NRL Grand Final

  (Redirected from Provan-Summons Trophy)

The NRL Grand Final, which determines the Australian rugby league football season's premiers, is one of Australia's major sporting events and one of the largest attended club championship events in the world.[citation needed] Since 1999 it has been contested at Sydney's Stadium Australia, which was the primary athletics venue for the 2000 Olympic Games.[1] The first year it was held at Stadium Australia, the National Rugby League grand final broke the record for attendance at an Australian rugby league game, with 107,999 people attending.[2]

NRL Grand Final
NRL Grand Final 2006.JPG
LocaleSydney, New South Wales
First meeting1908 (1998 NRL)
Latest meeting2019
Next meeting2020
BroadcastersNine Network
StadiumsANZ Stadium
Meetings total110

The grand final had traditionally been played on Sunday after the pubs closed, the following year saw the game shifted to an evening start. From 2008, a compromise was reached between official broadcaster Nine Network's preferred starting time of 7 pm and the traditional starting time of 3 pm, with the grand final beginning at 5 pm AEDT.[3] In 2013 the evening start resumed, the match commencing at 7:15 pm.

Each year the NRL Grand Final Breakfast, a function that is attended by both teams, hundreds of guests and screened live on Australian television is held during the week before the game. However In 2015 the breakfast was cancelled

The game itself is usually preceded by an opening ceremony featuring entertainment and the singing of the national anthem by well-known Australasian and international musical acts. After the pre-game entertainment it is traditional for the Provan-Summons Trophy, the NRL's official premiership trophy, to be delivered to the field by an Australian Army helicopter shortly before kick off.

At the conclusion of the grand final there is a presentation ceremony where the winning team are awarded premiership rings.[4] The player adjudged to be the man-of-the-match by the Australian national team selectors is awarded the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal and the Prime Minister of Australia is typically on-hand to hand the Provan-Summons Trophy to the winning captain.

In 2010 the Government of New South Wales secured the grand final for Stadium Australia until 2022 for $45 million.[5]


First grade rugby league in NSW began in 1908, the first premiership deciding game was played at the Royal Agricultural Society Showground, with Souths defeating Easts 14-12. From 1912 to 1925, no finals system was in place, however in 1916, 1922, 1923 and 1924, a match was played as a tiebreaker to decide the season's premiership winner. From 1926 to 1953, finals were played under the Argus system, which produced a deciding game in two slightly differing ways.

All of these deciding games are now deemed to be grand finals, whether they were referred to as such at the time or not. From 1954 to the present, using a variety of systems, the deciding match has been explicitly termed a grand final, and no distinction is made between grand finals played under the auspices of the various governing bodies.


The NRL grand final is held in Sydney since it has the most clubs in the NRL and the current venue for the grand final, Stadium Australia is the second highest capacity stadium in Australia, after the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It was announced in June 2019 that the 2020 and 2021 Grand Finals will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, while Stadium Australia undergoes redevelopment.[6]

City Stadium Years
  Brisbane Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre 1997 (SL)
  Sydney Sydney Football Stadium 1988-1998
  Sydney Stadium Australia 1999–2019
  Sydney Sydney Cricket Ground 1908–87, 2020–present


Year City Stadium Attendance
1999   Sydney Stadium Australia 107,999

Qualification for World Club ChallengeEdit

The winners of the grand final qualify to play the winners of the Super League Grand Final in the World Club Challenge.

Trophy and awardsEdit

Provan-Summons TrophyEdit

The Provan-Summons Trophy is the NRL's main prize, awarded to the team that wins the premiership. Its sculptured design is similar to the Winfield Cup trophy, which was introduced for the 1982 NSWRFL season. It is a three-dimensional cast of a famous photo called The Gladiators,[7] which depicts a mud-soaked Norm Provan of St. George and Arthur Summons of Western Suburbs embracing after the 1963 NSWRFL season's grand final. It was not officially named the Provan-Summons Trophy until 2013, the 50th anniversary of the 1963 grand final.[8] The trophy is awarded following each grand final to the captain of the winning club.

