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The 1995 ARL premiership was the 88th season of professional rugby league football in Australia, and the first to be run by the Australian Rugby League following the hand-over of the Premiership's administration by the New South Wales Rugby League. For the first time since the 1988 NSWRL season, the Premiership expanded again, and for the first time ever outside the borders of New South Wales and Queensland, with the addition of four new clubs[1] from North Queensland, Western Australia, South Queensland and Auckland. This saw a total of twenty teams, the largest number in the League's history, compete during the regular season for the J J Giltinan Shield, which was followed by a series of play-off finals between the top eight teams that culminated in a grand final for the Winfield Cup between the newly re-branded Sydney Bulldogs and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

1995 Australian Rugby League
Arl 1995.jpg
Teams20
PremiersCanterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs (7th title)
Minor premiersManly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah (7th title)
Matches played229
Points scored5,370
Attendance3,352,927
Top points scorer(s)Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Matthew Ridge (257)
Player of the yearCronulla colours.svg Paul Green (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s)Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Steve Menzies (22)

The 1995 season also saw the first major consequences of the Super League war, with the ARL's refusal to select for participation in State of Origin or Australia national team matches any players from the eight clubs (which included every club that had won the premiership since 1988) aligned with News Ltd's proposed Super League.

Contents

Season summaryEdit

1995 would prove to be a year of massive change for the League. In addition to the introduction of four new teams, it was the last year of the premiership's association with Rothmans and the Winfield brand and consequently the final year that clubs competed for the Winfield Cup.

The storm clouds that had been gathering for some time in the form of rumours and speculation about Super League were to break on 1 April 1995 with a verification that would rain on the game with more force than anyone could have expected. The subsequent Super League war would rock the sport in Australia and set it back almost a decade in terms of its loss of public support and damage to its grass roots values.

The 1995 season was played in front of a background of legal actions, breaking friendships and with clubs, players and managers all jockeying for position and self-interest. Players who had signed with the new Super League venture were forbidden by the ARL from participating in the 1995 State of Origin. Queensland and New South Wales selectors were limited to selecting players only from ARL-aligned clubs.

The usual twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August. However the large number of teams meant a resulting top eight would battle it out in the finals rather than the usual five. These were Manly, Canberra, Brisbane, Cronulla, Newcastle, Bulldogs, St. George and Norths (who made it in due to Auckland being penalised for an interchange infringement). Cronulla-Sutherland's halfback Paul Green was awarded the 1995 Rothmans Medal. The Dally M Award was given to Canberra's five-eighth, Laurie Daley who was also named Rugby League Week's player of the year. Manly-Warringah's Steve Menzies became the first forward for 50 years to top the season's try-scoring list, while his teammate Matthew Ridge set a club point scoring record of 257 points (11 tries, 106 goals and 1 field goal) to be the league's leading point scorer for the year.

By the end of the regular season, the ARL's inaugural 20-team competition had set a new record for aggregate match attendances of 3,061,338.[2]

AdvertisingEdit

1995 marked the final year of the New South Wales Rugby League's sponsorship arrangement with Rothmans and Winfield due to the Federal Government's blanket ban on cigarette advertising in Australia effective from 1 January 1996. It was consequently the final year of a seven-year association with Tina Turner and the end of an era in Australian sports marketing.

With a lock-up-your-daughters, kick-off your suspenders, red-blooded Tina Turner marketing blitz, the ARL had stuck it right up the other footy codes.

— Ray Martin, 1999[3]

As in 1994 the New South Wales Rugby League and its advertising agency Hertz Walpole returned to the original 1989 recording of The Best by Turner to underscore the season launch advertisement. Footage from the studio bluescreen shoot taken during Turner's 1993 Sydney visit was used in the final advertisements. The enduring images are of Turner performing the song on an elevated stage in front of the fluttering banners of the 20 clubs that would participate in 1995's expanded competition.

TeamsEdit

When the Australian Rugby League began taking bids for additional teams to begin playing in 1995, it was expected that only two teams would enter. The Auckland Warriors were the first club to be accepted, with the final place being fought for by South Queensland, North Queensland and Perth. The Australian Rugby League later announced that all three clubs had been accepted, taking the number of teams from 16 in 1994 to 20 in 1995, the highest it had ever been and would ever be.

With the addition of the Auckland Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds the 1995 season involved an unprecedented twenty clubs,[4] including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, two from greater New South Wales, two from Brisbane, two from greater Queensland, and one each from New Zealand, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia, who all contested the premiership, making it the largest competition in terms of participation in Australia's history.

