Rugby league positions
A rugby league team consists of thirteen players on the field, with four substitutes on the bench. Each of the thirteen players is assigned a position with a standardised number, which reflects their role in attack and defence, although players can take up any position at any time. Players are divided into two general types and backs. Forwards are chosen for their size and strength, they are expected to run with the ball, to attack, to make tackles. Forwards are required to improve the team's field position thus creating space and time for the backs. Backs are smaller and faster, though a big, fast player can be of advantage in the backs, their roles require speed and ball-playing skills, rather than just strength, to take advantage of the field position gained by the forwards. Forwards tend to operate in the centre of the field, while backs operate nearer to the touch-lines, where more space can be found; the diagram, shows the typical positions of each player during a scrum. The laws of the game recognise standardised numbering of positions.
The starting side wear the numbers corresponding to their positions, only changing in the case of substitutions and position shifts during the game. In some competitions, such as Super League, players receive a squad number to use all season, no matter what positions they play in; the positions and the numbers are defined by the game's laws as: Backs1 Full Back 2 Right Wing Threequarter 3 Right Centre Threequarter 4 Left Centre Threequarter 5 Left Wing Threequarter 6 Stand-off Half or Five-eighth 7 Scrum Half or HalfbackForwards8 Prop 9 Hooker 10 Front Row Forward 11 Second Row Forward 12 Second Row Forward 13 Lock ForwardIn practice, the term'front row forward' is rarely used, a team has two props. The scrum half is known as the half back in Australasia, the lock forward is known as loose forward in England. There are seven backs, numbered 1 to 7. For these positions, the emphasis is on ball-handling skills; the "back-line" consists of smaller, more agile players. Numbered 1, the fullback's primary role is the last line of defence, standing behind the main line of defenders.
Defensively, fullbacks must be able to chase and tackle any player who breaks the first line of defence, must be able to catch and return kicks made by the attacking side. Their role in attack is as a support player, they are used to come into the line to create an overlap in attack. Fullbacks that feature in their respective nations' rugby league halls of fame are France's Puig Aubert, Australia's Clive Churchill and Billy Slater, Charles Fraser, Graeme Langlands and Graham Eadie, Great Britain/Wales' Jim Sullivan and New Zealand's Des White. There are four threequarters: two wingers and two centres - right wing, right centre, left centre and left wing; these players work in pairs, with one winger and one centre occupying each side of the field. Known as wingers. There are two wings in a rugby league team, numbered 2 and 5, they are positioned closest to the touch-line on each side of the field. They are among the fastest players in a team, with the speed to exploit space, created for them and finish an attacking move.
In defence their primary role is to mark their opposing wingers, they are usually required to catch and return kicks made by an attacking team dropping behind the defensive line to help the fullback. Wingers that feature in their nations' rugby league halls of fame are Great Britain's Billy Batten, Billy Boston and Clive Sullivan, Australia's Brian Bevan, John Ferguson, Ken Irvine, Harold Horder and Brian Carlson, South African Tom van Vollenhoven and France's Raymond Contrastin There are two centres and left, numbered 3 and 4 respectively, they are positioned just inside the wingers and are the second-closest players to the touch-line on each side of the field. In attack their primary role is to provide an attacking threat out wide and as such they need to be some of the fastest players on the pitch providing the pass for their winger to finish off a move. In defence, they are expected to mark their opposite centre. Centres that feature in their countries' halls of fame are France's Max Rousié, England's Eric Ashton, Harold Wagstaff and Neil Fox, Wales' Gus Risman and Australia's Reg Gasnier, H "Dally" Messenger, Dave Brown, Jim Craig, Bob Fulton and Mal Meninga.