Clive Churchill MedalEdit

The Clive Churchill Medal is the award given to the player judged to be man-of-the-match in the National Rugby League's annual grand final. The award was created to honour Clive Churchill, one of the greatest rugby league players in Australian history, following his death in 1985. A prestigious honour in the NRL, The medal's recipient is chosen by the selectors of the Australian national team and announced and awarded to the player judged best and fairest on the ground at every post-grand final ceremony.

The Clive Churchill Medal has been awarded ever since the 1986 NSWRL season when its first recipient was Parramatta's Peter Sterling. The only two players to have won the award more than once are Canberra's Bradley Clyde (1989 and 1991) and Melbourne Storm's Billy Slater (2009 and 2017). In 2010, the Melbourne Storm were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches exposed by the NRL, however the Clive Churchill Medallists from those years still continue to be recognised.

Premiership ringsEdit

The NRL present premiership rings for the players and coach of grand final winning sides. After the 2004 NRL Grand Final which was won by the Bulldogs, one of their players, Johnathan Thurston gave his premiership ring to teammate Steve Price who missed the decider due to injury. The Melbourne Storm were stripped of their premierships in 2007 and 2009, but the players involved in those premierships were still allowed to keep their premiership rings. In 2014 NRL premiership ring was worth $8000 made by Zed N Zed Jewellery. Since 2015 Affinity Diamonds have produced the NRL premiership rings[9][10][11]

Prize moneyEdit

Prize money is awarded to the victorious club.

However the amount is probably not reflective of the magnitude of participating in the event. It is often assumed simply that the winner of the premiership typically experiences an increase in revenue through increases in membership and merchandise sales.


Season Winners Score Runners up Attendance Clive Churchill Medal
1998   Brisbane Broncos 38–12   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40,857   Gorden Tallis
1999   Melbourne Storm 20–18   St. George-Illawarra Dragons 107,999   Brett Kimmorley
2000   Brisbane Broncos 14–6   Sydney Roosters 94,277   Darren Lockyer
2001   Newcastle Knights 30–24   Parramatta Eels 90,414   Andrew Johns
2002   Sydney Roosters 30–8   New Zealand Warriors 80,130   Craig Fitzgibbon
2003   Penrith Panthers 18–6   Sydney Roosters 81,166   Luke Priddis
2004   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16–13   Sydney Roosters 82,127   Willie Mason
2005   Wests Tigers 30–16   North Queensland Cowboys 82,453   Scott Prince
2006   Brisbane Broncos 15–8   Melbourne Storm 79,609   Shaun Berrigan
2007*   Melbourne Storm 34–8   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 81,392   Greg Inglis
2008   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40–0   Melbourne Storm 80,388   Brent Kite
2009*   Melbourne Storm 23–16   Parramatta Eels 82,538   Billy Slater
2010   St. George-Illawarra Dragons 32–8   Sydney Roosters 82,334   Darius Boyd
2011   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24–10   New Zealand Warriors 81,988   Glenn Stewart
2012   Melbourne Storm 14–4   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 82,976   Cooper Cronk
2013   Sydney Roosters 26–18   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 81,491   Daly Cherry-Evans
2014   South Sydney Rabbitohs 30–6   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 83,833   Sam Burgess
2015   North Queensland Cowboys 17–16   Brisbane Broncos 82,758   Johnathan Thurston
2016   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14–12   Melbourne Storm 83,625   Luke Lewis
2017   Melbourne Storm 34–6   North Queensland Cowboys 79,722   Billy Slater
2018   Sydney Roosters 21–6   Melbourne Storm 82,688   Luke Keary
2019   Sydney Roosters 14–8   Canberra Raiders 82,922   Jack Wighton


