The Widnes Vikings are an English professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire that plays in the Betfred Championship. The club plays. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams, their historic nickname is "The Chemics" after the main industry in Widnes, but now they use their modern nickname, "The Vikings". The club enjoyed a period of success in the 1970s, 1980s, early 1990s, were described as "Cup Kings" reaching the Challenge Cup Final 7 times in 10 years between 1975 and 1984. In 1989, after winning their third Rugby League Championship, Widnes became the first official World Club Champions by beating the Australian champions Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford, they have a strong local rivalry with Warrington Wolves. The Farnworth & Appleton Cricket Club was formed in 1871 and four years the members decided to embrace the burgeoning football code.
At their fourth annual evening party in the Drill Hall, Widnes, in November 1875, club Chairman Henry Lea "gave a short account of the club since it commenced about four years ago, indicated that they had now started a football club in connexion with it, hoped all would join". The first known game for the new Farnworth and Appleton FC was in Widnes in January 1876 played under rugby rules against Northwich Victoria. A few weeks a return match was played at Drill Field, Northwich under soccer rules. Vics won both games; these are the only two known fixtures in that truncated first season. By May 1876 the club had changed its name to Widnes FC and the cricket side of the organisation had disbanded to concentrate on football activities. By the late 1870s the club was being referred to as "The Chemicals"—subsequently shortened to'The Chemics'; the first ground was on Albert Road behind what is now the Premier Wetherspoon's pub and a short spell followed in the Simms Cross area. From around 1878–84 the club were based at the junction of Millfield/Peelhouse Lane, apart from season 1880–81 when they played on the Widnes Cricket Club ground at Lowerhouse Lane.
From 1884–95 they rented a field at Lowerhouse Lane before moving to their third separate site on that road in October 1895. The first game at what became Naughton Park was against Liversedge on Saturday 12 October 1895. In 1895, Widnes were founder members of the Northern Union which broke away from the Rugby Football Union, their first game was an away fixture against Runcorn which they lost 15–4. During the early years, the club had to sell players to balance the books; the strength of junior rugby league in the area meant the club had a steady stream of new players to offset any losses. In 1902, the Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division, Widnes was added to the first division. In 1914, Arthur'Chick' Johnson was capped for the Lions in the famous Rorke's Drift test, a match in which they overcame all the odds, injuries to beat Australia with a depleted side of 10 against 13, he scored an extraordinary try to win the game. Widnes closed for the 1915-16 season but recommenced playing in 1916 following the introduction of conscription which meant that would not be accused of keeping men from volunteering for the First World War.
Thirteen Widnes players were killed during the conflict. The club's first success came when they won the Lancashire League trophy in the 1919–20 season. However, the 1920s saw the club go to the wall. Local rivals Warrington donated their share of the traditional Easter and Christmas derby matches to keep Widnes afloat in 1927–28. In 1930, Widnes with 12 local-born players defied the odds to beat St. Helens 10–3 to bring home the Challenge Cup; the Kingsway housing scheme threatened the loss of Widnes' ground. After several years of fundraising during the Great Depression of the 1930s, £3,250 was raised to save the ground; this came with a stipulation that the ground could be sold only to the local council at the original price. The newly named Naughton Park was opened in 1932. A major boost for the club was Widnes' first trip to the Challenge Cup final, staged at Wembley, their opponents were St. Helens, Saints scored after 6 minutes to take a 3–0 lead, but Widnes hit back with a penalty try, a further try and a penalty to take a 10–3 half-time lead.