There are two halves. Positioned more centrally in attack, beside or behind the forwards, they direct the ball and are the team's main play-makers, as such are required to be the most skillful and intelligent players on the team; these players usually perform most tactical kicking for their team. Numbered 6, the stand off or five-eighth is a strong passer and runner, while being agile; this player is referred to as "second receiver", as in attacking situations they are the second player to receive the ball and are able to initiate an attacking move. Star players of this position include Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer, Bob Fulton, Brad Fittler, Laurie Daley and Terry Lamb Numbered 7, the scrum-half or half back is involved in directing the team's play; the position is sometimes referred to as "first receiver", as half backs are the first to receive the ball from the dummy-half after a play-the-ball. This makes them important decision-makers in attack. A rugby league forward pack consists of six players who tend to be bigger and stronger than backs, rely more on their strength and size to fulfill their roles than play-making skills.
The forwards traditionally formed and contested scrums, however in the modern game
The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire, Southern Sydney, New South Wales. They compete in Australasia's premier rugby league competition; the Sharks, as they are known, were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, predecessor of the Australian Rugby League and the current National Rugby League competition, in January 1967. The club competed in every premiership season since and, during the Super League war, joined the rebel competition before continuing on in the re-united NRL Premiership; the Sharks have been in competition for 50 years, appearing in four grand finals, winning their first premiership in 2016 after defeating the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium. In 1967 the New South Wales Rugby Football League added two new clubs to the competition, Cronulla-Sutherland and Penrith, the first to join the competition since Parramatta and Manly were admitted 20 years earlier in 1947. Cronulla debuted in 1967 wearing a sky blue jersey adorned with a white V and red numbers on the back, at the club home ground of Sutherland Oval, under the captaincy of multiple premiership-winner Monty Porter and the coaching of Ken Kearney.
Cronulla earned immediate recognition when they beat Eastern Suburbs at the Sydney Sports Ground in their first match. They had only two more wins, against Norths and Parramatta, finished last on the competition table. In mid-1968 the club moved permanently to Endeavour Field at Woolooware, became the only club in Sydney to own their own ground, their first match there was against Parramatta and the Cronulla Sharks won 10–7. Cronulla made their first grand final in 1973 against Manly Warringah losing 10-7. Cronulla met the Sea Eagles again in the 1978 grand final, leading 7–2 well into the second half, before Manly came back and brought the scoreboard to 7-11, it took a late penalty goal from Steve Rogers to level scores at 11-all by full-time. The replay saw the Sharks opportunity pass by as they fielded a much-weakened team due to further injuries being shut-out by Manly 16–0. Cronulla were without suspended stars Greg Pierce and Dane Sorensen in both games, while hooker John McMartin, fullback Mick Mullane and Barry Andrews were all injured for the replay.
Cronulla suffered major financial trouble in 1983, with the NSWRL appointing an administrator and providing a loan. Western Suburbs and Newtown, both in a similar predicament, were refused a loan, with Newtown being forced out of the competition. Cronulla made the final of the mid-week KB Cup, but lost again to Manly, 26–6. In 1985, Cronulla was buoyed by the arrival of'super coach' Jack Gibson, who had coached Easts and Parramatta to premierships. Gibson left the club in good shape in 1987, with the promise fulfilled in 1988 when Cronulla won the minor premiership, led by veteran second-rower Gavin Miller, named Dally M Player of the Year, Rothmans Medal winning halfback, Barry Russell. However, Russell dislocated his shoulder two weeks before the finals, missed the semi-final where Cronulla went down to Canterbury, he was rushed back in for the final against Balmain, but he was hampered by the injury, Cronulla were bundled out. A bright spot for the Sharks, was the selection in the Australian team of Miller, young centres and Mark McGaw.
