1995 ARL season

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1995 Australian Rugby League
Arl 1995.jpg
Teams 20
Premiers Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs (7th title)
Minor premiers Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah (7th title)
Matches played 229
Points scored 5370 (total)
23.45 (per match)
Attendance 3,352,927 (total)
14,642 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) North Sydney colours.svg Jason Taylor (242)
Top try scorer(s) Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Steve Menzies (22)

The 1995 ARL premiership was the 88th season of professional rugby league football in Australia, and the first to be run by the Australian Rugby League. For the first time since 1988, the League expanded again, with the addition of four new clubs[1] from North Queensland, Western Australia, South Queensland and Auckland. A total of twenty teams, the largest premiership in Australian rugby league history, competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season which culminated in a grand final between the newly re-branded Sydney Bulldogs and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

Season summary[edit]

When the Australian Rugby League began taking bids for additional teams to begin playing in 1995, it was expected that only two teams would enter. The Auckland Warriors were the first club to be accepted, with the final place being fought for by South Queensland, North Queensland and Perth. The Australian Rugby League later announced that all three clubs had been accepted, taking the number of teams from 16 in 1994 to 20 in 1995, the highest it had ever been and would ever be.

1995 would also prove to be a year of massive change for the competition in other ways. In addition to the introduction of four new teams, it was the last year of the permiership's association with Rothmans and the Winfield brand and consequently the final year that clubs competed for the Winfield Cup.

The storm clouds that had been gathering for some time in the form of rumours and speculation about Super League were to break on 1 April 1995 with a verification that would rain on the game with more force than anyone could have expected. The subsequent Super League war would rock the sport in Australia and set it back almost a decade in terms of its loss of public support and damage to its grass roots values.

The 1995 season was played in front of a background of legal actions, breaking friendships and with clubs, players and managers all jockeying for position and self-interest. Players who had signed with the new Super League venture were forbidden by the ARL from participating in the 1995 State of Origin. Queensland and New South Wales selectors were limited to selecting players only from ARL-aligned clubs.

The usual twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August. However the large number of teams meant a resulting top eight would battle it out in the finals rather than the usual five. These were Manly, Canberra, Brisbane, Cronulla, Newcastle, Bulldogs, St. George and Norths (who made it in due to Auckland being penalised for an interchange infringement). Cronulla-Sutherland's halfback Paul Green was awarded the 1995 Rothmans Medal. The Dally M Award was given to Canberra's five-eighth, Laurie Daley who was also named Rugby League Week's player of the year. Manly-Warringah's Steve Menzies became the first forward for 50 years to top the season's try-scoring list.

By the end of the regular season, the ARL's inaugural 20-team competition had set a new record for aggregate match attendances of 3,061,338.[2]

Advertising[edit]

1995 marked the final year of the New South Wales Rugby League's sponsorship arrangement with Rothmans and Winfield. It was consequently the final year of a seven-year association with Tina Turner and the end of an era in Australian sports marketing.

With a lock-up-your-daughters, kick-off your suspenders, red-blooded Tina Turner marketing blitz, the ARL had stuck it right up the other footy codes.

Ray Martin, 1999[3]

As in 1994 the New South Wales Rugby League and its advertising agency Hertz Walpole returned to the original 1989 recording of The Best by Turner to underscore the season launch advertisement. Footage from the studio bluescreen shoot taken during Turner's 1993 Sydney visit was used in the final advertisements. The enduring images are of Turner performing the song on an elevated stage in front of the fluttering banners of the 20 clubs that would participate in 1995's expanded competition.

Teams[edit]

With the addition of the Auckland Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds the 1995 season involved an unprecedented twenty clubs, [4] including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, two from greater New South Wales, two from Brisbane, two from greater Queensland, and one each from New Zealand, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia, who all contested the premiership, making it the largest competition in terms of participation in Australia's history.

We haven't brought these teams into the Winfield Cup just to see them dropped after one season

Australian Rugby League boss, Ken Arthurson, 1995[5]

With the storm that would be the Super League war already brewing in the background, three clubs based in Sydney suburbs, in an effort to position themselves favourably as battle lines were being drawn up, re-branded themselves for the 1995 season with less geographically distinct names: the Balmain Tigers became the 'Sydney Tigers', the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs became the 'Sydney Bulldogs', and the Eastern Suburbs Roosters became the 'Sydney City Roosters'.