We haven't brought these teams into the Winfield Cup just to see them dropped after one season

With the storm that would be the Super League war already brewing in the background, three clubs based in Sydney suburbs, in an effort to position themselves favourably as battle lines were being drawn up, re-branded themselves for the 1995 season with less geographically distinct names: the Balmain Tigers became the 'Sydney Tigers', the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs became the 'Sydney Bulldogs', and the Eastern Suburbs Roosters became the 'Sydney City Roosters'.

Auckland Warriors
1st season
Ground: Ericsson Stadium
Coach: John Monie
Captain: Dean Bell
Brisbane Broncos
8th season
Ground: ANZ Stadium
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
14th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Ricky Stuart
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
29th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: John Lang
Captain: Andrew Ettinghausen
Gold Coast Seagulls
8th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Coach: John Harvey
Captain: Craig Coleman
Illawarra Steelers
14th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham MurrayAllan Fitzgibbon
Captain: John Cross
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
49th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Geoff Toovey
Newcastle Knights
8th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
Captain: Mark SargentPaul Harragon
North Queensland Cowboys
1st season
Ground: Stockland Stadium
Coach: Grant Bell
Captain: various
North Sydney Bears
88th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Peter Louis
Captain: Jason Taylor
Parramatta Eels
49th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Ron Hilditch
Captain: Paul Dunn
Penrith Panthers
29th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Royce Simmons
Captain: John Cartwright
Sydney Bulldogs
61st season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Sydney City Roosters
88th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Sean Garlick
Sydney Tigers
88th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Wayne Pearce
Captain: Paul Sironen
South Queensland Crushers
1st season
Ground: Suncorp Stadium
Coach: Bill GardnerBob Lindner
Captain: Mario FenechTrevor Gillmeister
South Sydney Rabbitohs
88th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Ken Shine
Captain: Lee JacksonCraig Field
St. George Dragons
75th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Mark Coyne
Western Reds
1st season
Ground: WACA Ground
Coach: Peter Mulholland
Captain: Brad Mackay
Western Suburbs Magpies
88th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Tommy Raudonikis
Captain: Paul Langmack

LadderEdit

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 20 0 2 687 248 +439 40
2   Canberra Raiders 22 20 0 2 634 255 +379 40
3   Brisbane Broncos 22 17 0 5 600 364 +236 34
4   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 16 0 6 516 287 +229 32
5   Newcastle Knights 22 15 0 7 549 396 +153 30
6   Sydney Bulldogs (P) 22 14 0 8 468 352 +116 28
7   St. George Dragons 22 13 0 9 583 382 +201 26
8   North Sydney Bears 22 11 2 9 542 331 +211 24
9   Sydney City Roosters 22 12 0 10 466 406 +60 24
10   Auckland Warriors 22 13 0 9 544 493 +51 24
11   Western Reds 22 11 0 11 361 549 -188 22
12   Illawarra Steelers 22 10 1 11 519 431 +88 21
13   Western Suburbs Magpies 22 10 0 12 459 534 -75 20
14   Penrith Panthers 22 9 0 13 481 484 -3 18
15   Sydney Tigers 22 7 0 15 309 591 -282 14
16   South Queensland Crushers 22 6 1 15 303 502 -199 13
17   Gold Coast Seagulls 22 4 1 17 350 628 -278 9
18   South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 4 1 17 319 686 -367 9
19   Parramatta Eels 22 3 0 19 310 690 -380 6
20   North Queensland Cowboys 22 2 0 20 269 660 -391 4
  • Auckland Warriors were stripped of 2 competition points due to exceeding the replacement limit in round 3.

Ladder progressionEdit

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 8.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
1   Manly-Warringah 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 30 32 32 34 36 38 40
2   Canberra 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18 20 22 24 26 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
3   Brisbane 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 14 16 18 18 18 20 22 22 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
4   Cronulla-Sutherland 0 2 2 4 6 8 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
5   Newcastle 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18 20 22 24 24 26 28 28 28 30 30 30 30
6   Sydney Bulldogs 2 4 6 6 8 8 8 10 10 12 12 14 14 16 18 20 20 22 24 24 26 28
7   St. George 0 0 0 2 2 2 4 4 6 8 8 8 10 12 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
8   North Sydney 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 10 10 12 14 16 16 16 18 20 22 23 24
9   Sydney City 0 2 2 4 4 6 8 8 10 12 14 14 14 14 14 16 16 18 20 22 22 24
10   Auckland 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 22 24 24 24
11   Western Reds 2 2 4 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 10 10 12 14 14 16 18 18 20 22 22
12   Illawarra 0 2 2 4 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 9 9 9 9 11 13 15 15 17 19 21
13   Western Suburbs 2 2 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 12 14 16 16 18 18 18 20 20 20 20 20 20
14   Penrith 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 18
15   Sydney Tigers 2 2 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 8 8 10 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 14 14
16   South Queensland 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 5 5 7 7 7 9 9 9 11 11 11 13 13 13 13
17 Gold Coast 0 0 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 9
18   South Sydney 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 8 8 8 9 9
19   Parramatta 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
20   North Queensland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