In 1989, Cronulla sneaked into the finals after thrashing Illawarra 46–14 in the final round, followed by a memorable 38–14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the play-off for fifth position. However, they could not repeat the performance in their semi-final against eventual premiers Canberra, in what was their third game in seven days. Gavin Miller was rewarded for another great year with both the Dally M Player of the Year award and the Rothmans Medal. Cronulla again dropped into a period of poor form and financial trouble in 1990, but the appointment as coach of rugby league Immortal, Arthur Beetson, in 1992 helped turn the on-field problems around, he helped develop a batch of promising players, including five-eighth Mitch Healey, fullback David Peachey, winger Richie Barnett, prop Adam Ritson, hooker Aaron Raper, son of another Immortal, Johnny Raper. However, Cronulla were forced into receivership in 1993. Beetson was replaced as coach in 1994 by John Lang, a former Australian hooker, coach of the Brisbane Easts team.
Lang brought Paul Green, down from Brisbane with him. A golden age for the club had begun, signalled by the two lower grade teams winning their competitions. During John Lang's coaching period, from 1994 to 2001, Cronulla made the semi-finals every year except for 1994 and 1998; the club had a glamorous image and attracted record crowds, with a corresponding financial improvement. In 1995, Cronulla were one of the first clubs to join the Super League competition, which kicked off after protracted legal battles and much bitterness, in 1997; the club was motivated by a dissatisfaction with the perceived favouritism of the NSWRL administration towards other clubs, a still-risky financial situation. They reached the inaugural – and only – grand final of the ten-team Super League competition, only to lose to a vastly superior Brisbane side 26–8 in Brisbane; the game was notable for being the only grand final to be played outside Sydney. The club rejoined the reunited National Rugby League competition in 1998.
Arguably the Sharks' best season was in 1999, when they again won the minor premiership and the J. J. Giltinan Shield in convincing fashion; the Sharks accounted for the Brisbane Broncos in the quarter-final, led 8–0 in the grand final qualifier against the St George Illawarra Dragons before losing 8–24. In 1999, the Cronulla-Suth
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.04 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp; the first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port both founded downriver. Perth was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, it gained city status in 1856 and was promoted to the status of a Lord Mayorality in 1929. The city inherited its name due to the influence of Sir George Murray Member of Parliament for Perthshire and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies; the city's population increased as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century.
During Australia's involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre, a US Navy Catalina flying boat fleet was based at Matilda Bay. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Greece and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth; this was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for several large mining operations located around the state. As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are located within the city, as is Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia. Perth came seventh in the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2016 list of the world's most liveable cities and was classified by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2010 as a Beta world city; the city hosted the 1962 Commonwealth Games.
Perth is divided into 30 local government areas and 250 suburbs, stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Singleton in the south, east inland to The Lakes. Outside of the main CBD, important urban centres within Perth include Joondalup. Most of those were established as separate settlements and retained a distinct identity after being subsumed into the wider metropolitan area. Mandurah, Western Australia's second-largest city, has in recent years formed a conurbation with Perth along the coast, though for most purposes it is still considered a separate city. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Perth area for at least 38,000 years, as evidenced by archaeological remains at Upper Swan; the Noongar people lived as hunter-gatherers. The wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain were important to them, both spiritually and as a source of food; the Noongar people know the area. Boorloo formed part of the territory of the Mooro, a Noongar clan, which at the time of British settlement had Yellagonga as their leader.
The Mooro was one of several Noongar Indigenous clans based around the Swan River known collectively as the Whadjuk. The Whadjuk themselves were one of a larger group of fourteen tribes that formed the south-west socio-linguistic block known as the Noongar sometimes called the Bibbulmun. On 19 September 2006, the Federal Court of Australia brought down a judgment recognising Noongar native title over the Perth metropolitan area in the case of Bennell v State of Western Australia FCA 1243; the judgment was overturned on appeal. The first documented sighting of the region was made by the Dutch Captain Willem de Vlamingh and his crew on 10 January 1697. Subsequent sightings between this date and 1829 were made by other Europeans, but as in the case of the sighting and observations made by Vlamingh, the area was considered to be inhospitable and unsuitable for the agriculture that would be needed to sustain a settlement. Although the Colony of New South Wales had established a convict-supported settlement at King George's Sound on the south coast of Western Australia in 1826 in response to rumours that the area would be annexed by France, Perth was the first full-scale settlement by Europeans in the western third of the continent.
