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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
PremiersParramatta colours.svg Parramatta (2nd title)
Minor premiersParramatta colours.svg Parramatta (2nd title)
Matches played188
Points scored5927
Top points scorer(s)Parramatta colours.svg Mick Cronin (279)
Player of the yearCanterbury colours.svg Greg Brentnall (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s)Parramatta colours.svg Steve Ella (23)

Season summaryEdit

The first Charity Shield match was played before the 1982 season between the St. George Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

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.[1] 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.

Balmain Tigers
75th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Frank Stanton
Captain: Neil WhittakerTrevor Ryan
Canberra Raiders
1st season
Ground: Seiffert Oval
Coach: Don Furner
Captain: David Grant
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
48th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Ted Glossop
Captain: George Peponis
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
16th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Greg Pierce
Captain: Steve Rogers
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
75th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Royce Ayliffe
Illawarra Steelers
1st season
Ground: Wollongong Showground
Coach: Allan Fitzgibbon
Captain: John Dorahy
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
36th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Ray Ritchie
Captain: Max Krilich
Newtown Jets
75th season
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Tom Raudonikis & Ken Wilson
North Sydney Bears
75th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Ron Willey
Captain: Mark Graham
Parramatta Eels
36th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Jack Gibson
Captain: Steve Edge
Penrith Panthers
16th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: John Peard
Captain: Darryl Brohman
South Sydney Rabbitohs
75th season
Ground: Redfern Oval
Coach: Bill Anderson
Captain: Mitch Brennan
St. George Dragons
62nd season
Ground: Jubilee Oval
Coach: Roy Masters
Captain: Craig Young
Western Suburbs Magpies
75th season
Ground: Lidcombe Oval
Coach: Terry Fearnley
Captain: Warren Boland


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Parramatta Eels 26 21 0 5 619 242 +377 42
2   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26 17 0 9 530 411 +119 34
3   North Sydney Bears 26 16 1 9 399 360 +39 33
4   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 26 15 2 9 437 304 +133 32
5   Western Suburbs Magpies 26 16 0 10 412 349 +63 32
6   South Sydney Rabbitohs 26 14 1 11 395 400 -5 29
7   Newtown Jets 26 13 2 11 406 309 +97 28
8   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26 13 1 12 400 336 +64 27
9   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 26 12 3 11 399 361 +38 27
10   St. George Dragons 26 11 2 13 408 402 +6 24
11   Balmain 26 10 1 15 383 427 -44 21
12   Penrith Panthers 26 7 1 18 375 441 -66 15
13   Illawarra Steelers 26 6 0 20 344 572 -228 12
14   Canberra Raiders 26 4 0 22 269 862 -593 8


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
  Eastern Suburbs Roosters 11-7   Western Suburbs Magpies 4 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack Danzey 21,167
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26-3   North Sydney Bears 5 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground John Gocher 24,690
Semi Finals
  North Sydney Bears 10-12   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 11 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack Danzey 19,566
  Parramatta Eels 0-20   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground John Gocher 31,604
Preliminary Final
  Parramatta Eels 33-0   Eastern Suburbs Roosters 19 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground John Gocher 24,637
Grand Final
  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8-21   Parramatta Eels 26 September 1982 Sydney Cricket Ground John Gocher 52,186

Grand FinalEdit

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Position Parramatta Eels
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.)


  1. ^ "History of the Premiership". Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.

External linksEdit