A scoreless second half meant. Widnes became the first club to make two trips to Wembley, with a loss to Hunslet in the 1934 cup final. In 1935–36, the team came close to being rugby league champions. Having finished third in the table, Widnes beat Liverpool 10–9 but lost to Hull FC, in the championship final. A third trip to Wembley came in 1937, with an 18–5 win over Keighley; the final was dubbed "McCue's Match" as the halfback played an important part in the win. Widnes dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league in 1940–41 and did not return to league competition until 1945–46. Tommy McCue led the club to its first Lancashire County Cup win, with a 7–3 victory against Wigan in 1945. Back at Wembley in 1950, the team was beaten 19–0 by Warrington. During this period, the club reverted to selling its players to richer teams. Local man Vince Karalius was appointed club captain. In his first season, Widnes finished third in the Championship, which equalled the club's best league placing. In 1962, the league was split into West of the Pennines.
With two minutes remaining, Lowdon dropped a goal to
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
Australia national rugby league team
The Australian national rugby league team have represented Australia in senior men's rugby league football competition since the establishment of the'Northern Union game' in Australia in 1908. Administered by the Australian Rugby League, the Kangaroos are ranked first in the RLIF World Rankings; the team is the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, having contested all 15 and winning 11 of them, failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954. Only four nations have beaten Australia in test matches, Australia have an overall win percentage of 67%. Dating back to 1908, Australia are the fourth oldest national side after England, New Zealand and Wales; the team was first assembled in 1908 for a tour of Great Britain. The majority of the Kangaroos' games since have been played against Great Britain and New Zealand. In the first half of the 20th century, Australia's international competition came from alternating tours to Great Britain and New Zealand, with Australia playing host to these teams in non-tour years.
Great Britain dominated in the early years, Australia did not win a Test against the Lions until 11 November 1911 under captain Chris McKivat. Australia did not win a series at home against Great Britain until 1920 or abroad until 1958. Since 1908, the team has been nicknamed the Kangaroos. Only used when touring Great Britain, France, this has been the official nickname of the team since 7 July 1994. In 1997 Australia was represented by a Super League Australia team, drawing on players from that year's Super League competition. While in the past players for the side had been selected from clubs in various leagues around the country, in recent years the side has consisted of players from clubs of the National Rugby League. Rugby football has been played in Australia since the 1860s. In 1863 Sydney University became the first rugby club to be formed in Sydney, played games amongst themselves or against the crews of visiting British ships; the Sydney Football Club and the Wallaroos followed, inter-club competition commenced.
By 1880, there were 100 clubs across the country, rugby became the dominant winter sport for Sydney. In 1888 an English team visited Australasia, playing rugby rules in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, Australian rules football in Victoria and South Australia. In 1899, an Australian team was formed for the first time using players from Queensland and New South Wales, they played a series of Tests against a British team. By 1907, Sydney club rugby games were attracting up to 20,000 people, with all profits going to the Southern Rugby Football Union, as the sport at the time was an amateur one; this caused discontent among players, in 1908 the New South Wales Rugby Football League and Queensland Rugby League were formed. An Australian national rugby league team was first formed during the first season of rugby league in Australia, the 1908 NSWRFL Premiership season; the team, made of players from the NSWRFL with a few Queensland rugby rebels added, first played against the "professional All Blacks" on the return leg of their tour of Australia and Great Britain.
That year the Australian team arranged to go on a tour of its own. The first Kangaroos arrived in England on 27 September 1908, played their first test against the Northern Union in December in London, it finished 22 all in front of a crowd of 2,000. The second test in Newcastle in January 1909 attracted a crowd of 22,000, the Northern Union won 15–5; the third test was played at Villa Park, the Northern Union winning again 6–5 before a crowd of 9,000. The Australians suggested that the series should be named'The Ashes' after the cricket series of the same name. In 1909, when the new "Northern Union" code was still in its infancy in Australia, a match between the Kangaroos and the Wallabies was played before a crowd of around 20,000, with the Rugby League side winning 29–26; the first British tour of the Southern Hemisphere began on 4 June 1910, when the Northern Union played New South Wales in front of 33,000 spectators in Sydney, losing 28–14. But they won the first test in Sydney against Australia 27–20 in front of 42,000.