The British colony would be designated Western Australia in 1832 but was known informally for many years as the Swan River Colony after the area's major watercourse. On 4 June 1829, newly arriving British colonists had their first view of the mainland, Western Australia's founding has since been recognised by a public holiday on the first Monday in June each year. Captain James Stirling, aboard Parmelia, said that Perth was "as beautiful as anything of this kind I had witnessed". On 12 August that year, Helen Dance, wife of the captain of the second ship, cut down a tree to mark the founding of the town, it is clear that Stirling had selected the name Perth for the capital well before the town was proclaimed, as his proclamation of the colony, read in Fremantle on 18 June 1829, ended "given under my hand and Seal at Perth this 18th Day of June 1829. James Stirling Lieutenant Governor"; the only contemporary information on the source of the name comes from Fremantle's diary entry for 12 August, which records that they "named the town Perth according to the wishes of Sir George Murray".
Murray was born in Perth and was in 1829 Secretary of State for the Colonies and Member for Perthshire in the British House of Commons. The town was named after the Scottish Pert
Mathew Steve Rogers is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s living in the Gold Coast. He played rugby union at the highest level, becoming a dual-code international; the son of the late Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks legend and CEO Steve Rogers, Mat played for the Sharks as well. He played in two State of Origin series for Queensland, 7 Tests for the Australian national side before his switch to union in 2001. Rogers played at fly half in his final season for the Waratahs and started in a number of games for the Wallabies in various positions in the backline, he returned to rugby league in 2007 with the newly formed Gold Coast Titans club and retired in 2010. With the Titans beset by injuries and poor form, Rogers announced his comeback to help out the club on-field in 2011, but a serious injury forced him to announce his retirement again just minutes into his first game back. Rogers was born in Australia, he began playing junior rugby league for the Engadine Dragons.
His father, retired from professional rugby league in 1986 and the family settled on the Gold Coast, Queensland when Mat was 12 years of age. Mat played both forms of the game. Rogers excelled in union at a well known rugby union nursery, he played in the Australian Schoolboys representative team in 1993, at one point playing opposite a young Jonny Wilkinson, future All Blacks player Jonah Lomu. After deciding that rugby league was his preferred career path, Rogers joined his father's former club, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. Rogers formed powerful combinations with centre partner Andrew Ettingshausen and fullback David Peachey, he was an entertaining ball-running winger during the mid-to-late 90s. He held several point-scoring records with Cronulla being a talented goal kicker and having an ability to score tries from the tightest situations. Rogers was chosen for the Australian team to compete in the end of season 1999 Tri Nations tournament. In the final against New Zealand he played on the wing, scoring two tries and kicking three goals in the Kangaroos' 22-20 victory.
Rogers expressed his desire to shift from his position on the wing to either Fullback. However, a serious injury to his shoulder rotator cuff at the conclusion of the Kangaroo's successful 2000 World Cup Campaign destroyed his chance. Despite this he was the tournament's top point-scorer. After a complete shoulder reconstruction he was restricted to a handful of games during the 2001 season, his final year with the Sharks. Following his switch Rogers was an immediate success in rugby union, he made his Wallaby debut with Wendell Sailor in a Test match against France in June 2002. Collectively at that point they became 42nd Australian dual code internationals, his transition had not been without controversy. Several times Rogers found himself the focus of media scrutiny after making comments regarding the state of Australian club rugby in comparison to training for the Wallabies and after an alleged altercation outside an Edinburgh nightclub with a fan in 2004, his initial switch was less than smooth after coach Bob Dwyer revealed that Waratahs and Wallaby stalwart Matthew Burke would be moved from his preferred position of fullback to outside centre in order to accommodate Rogers.