Club Wins Winning years Runners Up Runners Up Years Total Grand Finals
1   Sydney Roosters 4 2002, 2013, 2018, 2019 4 2000, 2003, 2004, 2010 8
2   Melbourne Storm 3 1999, 2012, 2017 4 2006, 2008, 2016, 2018 9
2   Brisbane Broncos 3 1998, 2000, 2006 1 2015 4
2   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 2 2008, 2011 2 2007, 2013 4
3   Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 1 2004 3 1998, 2012, 2014 4
3   North Queensland Cowboys 1 2015 2 2005, 2017 3
3   St George Illawarra Dragons 1 2010 1 1999 2
3   Newcastle Knights 1 2001 0 1
3   Penrith Panthers 1 2003 0 1
3   Wests Tigers 1 2005 0 1
3   South Sydney Rabbitohs 1 2014 0 1
3   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 1 2016 0 1
4   Parramatta Eels 0 2 2001, 2009 2
4   New Zealand Warriors 0 2 2002, 2011 2
4   Canberra Raiders 0 1 2019 1
  • Wins in 2007 and 2009 were subsequently annulled

The Gold Coast Titans are the only team currently competing in the competition who have not featured in a grand final since the start of the NRL (1998).

Kickoff timesEdit

Time Years
3pm 1908–2000
5pm 2008–2012
7pm 1997*, 2002–2007, 2013–present
8pm 2001

The 1997 Super League grand final was a night time match*

Notable grand finalsEdit

1909 - South Sydney win the premiership by forfeit over Balmain. There was an agreement that both sides would forfeit the match, however Souths showed up, kicked off to an imaginary opponent, scored a try and were declared premiers.[12]

1924 - Balmain defeat South Sydney 3-0 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the lowest scoring grand final.[13]

1943 - Newtown defeat North Sydney 34-7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of a then record crowd of 60,922. This grand final would be North Sydney's final appearance in a decider before exiting the competition in 1999 and also Newtown's last premiership before their exclusion at the end of 1983.[14]

1952 - Western Suburbs defeated South Sydney 22-10. The match was remembered due to its controversy with claims the referee George Bishop had put a big wager on Western Suburbs winning the game. Souths claimed that they were denied two fair tries and Wests had scored one try off a blatant knock on. Western Suburbs player Hec Farrell was sent off in the second half of the match. This would prove to be the last premiership Western Suburbs would win as a stand-alone entity before exiting the competition in 1999. South Sydney captain-coach Jack Rayner reportedly never spoke to George Bishop following the grand final even though both men lived in the same suburb of Sydney for years after the match.[15][16]

1956 - St. George beat Balmain to claim the first of a world record 11 straight premierships.[17]

1963 - St. George beat Western Suburbs 8-3 in a match famous for the iconic 'Gladiators' photo of Norm Provan and Arthur Summons covered in mud. It is also notable for a controversial try scored by Dragons winger Johnny King. Wests players tackled him and believed him to be held, however the referee rules play on.[18]

1965 - A then record crowd of 78,056 packed into the Sydney Cricket Ground to see St. George captain Norm Provan play his last NSWRFL game. It was also St. George's 10th straight premiership.[citation needed]

1966 - St. George win their 11th straight premiership, at the time a world record in any football code.[19]

1969 - Balmain win a controversial grand final 11-2 over South Sydney. The game causes controversy due to Balmain's lay down tactics.[20]

1975 - Eastern Suburbs beat St. George by a then record 38-0 score line. St. George fullback Graeme Langlands plays the game in white boots and has a painkiller injection go wrong.[21]

1977 - St. George and Parramatta play out the first drawn grand final, 9-all after extra time. They come back the next week for a grand final replay and St. George win 22-0.[22]

1978 - Manly and Cronulla play out the second drawn grand final, 11-all. There is no extra time and the replay is played on the following Tuesday, won by Manly 16-0.[23]