FinalsEdit

A new finals system involving eight teams instead of the previous five was introduced for the expanded 1995 competition.[6] The final eight was to be made of four clubs who would ultimately prove loyal to the Australian Rugby League (Manly-Warringah, St. George, North Sydney and Newcastle) and four clubs who would join Super League's rebel ranks (Sydney Bulldogs, Canberra, Brisbane and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks). The Grand Final was played out by a team from each faction, being the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Sydney Bulldogs.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Quarter Finals
  Newcastle Knights 20-10   North Sydney Bears 1 September 1995 Parramatta Stadium David Manson 14,174
  Canberra Raiders 14-8   Brisbane Broncos 2 September 1995 Suncorp Stadium Kelvin Jeffes 40,187
  Sydney Bulldogs 12-8   St. George Dragons 2 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 26,835
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-20   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 3 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Paul McBlane 32,795
Semi Finals
  Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18-19   Newcastle Knights 9 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 26,061
  Brisbane Broncos 10-24   Sydney Bulldogs 10 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium David Manson 34,087
Preliminary Finals
  Canberra Raiders 6-25   Sydney Bulldogs 16 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 36,894
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12-4   Newcastle Knights 17 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium David Manson 38,874
Grand Final
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4-17   Sydney Bulldogs 24 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 41,127

Grand FinalEdit

Manly-Warringah Position Sydney Bulldogs
Matthew Ridge FB Rod Silva
Craig Hancock WG Jason Williams
Danny Moore CE John Timu
Terry Hill CE Matthew Ryan
John Hopoate WG Darryl Halligan
Cliff Lyons FE Terry Lamb (c)
Geoff Toovey (c) HB Craig Polla-Mounter
David Gillespie PR Darren Britt
Des Hasler HK Jason Hetherington
Mark Carroll PR Dean Pay
Steve Menzies SR Steve Price
Ian Roberts SR Simon Gillies
Nik Kosef LK Jim Dymock
Owen Cunningham Res. Jason Smith
Daniel Gartner Res. Glen Hughes
Solomon Haumono Res. Mitch Newton
Bob Fulton Coach Chris Anderson

Having finished in sixth place at the end of the regular season, the Bulldogs managed a history-making finals surge, winning three sudden death matches to make the grand final. Canterbury were ahead at half-time 6-4. They lost the scrum count 3-5 and the penalty count 9-10. Manly's 22-3 season win/loss record was the best not to have secured the premiership.

At game's end Lamb enjoyed the rare honour of celebrating as a retiring victorious skipper, although he surprisingly returned for the 1996 season.

The performance of Eddie Ward, refereeing his first grand final, was subject to some post match controversy.[7][8][9]Rugby League Week commented: "Two of Canterbury's three tries appeared to have resulted from borderline passes, another came on the seventh tackle, and a fourth - which in fact was a fair try - was disallowed"[10]

Sydney Bulldogs 17 (Tries: Price, Hughes, Silva. Goals: Halligan 2/5. Field Goal: Lamb.)

Manly-Warringah 4 (Goals: Ridge 2/2.)

Clive Churchill Medallist: Jim Dymock[11]

Player statisticsEdit

The following statistics are as of the conclusion of Round 22.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780702235368.
  2. ^ "Gallop salutes NRL's march forward - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  3. ^ Ray Martin (1999-10-03). "Why my beloved Rabbitohs can't die". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax Digital. p. 69. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  4. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ Hadfield, Dave (1995-03-13). "Winfield plan threatened by revolt". The Independent. London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  6. ^ "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  7. ^ "6 Referee/Umpire Blunders « The Grandstand Sports Lists". Lists.thegrandstand.net. 2010-09-30. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  8. ^ "Grand Final Dramas( No. 8)". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Greatest gaffes by those in charge | Knockout Polls". Fox Sports. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  10. ^ Rugby League Week, Vol. 26 No. 34, p. 20
  11. ^ 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