His 2004 Super 12 season started brilliantly but a serious ankle injury suffered in South Africa ruled him out of that year's Tri Nations series. An autobiography Off the Wing, On a Prayer was published in 2002 and written while his father Steve Rogers was still alive and when he was married to Michelle Miller, the mother of his children – Jack and Skyla. Starting in the 2005 Tri Nations Series, Rogers was shifted from fullback to play at fly-half following the injury of Stephen Larkham, he continued to play in that position during the 2005 spring tour of Europe and remained there for the Waratahs for most of the new Super 14 competition in 2006. Coming on late in the second half in the second test against South Africa in the 2006 Tri Nations Series, Rogers scored a late try which allowed Stirling Mortlock to kick the winning conversion from the left sideline, for a 20–18 win, it was reported on 28 August 2006 that Rogers had sustained a knee injury requiring athroscopic surgery and was ruled out of the last test against The Springboks but was fit for the end of year tour.
"I've had for a couple of weeks and I was hoping it would have pulled up a bit better than it has," Rogers said. "I'm disappointed to miss out on the Springboks match because I feel that we've got a great chance of winning a Test on their soil, which hasn't been done for a long time." The Daily Telegraph in 2006 sparked the question of how many games Rogers has not participated in due to injuries and quoted the following figures: Rogers has missed 21 out of 61 games for the Waratahs, some due to his father's death at the start of the year. For the Wallabies he has played. Overall, he has not played for 37 of 118 games making him a spectator 31% of the time since moving to rugby union. Rogers was named in the 37-man squad for Australia's tour of Europe, he had been selected to play at fly-half with usual number 10 Larkham playing outside him at inside-centre. On 14 December 2006, Mat Rogers was released from his contract from the Waratahs and the Australian Rugby Union. In 2007, Rogers revived his rugby league career with the new club, Gold Coast Titans in the National Rugby League.
He became their equal top tryscorer for the Titan's inaugural season after missing a handful of games late in the season due to a cracked patella. Rogers started the 2008 season with the Gold Coast Titans at five-eighth. Rogers had been su
The Wigan Warriors are a professional rugby league club in Wigan, who compete in the Super League, are the current/defending Champions. Formed in 1872 as Wigan Football Club, Wigan was a founding member of the Northern Rugby Football Union following the schism from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. Wigan have won 22 19 Challenge Cups and 4 World Club Challenges. Wigan is the most successful club in English rugby league and had a period of sustained success from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, winning eight successive Challenge Cups and eight League Championships; the club plays home matches at the DW Stadium, having played at Central Park between 1902 and 1999. The head coach is Adrian Lam. On 21 November 1872, Wigan Football Club was founded by members of Wigan Cricket Club following a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Standishgate. Wigan F. C. played near Upper Dicconson Street. The first match took place on 30 November when members played against each other in a practice match at Folly Field. After a series of trial and practice matches, they travelled to Warrington to play their first competitive match on 18 January 1873.
The game ended in a draw. Financial problems and an inability to recruit quality players led to the club amalgamating with Upholland F. C. in 1876. The club became Wigan & District F. C; the club moved and played its home games at the Wigan Cricket Club at Prescott Street just off Frog Lane. It is unlikely that the club fulfilled its fixtures in 1877 before disbanding at the end of the 1879 cricket season. On 22 September 1879, the club was reformed as Wigan Wasps by many ex-members of the original Wigan Football Club, following a meeting in the Dicconson Arms; the club moved away from Prescott Street back to Folly Field. In 1884, Wigan won the West Lancashire Cup; the club played in blue and white hooped jerseys before changing in 1886 to cherry and white hoops. In 1888 they beat a touring New Zealand side. Wigan were suspended by the RFU for breaking the strict amateur code despite their argument that broken-time payments were necessary to avoid undue hardship for their working class players. In 1895 Wigan joined with other clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire to found the Northern Union which led to the sport of rugby league.