1987 - Manly defeat Canberra 18-8 in the last grand final played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.[24]

1989 - Known by many as the best grand final ever, Canberra come from 14-2 down to beat Balmain 19-14 in extra time.[citation needed] Canberra became the first team outside of NSW to win the competition.[citation needed]

1992 - The Brisbane Broncos defeat St. George 28-8 to become the first Queensland team to win the grand final.[citation needed]

1997 - Brisbane defeat Cronulla for their third premiership in the Super League grand final. This was the first night grand final, the first (and currently only) top level rugby league grand final to be played outside of Sydney before a record crowd for any sporting event in Queensland of 58,912.[25]

1997 - Newcastle winger Darren Albert scores a try with six seconds left to deliver Newcastle their first ever premiership, 22-16 over Manly.[26]

1999 - A world record crowd of 107,999 watch the two newest clubs Melbourne Storm and St George Illawarra Dragons battle it out. St. George Illawarra lead 18-14 before a late penalty try to Melbourne winger Craig Smith gives the Storm a 20-18 win to become the first Victorian team to win a NRL premiership and the quickest NRL club to win their first ever premiership in only their second season.[27]

2001 - Newcastle win the first night grand final in Sydney, 30-24 over Parramatta.[28]

2002- Pre-game entertainment Billy Idol arrived on ground onboard a hovercraft, but due to technical issues - "waiting for some power" - he did not perform.

2005 - Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall throws a magic flick pass to winger Pat Richards as the Tigers become the first joint venture to win the premiership, 30-16 over the North Queensland Cowboys.[citation needed]

2008 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles secure a record 40-0 win over Melbourne Storm.[citation needed]

2011 - Lights at the stadium accidentally go out causing the post game ceremony to go delayed.

2014 - South Sydney Rabbitohs win their first premiership in 43 years, beating Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6.[29]

2015 - The North Queensland Cowboys' first premiership after 21 seasons in the NRL and widely regarded as one of the all-time best (along with the Raiders' '89 win). The first all-Queensland NRL grand final sparked talk of future deciders being held in Queensland.[citation needed] It was also notable as Brisbane Broncos ended their biggest drought from a grand final since entering the competition (in 1988) and it was Bennett's first season back in Brisbane after leaving in 2008.[citation needed] North Queensland Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt scored a try from a Michael Morgan try-assist after the full-time siren to level the game at 16-all. After Jonathan Thurston missed the sideline conversion, hitting the right post, the match went to golden point extra time, the first grand final to do so. The Kyle Feldt kick-off to begin golden point was dropped by the Broncos' Ben Hunt. From the ensuing set of six, Thurston kicked the winning field goal, and was subsequently awarded the Clive Churchill Medal. It also ended Brisbane's undefeated streak in grand finals, having won all six previous deciders.

2016 - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks win their first premiership in their 50th season by defeating Melbourne Storm 14-12. This was also only their 4th grand final appearance since entering the competition in 1967. Their other grand final appearances came in 1973, 1978 and 1997. The Sharks won only one of their final five regular-season games. But it was enough to break through for their inaugural premiership.