They won the second test in Brisbane 22–17. In Auckland, on 30 July, they defeated New Zealand 52–20; the 1910 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the first and Australia were beaten for the Ashes in two tests, faring better as "Australasia" with two Kiwis added to their squad. The 1911–12 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain was undertaken by an'Australasian' squad which included four New Zealanders, they won the Ashes for the first time and for the next half a century no other touring team did do so on British soil. The 1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the second time the British toured down under; the Australians, captained by Sid Deane for all three tests, got one victory but lost the series in the famous decider, the "Rorke's Drift Test". Australia went on a tour of New Zealand in 1919; the 1920 Great Britain Lions tour saw. The 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain included a New Zealander and was ostensibly an Australasian side. In January 1922, an "England" side defeated Australia 6–0 at The Willows, Salford, to win back the Ashes, lost in 1920.
They did not lose again until 1950. The Australian national team first wore green and gold in a hooped design, on Saturday 23 June 1928, when they met Great Britain in the first Test at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. Britain led 10–2 after 25 minutes, 13–7 at half time and, after a nervous second half claimed the Test 15–12; the England team won both the 1928 series in
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
1975 Rugby League World Cup
The 1975 Rugby League World Championship was the seventh tournament for the Rugby League World Cup. The format differed from that employed in previous competitions; each team had to play the others on a'home and away' basis. Great Britain were split up into separate England and Wales teams, taking advantage of a glut of Welsh talent in the British game at the time. No final was held, with Australia being deemed the champions by virtue of finishing on top of the table with England coming in second. 14 venues across the five competing countries hosted games of the 1975 Rugby League World Cup. Wales used their own home venue at Swansea, but played home games in England in both Salford and Warrington. England played a'home' game against Wales at Lang Park in Brisbane, Australia. In this match Mick Cronin kicked nine goals. England winger Keith Fielding created a new record by scoring four tries against a hapless French team at Bordeaux. Kangaroo wing prodigy Ian Schubert scored a hat-trick tries. English stand-off Ken Gill ran in three tries.
In this match Jim Mills, the Wales prop, was banned for the rest of the season after an altercation. The ban was lifted on 2 January 1976; as Australia had not beaten England to win the cup, a final challenge was hastily arranged. The Kangaroos showed they were worthy World Champions with a comprehensive 25–0 win at Headingley in front of a disappointing crowd of 7,680, over 11,000 less than had attended the 1970 World Cup Final between Great Britain and Australia at the same venue. 1975 World Cup at rlhalloffame.org.uk 1975 World Cup at rlwc2008.com 1975 World Cup at rugbyleagueproject.com 1975 World Cup data at hunterlink.net.au
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Belmore, a suburb in the Canterbury-Bankstown region of Sydney. They compete in the National Rugby League premiership, as well as the New South Wales Rugby League junior competitions; the club was admitted to the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership, predecessor of the current NRL competition, in 1935. They won their first premiership in their fourth year of competition with another soon after, after spending the 1950s and most of the 1960s on the lower rungs went through a strong period in the 1980s, winning four premierships in that decade. Known in the 1990s as the Sydney Bulldogs, as a result of the Super League war the club competed in that competition in 1997 before changing their name to the geographically indistinct Bulldogs and continuing to play every season of the re-unified NRL, winning their most recent premiership in 2004. In 2012 the Bulldogs won the minor premiership, but lost to the Melbourne Storm 14–4 in the Grand Final, in October.
In 2014 they came from 7th to make the Grand Final against the Rabbitohs, but lost 30-6. In 1935 – thirteen years after a meeting above "The Ideal Milk Bar" in Campsie led to the creation of the Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League – the Canterbury club was admitted into the elite New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership, it took the new club, nicknamed "Country Bumpkins" because of their rural recruiting and CB emblem, four years to win their first premiership in 1938. The grand final-winning effort was repeated in 1942 before a 38-year premiership drought. In 1967, having ended the 11-year premiership reign of St. George by defeating them in the final, "The Berries" lost to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Grand Final, but the return to the top end of the table set the scene for off-field restructuring that laid the foundations for the club to become one of the most consistent achievers in the remaining decades of the 20th century. In 1978 Canterbury became known as "The Bulldogs".