This was a result of the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union. This was when the "Wasps" tag was dropped and the club became known as Wigan; the County Championship was introduced in October 1895 with Cheshire entertaining Lancashire. The Red Rose side contained three players from Wigan: Unsworth and Brown. In 1896–97 due to the increased number of Northern Union teams the Northern League was abandoned in favour of two County Senior leagues; the second half of the season saw the introduction of the Northern Union Cup. Wigan reached the third round before being knocked out by St. Helens. In 1904, fourteen clubs resigned from the two county leagues to form a new Northern Rugby League for season 1901–02. Wigan however remained in the Lancashire Senior Competition. Wigan became sub-tenants of Springfield Park, which they shared with Wigan United AFC, playing their first game there on 14 September 1901. A crowd of 4,000 saw them beat Morecambe 12–0. During this season Wigan won the Lancashire Senior Competition.
Wigan's record crowd at Springfield was 10,000 when they beat Widnes on 19 March 1902. The last game was on 28 April 1902. Two meetings were held by Wigan members during the season to discuss the possibility of turning the club into a Limited Company but the idea did not take off. On 6 September 1902, Wigan played at Central Park for the first time in the opening match of the newly formed First Division. An estimated crowd of 9,000 spectators saw Wigan beat Batley 14–8. In the 1905 -- 06 season they won their first cup, in the Lancashire County Cup. Between 1906 and 1923 Wigan won the Lancashire League another seven times and the Lancashire Cup another four times. Wigan were the first winners of the Lancashire cup. Wigan played New Zealand on 9 November 1907 and ran out winners by 12 points to 8 in front of a crowd of around 30,000. Great Britain known as the Northern Union, played their first test against New Zealand on 25 January 1908. James "Jim" Leytham, Bert Jenkins, John "Johnny" Thomas of Wigan were in the home side and James "Jim" Leytham scored a try.
Bert Jenkins, John "Johnny" Thomas had played in the first Welsh game against New Zealand on 1 January 1908. On Saturday 28 October 1911, Wigan played a match against the Australasian team which visited England on the 1911–12 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and won. On 12 May 1921, Wigan became a limited company. In June 1922 Jim Sullivan joined Wigan from Cardiff RFC when he was only 17, his cash value was put at £750, a staggering signing-on fee for an adolescent who had not yet played 13-a-side rugby. His first game was at home against Widnes on 27 August 1921, he scored ten points in a 21–0 win. Jim Sullivan scored the first points in the first Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley Stadium, kicking a penalty after only three minutes of the inaugural Challenge Cup Final against Dewsbury in 1929 in which he led Wigan to a 13–2 victory. Sullivan became player-coach in 1932. Wigan won their first Challenge Cup in the 1923 -- 24 season -- 4 in Rochdale. In 1933 the Prince of Wales attended Central Park, becoming the first royal to watch a rugb
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is a league of professional men's rugby league teams in Australia. Run by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL's main competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand, it attended rugby league club competition in the world. The National Rugby League is Australia's top-level domestic men's rugby-league club competition, it contains clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, running continuously since 1908. The NRL formed in the aftermath of the 1990s' Super League war as a joint partnership between the Australian governing body, the Australian Rugby League and media giant News Corporation-controlled Super League, after both organisations ran premierships parallel to each other in 1997; this partnership was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.
NRL matches are played in New Zealand from March to October. The season culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final, traditionally one of Australia's most popular sporting events and one of the world's largest attended sporting championship games. In addition, the NRL premiers play in the World Club Challenge, a pre-season match against the champions of the Super League competition; the reigning premiers are the Sydney Roosters winning their fourteenth official premiership. The New South Wales Rugby League ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the introduction of commercial sponsorship, the Winfield Cup, the addition of non-Sydney-based teams and Illawarra in 1982. Although this move brought more interest in the competition statewide in New South Wales, it would spell the beginning of the demise of some of the traditional Sydney-based clubs as well as having a negative effect on the Brisbane Rugby League premiership.