2019 - Sydney Roosters become the first team to win back-to-back premierships in 26 years by defeating the Canberra Raiders 14-8. The last team to achieve successive premierships in a unified competition was the Brisbane Broncos in 1992-93. The Roosters' win did not come without any controversy during the game. In the third minute, a Luke Keary kick was charged down, only for the ball to ricochet off the head of the Roosters' trainer who was on the field at the time; a scrum feed was then awarded to the Roosters, and 3 minutes later Roosters' Sam Verrills scored a try adjacent to the goalposts. The Raiders then started to dominate the match, with their five-eighth Jack Wighton scoring a try in the 31st minute. Roosters' Cooper Cronk was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for a professional foul (tackling a player not in possession of the football). With a man down, the Roosters' defence was stoic; despite numerous attacks the Raiders were unable to score. The 72nd minute saw what was arguably one of the most controversial moments in a rugby league match (let alone for a NRL grand final). A Jack Wighton bomb kick saw the ball bounce off the shoulder off a Raiders' player (who was contesting the ball against the Roosters' fullback James Tedesco) and the ball bounced back to the Raiders. Initially, the primary referee Ben Cummins believed that the ball was touched by Tedesco and subsequently Cummins called that the Raiders had another set of six tackles while the ball was still in play, however, Cummins was quickly notified by other match officials that Roosters had not touched the ball and as such the Raiders were still on their last tackle. Wighton was tackled, and despite his protests to the referees, handed the ball over to the Roosters. Four tackles later, the Roosters ran 80 metres, the ball passing between Keary, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou, and finally Tedesco who scored the match winning try.

2020 - the Grand Final this year will be contested on 25 October, three weeks later than originally scheduled, due to the season being suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.[30]


The 1999 NRL Grand Final saw a new rugby league world record crowd of 107,999 was at Stadium Australia for the game. The attendance, which saw 67,142 more people attend than had done so for the 1998 NRL Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium, broke the record attendance for a grand final, eclipsing the previous record of 78,065 set in 1965 when St. George defeated South Sydney 12-8 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 2014 NRL Grand Final had a crowd of 83,833 was the largest attendance at a sporting event at Stadium Australia since its 2001 reconfiguration.[31][32]


Early NRL grand finals featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands but as the popularity of the game increased, a trend where popular singers and musicians performed during its pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show emerged. Traditionally, Advance Australia Fair is sung before every match. When the New Zealand Warriors play, God Defend New Zealand is also sung.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Aussie Stadium". Australian Stadiums. Retrieved 22 January 2007. ... however grand finals were transferred to the much larger Olympic Stadium at Homebush when it opened in 1999.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "NRL to host a twilight grand final". ABC News. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Fellowship of the rings". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 March 2005.
  5. ^ Australian Associated Press (8 June 2010). "NSW to retain NRL grand final". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  6. ^ Chammas, Michael (12 June 2019). "SCG set to host 2020, 2021 NRL grand finals". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  7. ^ "The Gladiators". St George Leagues Club. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  8. ^ "NRL Trophy named after Provan and Summons". National Rugby League. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Tigers have century-old axe to grind". SMH.
  13. ^ "Tigers, Souths love a ruckus". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Newtown's Finest Hour On Its Biggest Stage".
  15. ^ "From the Vault: Magpies' last Grand Final victory". 28 March 2012.
  16. ^ "A Man Of His Word". 16 July 2018.
  17. ^ "The Joy of Six: NRL grand final controversies".
  18. ^ "John Hayes recalls the controversy of '63". Wests Tigers. 12 April 2013.
  19. ^ "Dragons Win 1966 Premiership!".
  20. ^ "Beetson lived in disappointment of "the one that got away"".
  21. ^ "Sydney Roosters to fly 1975 premiership winning team to Arthur Beetson's funeral".
  22. ^ "THROWBACK - 1977 Grand Final replay". Parramatta Eels. 10 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Cronulla's NRL premiership pays back the loyal fans of The Shire".
  24. ^ "30 years since 87' Grand Final".
  25. ^ "A history of heartbreak: Cronulla Sharks' tale of woe in NRL finals".
  26. ^ "What happened to the 17 champion players".
  27. ^ Read, Brent (4 October 2010). "Wayne Bennett's Dragons blow away critics to end 31-year drought". The Australian. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  28. ^ "Knights draw 2001 grand final inspiration".
  29. ^ "South Sydney Rabbitohs win 2014 NRL grand final, defeating Canterbury Bulldogs 30-6". Daily Telegraph.
  30. ^ Newton, Alicia (28 April 2020). "NRL announces 20 round competition for 2020". Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  31. ^
  32. ^

External linksEdit