Nicknames such as "Cantabs" "CBs" and "Berries" were seen to be "soft" and the club wanted something to signify determination and grit. A grand final appearance in 1979, followed by a grand final win in 1980 with a young and free-running side dubbed "The Entertainers", was the beginning of a golden era, to produce three more grand final wins in the 1980s: 1984, 1985 and 1988. In the mid-1990s’ Super League war, the Bulldogs aligned themselves with the Super League competition, playing in the 1997 premiership season. In 1998 the Bulldogs came close to adding another premiership trophy after qualifying for the Grand Final where they met the Brisbane Broncos and lost 38–12. On the way to the 1998 Grand Final, the Bulldogs had two come-from-behind wins; the first was against the Newcastle Knights in the third week of the finals – behind 16–0 in the second half, they fought back to 16-all at full-time and went on to win in extra time. A week they trailed Parramatta in the preliminary final by 16 points with 9 minutes remaining.
Three tries and a conversion in the final minutes got them back level at 18-all, the Bulldogs went on to win. Following indifferent form in 1999, 2000 and 2001 where they had varying levels of success, the club was found to have systematically and deliberately breached the NRL salary cap in 2002, was penalized all 37 competition points which it had amassed up to that point for 2002; this resulted in the club falling from first to last place on the ladder, at the end of the season the Bulldogs received their first "wooden spoon" since 1964. The Bulldogs returned to finals contention in 2003, however they fell one step short of yet another Grand Final after losing to the Roosters 28–18 in the Preliminary Final; the club went through some off-field dramas in 2004, the most serious of which included rape allegations during a pre-season match in Coffs Harbour. The team managed to focus on football and triumphed when they held out the Sydney Roosters 16–13 with a try-saving tackle by Andrew Ryan in the dying seconds of the 2004 Grand Final.
The game was to be the last for departing captain Steve Price, but he missed the match due to a leg injury. 2005 saw the Bulldogs unable to mount a serious defence of their premiership title as injuries and contract negotiations saw the year start and finish on a sour note for the club. Due to the extent of injuries suffered, the team was under-strength for most of the year; this took its toll in the final six weeks of the season, with the club suffering successive heavy losses and missing the finals series. In 2006, little was expected from the club after a poor 2005 season, but despite some doubt over the strength of their side, the Bulldogs' forward pack helped them to a better than expected result for the year, finishing a game short of the Grand Final, losing to eventual premiers the Brisbane Broncos. Inconsistency and a poor finish to the 2007 season meant the Bulldogs were knocked out of the finals in week two. In 2008, having lost Mark O'Meley to the Sydney Roosters, Willie Mason left the club.
Further into the off-season the Bulldogs lost halfback Brent Sherwin, prospects for the 2008 season began to look dim. Although they recorded at the start of the season a couple of victories, the injury toll and the departure Sonny Bill Williams mid-season demoralised the club and players, the Bulldogs' earned their second wooden spoon of the decade. Another source of discontent in 2008 was the battle for election to the football club board. Many contenders believed that the board of the time was steering the club in the wrong direction then-CEO Malcolm Noad
A grand final is a game that decides a sports league's championship winning team, i.e. the conclusive game of a finals series. Synonymous with a championship game in North American sports, grand finals have become a significant part of Australian culture; the earliest competitions to feature a grand final were Australia's AFL and NRL. They influenced other competitions such as soccer's A-League, the National Basketball League, netball's Suncorp Super Netball and European rugby league's Super League to adopt grand finals as well. Most grand finals involve; the Anglo-Norman term "grand" to describe a sporting event, documented in England as "grand match" in 1836, was used in Australia from the 1850s. A steeplechase in England has been called the "Grand National Steeple Chase" since at least 1839. Use of the term in Australian Football dates back to the first organised and publicised match between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College on 7 August 1858 at Yarra Park, Melbourne; the game was advertised as the "grand football match" in the Melbourne Morning Herald and several other local newspapers.
