimir, Jon (26 September 1993). "No Place to hide for Fans in Despair". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 41. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  11. ^ Ryan, Warren (26 September 1993). "Dragons saved worst for the last". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 42. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Brisbane slays the Dragons". The Age. Australia: Fairfax Media. 26 September 1993. p. 29. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  13. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  14. ^ Pramberg, Bernie (26 September 2006). "Broncos beat critics". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  15. ^ Masters, Roy (26 September 1993). "Tapping into a Sound of Silence". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 44. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  16. ^ Oliver, Robin (27 September 1993). "Grand Final Ratings Light up League". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 45. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  17. ^ 1993 NSWRL season - Venues

External linksEdit