Following the 1983 season, Sydney foundation club Newtown Jets were forced to withdraw from the competition because of financial difficulties. Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Brisbane and Newcastle sides proved to be successful and popular and paved the way towards a push for a national competition. This was attempted in 1995 with control of the premiership passing from the NSWRFL to the Australian Rugby League, who invited four more teams from outside NSW to participate in 1995; this competition failed, but in its demise the National Rugby League was born, incorporating the traditional Sydney clubs coercing the Sydney market to follow the newly created national competition. The prospect of a national rugby league competition in addition to the introduction of pay television in Australia attracted the attention of global media organisation, News Corporation, it followed that professional rugby league was shaken to its foundations in the mid-1990s with the advent of the Super League war.
A conflict over broadcasting rights, it became a dispute as to who controlled the sport and which traditional clubs would survive into the new national era, as News Limited formed their own Super League and admitted some former ARL clubs, poaching players from the original ARL league with high salaries. With twenty-two teams of varying quality playing in two competitions that year, crowd attendances and corporate sponsorships were spread thinly, many teams found themselves in financial difficulty; the ARL undertook moves to invite the traditional clubs that had moved to the Super League competition back into a re-unified competition. Following a period of negotiation with News Corporation, on 23 September 1997 the ARL announced that it was forming a new company to conduct the competition in 1998. On 7 October News' Manaaki Ranginui announced that he was confident that there would be a single competition in 1998. On 19 December, representatives of clubs affiliated with the Australian Rugby League gathered at the Sydney Football Stadium to decide whether to accept News Limited's offer of a settlement – voting in favour by 36 votes to 4.
As a result, in the following months the National Rugby League, jointly owned by the ARL and News Limited, was formed. It was announced that the inaugural National Rugby League season of 1998 would have 20 teams competing, 19 remaining Super League and ARL teams plus the Melbourne Storm, who were created by Super League for their 1998 season. Clubs on both sides of the war were shut down. Super League decided to close the Hunter Mariners and the financially ruined Perth Reds, who were $10 million in debt at the end of 1997, while the ARL decided to close down the South Queensland Crushers, who were in severe financial trouble. Additionally, at the end of 1998 the NRL decided to close down former Super League club, the Adelaide Rams and former ARL club, the Gold Coast Chargers, despite the Gold Coast franchise being one of the few clubs to make a profit during the Super League war. One condition of the peace agreement between the ARL and News Limited was that there would be a 14 team competition in 2000.
The 20 clubs that played in 1998 would be assessed on various items such as sponsorship, crowds, on-field success and the like. It was announced that clubs that merged would
St. George Dragons
The St George Dragons was an Australian rugby league football club from the St George district in Sydney, New South Wales who played in the top level New South Wales competition and Australian Rugby League competitions from the 1921 until the 1997 ARL season, as well as the unified 1998 National Rugby League season. In 1999, they formed a joint venture with the Illawarra Steelers, creating the St George Illawarra Dragons team which continues to compete in the NRL today; as a stand-alone club, they field teams in the NSWRL underage men's and women's competitions, Harold Matthews Cup, S. G. Ball, Tarsha Gale Cup. Entering the New South Wales Rugby Football League in 1921, the St George club won 15 premierships, including 11 in succession between 1956 and 1966, a record for sporting competitions at the time; the Dragons thus became second to only the South Sydney Rabbitohs in terms of total premierships won in the NSW Rugby Football League. Following the Super League war and formation of the NRL, the club formed a joint venture with the Illawarra Steelers in 1998, to become the St George Illawarra Dragons.