In 1859, a "grand football match" was advertised in Richmond, Tasmania for St Patrick's Day on Friday 18 March. In The Argus of 1861, the Royal Caledonian Society of Melbourne invited clubs to compete in a "grand football-match", to be football's first trophy, the Caledonian Challenge Cup, however the match did not proceed until the following year; the earliest known event described as "grand" in Sydney was a cricket match in 1862. In the 1871 South Yarra Challenge Cup and Melbourne drew their three matches, but won their remaining matches; as head-to-head record was the only tiebreaker at that time, the team captains and the Cup organisers arranged a "grand match", as advertised in The Argus to decide the premiership. Carlton won by two goals to nil. A football premiership final appeared to be called a "grand final" only when the losers of a final were the minor premiers and they exercised the "right to challenge" the winners to a second premiership decider. Prior to 1898, the South Australian Football Association was awarded to the team that finished top of the end-of-season ladder placings.
In 1889, Norwood and Port Adelaide finished equal first, meaning a play off match was required to determine the premiers. In promoting the decider match, local press referred to the match as a "premiership match"; this was played on October 5, Norwood won the match 7.4 to 5.9. In 1894, Norwood and South Adelaide finished with a 13-5 record from their 18 matches; the match was fixed for October 6, despite a provision for 20 minute periods of extra time in the event of a draw at full time, the match was abandoned due to darkness with the scores level at 4.8 apiece. The SAFA fixed a replay for October 10, Labor Day: this was the first of seven grand final replays in elite Australian football history. Norwood won the replay 4.7 to South Adelaide 3.5 with a goal from Bos Daly. In the Victorian Football Association, Victoria's top level of senior football from 1877 until 1896, the premiership was awarded on the basis of the rostered premiership matches. However, the rules stipulated that where two or more teams finished equal on premiership points, a playoff match or matches would be scheduled amongst those teams to determine the premiers.
This was required in 1896, when South Melbourne and Collingwood finished level on top of the ladder with records of 14 wins and one draw. The playoff match between them, retrospectively treated as Victoria's first Grand Final, was won by Collingwood 6.9 – 5.10. There was one previous premiership playoff match during this time in the VFA between Melbourne and Geelong in 1878, but this match did not break a tie at the top of the ladder, as Geelong had a better win-loss record than Melbourne: the match was organized by the VFA to resolve a dispute between the two clubs. In 1897, when eight teams broke away from the VFA to form the VFL, the concept of finals football was high on the agenda, with teams buoyed by the success and attendances of the 1896 Grand Final. Over the following ten years, all top-level Australian football leagues adopted a finals structure. In 1931 the VFL adopted a system, the Page–McIntyre system, which ensured a grand final, the concept became entrenched; the New South Wales Rugby Football League experimented with a finals system in 1908, its inaugural year, but abandoned it the following season.
Finals were reintroduced in 1926, the premiership decider appeared to only be called a "grand final" if it involved the minor premiers. By the 1930s, the NSWRFL adopted the term "grand final" to describe the premiership decider. Up until 1954 a ` grand final' match was only held; the adoption of the VFL's Page–McIntyre system for the 1954 NSWRFL season meant for the first time grand finals would become necessary every season, so the term grand final has become used to describe all premiership deciders. The tradition is maintained by the present-day NRL National Rugby League; the term "Grand Final" was introduced to Europe in 1995 in a different sport—golf. In that year, the Challenge Tour, the official developmental tour for the European Tour, launched its season-ending Challenge Tour Grand Final. British rugby league would adopt the term in two years after the start of Super League; the Super League Grand Final has now become an accepted part of the British scene, the term'grand final'