1984–85 Rugby Football League season

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1984–85 Rugby Football League season
Slalom Lager Championship
Number of teams 16
Champions HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
Premiership winners Saintscolours.svg St Helens
Man of Steel Bullscolours.svg Ellery Hanley
Top point-scorer(s) Saintscolours.svg Sean Day 362
Top try-scorer(s) Bullscolours.svg Ellery Hanley 55
Promotion and relegation
Promoted from Second Division Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
Redscolours.svg Salford
Yorkcolours.svg York
Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury
Relegated to Second Division Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
Leigh colours.svg Leigh
Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town
Second Division
Champions Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
Top try-scorer(s) Haven colours.svg Vince Gribbin 27
< 1983–84 Seasons 1985–86 >

The 1984–85 Rugby Football League season was the 90th ever season of professional rugby league football in Britain. Sixteen teams played each other from August, 1984 until May, 1985 for the Slalom Lager Championship. Also these 16 teams plus several more competed for the Challenge Cup.

Season summary[edit]

On 21 October 1984 Peter Wood kicked a record-equalling five drop goals for Runcorn Highfield in a match against Batley. On October 28, two tries by Mal Meninga inspire St. Helens, to beat Wigan 26–18, and win the Lancashire Cup for the first time in 16 years.

The 1985 Man of Steel award went to Bradford Northern utility back, Ellery Hanley. He also became the first man to score more than 50 tries in a season since Billy Boston, and the first non-winger to reach this figure for 70 years.

The increase of the Second Division to 20 teams meant that it would have taken 38 rounds to play out a full double round robin, which was considered too many matches, so a complicated fixture formula was used to reduce it to 28. For this season, Huyton relocated and were renamed Runcorn Highfield, Cardiff City Blue Dragons relocated and were renamed Bridgend Blue Dragons, and Kent Invicta relocated and were renamed were Southend Invicta, Huddersfield were renamed Huddersfield Barracudas, and Mansfield Marksman, and Sheffield Eagles joined the Second Division.

St. Helens beat Wigan 26–18 to win the Lancashire Cup, and Hull beat Hull Kingston Rovers 29–12 to win the Yorkshire Cup.

Championship[edit]

Hull Kingston Rovers finished on top of the First Division table to claim their fifth championship.

Challenge Cup[edit]

The 1984–85 Silk Cut Challenge Cup was won by Wigan after defeating Hull in the final.

The Final was played on 4 May at Wembley before a crowd of 99,801 and is arguably the greatest ever in Challenge Cup history.[2] Just after half-time Hull were 22 – 8 down before staging a fight back, but Wigan held on to win 28–24, ushering in an era of dominance for the club.[3]

Referee: Ron Campbell (Widnes)

Teams:
Wigan: S. Edwards; J. Ferguson, D. Stephenson, S. Donlan, H. Gill; B. Kenny, M. Ford; N. Courtney, N. Kiss, B. Case (D. Campbell), G. West (capt), B. Dunn, I. Potter (N. Du Toit); .
Coaches: Colin Clarke & Alan McInnes.[4]

Hull: G. Kemble; K. James, S. Evans, J. Leuluai, D. O'Hara (G. Schofield); F. Ah Kuoi, P. Sterling; L. Crooks (capt), S. Patrick, N. Puckering (G. Divorty), J. Muggleton, P. Rose, S. Norton.
Coach: Arthur Bunting.

Wigan 28: Tries: Ferguson (2), Edwards, Kenny, Gill Goals: Gill (3), Stephenson.
Hull 24: Tries: Leuluai (2), James, Divorty, Evans. Goals: Crooks (2).

Lance Todd Trophy winner: Brett Kenny

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995–1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 299. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  2. ^ "5. Wigan v Hull Challenge Cup final, 4 May 1985". Great Sporting Moments: Rugby League (London: independent.co.uk). 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  3. ^ Baker, Andrew (1995-08-20). "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". Independent, The (London: independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  4. ^ "Gill's grin lights up 1985 final" (27 February 2004) bbc.co.uk

Sources[edit]