On Friday, 28 February 1908 at Rockdale Town Hall a meeting instigated by St George rugby league pioneers, W. Munn and Joe McGraw, was attended by officials of the formed New South Wales Rugby Football League and rugby players from the local district. NSWRFL president Henry Hoyle gave a convincing address and a St. George club appeared to form, the club's application was rejected due to an insufficient number of players. Undeterred, the St George Rugby League Football Club took form in 1910 when a team played in the NSWRL 3rd Grade Competition; the club's first game took place against Newtown at Sans Souci and St George were victorious 36–0. With the demise of Annandale Rugby League Club, St George was successful in November 1920 in petitioning the NSWRL for promotion. In February 1921 at the Kogarah School of Arts, the St George District Rugby League Club came into being; the first President was Arthur Yager, with Joe McGraw chosen as Secretary and Arthur Moymow named Treasurer. The club's inaugural captain was Dual-code rugby international, Herb Gilbert who joined the club at aged 33 as captain-coach.
The club's inaugural first grade appearance was on St George's Day, 23 April 1921 against Glebe at the Sydney Sports Ground. The first St George team to take the field was: Lyall Wall, Norm Shadlow, Reg Fusedale, Herb Gilbert, George Carstairs, Frank Gray, Tommy Burns, Tony Redmond, Clarrie Tye, Sid Field, Roy Bossi, Ernie Lapham and Jack Clark. Glebe won the encounter 4–3. St George won only two matches in their first season and finished equal second last in the premiership. Before the start of the 1921 season, trial matches were played at Sans Souci and training took place at the Drill Hall in the Sydney suburb of Arncliffe. During the 1921 season games were played at Hurstville Oval. In 1925 the club started using Earl Park at Arncliffe as its home ground; the club played at Earl Park until the end of the 1939 season. The new club struggled during the 1920s finishing last in 1926 and eight points behind the next placed team; the hiring of another 33-year-old veteran leader in Frank Burge saw a change in the club's fortunes.
In 1927 under Burge, the "Dragon Slayers", as they were known, qualified for their first final but were beaten by South Sydney. For each of the next three seasons the Dragons qualified for the semi-finals and in 1930 they beat Wests in the final, only to suffer a return loss when Wests exercised their prerogative of the time as minor premiers to request a Grand final challenge rematch. Harry Kadwell, the former South Sydney player and international half-back took over from Burge as captain-coach in 1931 and had four seasons with the club before his retirement, his leadership partner was the uncompromising hooker "Snowy" Justice, a Kangaroo tourist alongside Kadwell in 1929–30 and who took over as captain when Kadwell's 1932 season was ended with a broken leg. Justice would play eleven seasons with the club, followed by a long post-playing career with as Football Club secretary and League's Club secretary-manager through till the early 1970s. In 1933 St George sneaked into the semi-finals in fourth place and won their way into the final against minor premiers Newtown.
They lost 18–5. That same year they won the first night competition conducted by the NSWRL, a six-club competition played on three Saturday nights at the Sydney Showground. In 1935 St George defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 91–6, the biggest win in their history and still the biggest winning margin in the history of the League. In 1937 for the fourth time in the club's short history, the Dragon Slayers finished as competition runners-up, their inaugural premiership had still not been achieved when at the end of the decade, following the 1939 season, the club moved its home ground back to Hurstville Oval. Former Lord Mayor of Sydney, Jack Mostyn became President of the club in 1937 and retained the role for the next eight years; the long wait ended in 1941 when St George defeated Eastern Suburbs 31–14 at the Sydney Cricket Ground to take their inaugural First Grade premiership. They were captain-coached by Neville Smith. Brothers Jack and Herb Gilbert, Jr. the sons of the club's first captain-coach Herb Gilbert both played in the match.
The following year,1942 all three grades reached the Grand final with the 3rd-grade side victorious. The first-grade side had routed Canterbury-Bankstown, the minor premiers, in a semi-final and beat Easts in the final but as had happened in 1930, Canterbury exercised their right as minor premiers to issue a challenge and beat Saints in a Grand final. For season 1945, St. George obtained. A prolific try scorer, Mussi