New Zealand home jersey 1995.svg
Auckland Warriors
1st season
Ground: Ericsson Stadium
Coach: John Monie
Captain: Dean Bell
Brisbane Broncos
8th season
Ground: ANZ Stadium
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
14th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Ricky Stuart
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
29th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: John Lang
Captain: Andrew Ettinghausen
Gold Coast Seagulls
8th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Coach: John Harvey
Captain: Craig Coleman
Illawarra Steelers
14th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham MurrayAllan Fitzgibbon
Captain: John Cross
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
49th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Geoff Toovey
Newcastle Knights home jersey 1988.svg
Newcastle Knights
8th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
Captain: Mark SargentPaul Harragon
North Queensland Cowboys
1st season
Ground: Stockland Stadium
Coach: Grant Bell
Captain: various
North Sydney Bears
88th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Peter Louis
Captain: Jason Taylor
Parramatta Eels
49th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Ron Hilditch
Captain: Paul Dunn
Penrith Panthers
29th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Royce Simmons
Captain: John Cartwright
Canterbury home jersey 1966.svg
Sydney Bulldogs
61st season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Sydney City Roosters
88th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Sean Garlick
Sydney Tigers
88th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Wayne Pearce
Captain: Paul Sironen
South Queensland Crushers home jersey 1995.svg
South Queensland Crushers
1st season
Ground: Suncorp Stadium
Coach: Bill GardnerBob Lindner
Captain: Mario FenechTrevor Gillmeister
South Sydney Rabbitohs
88th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Ken Shine
Captain: Lee JacksonCraig Field
St. George Dragons
75th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Mark Coyne
Western Reds
1st season
Ground: WACA Ground
Coach: Peter Mulholland
Captain: Brad Mackay
Western Suburbs Magpies
88th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Tommy Raudonikis
Captain: Paul Langmack

Ladder[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 22 20 0 2 687 248 +439 40
2 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 22 20 0 2 634 255 +379 40
3 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 22 17 0 5 600 364 +236 34
4 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla 22 16 0 6 516 287 +229 32
5 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 22 15 0 7 549 396 +153 30
6 Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 22 14 0 8 468 352 +116 28
7 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 13 0 9 583 382 +201 26
8 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 22 11 2 9 542 331 +211 24
9 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City 22 12 0 10 466 406 +60 24
10 Auckland colours.svg Auckland 22 13 0 9 544 493 +51 24
11 Western Reds colours.svg Western Reds 22 11 0 11 361 549 -188 22
12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 22 10 1 11 519 431 +88 21
13 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 22 10 0 12 459 534 -75 20
14 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 22 9 0 13 481 484 -3 18
15 Balmain colours.svg Sydney Tigers 22 7 0 15 309 591 -282 14
16 South Queensland colours.svg South Queensland 22 6 1 15 303 502 -199 13
17 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast 22 4 1 17 350 628 -278 9
18 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 22 4 1 17 319 686 -367 9
19 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 22 3 0 19 310 690 -380 6
20 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 22 2 0 20 269 660 -391 4
  • Auckland Warriors were stripped of 2 competition points due to exceeding the replacement limit in round 3.

Ladder progression[edit]

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 8.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 30 32 32 34 36 38 40
2 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18 20 22 24 26 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
3 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 14 16 18 18 18 20 22 22 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
4 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 0 2 2 4 6 8 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
5 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18 20 22 24 24 26 28 28 28 30 30 30 30
6 Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 2 4 6 6 8 8 8 10 10 12 12 14 14 16 18 20 20 22 24 24 26 28
7 St. George colours.svg St. George 0 0 0 2 2 2 4 4 6 8 8 8 10 12 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
8 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 10 10 12 14 16 16 16 18 20 22 23 24
9 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City 0 2 2 4 4 6 8 8 10 12 14 14 14 14 14 16 16 18 20 22 22 24
10 Auckland colours.svg Auckland 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 22 24 24 24
11 Western Reds colours.svg Western Reds 2 2 4 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 10 10 12 14 14 16 18 18 20 22 22
12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 0 2 2 4 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 9 9 9 9 11 13 15 15 17 19 21
13 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 2 2 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 12 14 16 16 18 18 18 20 20 20 20 20 20
14 Panthers colours.svg Penrith 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 18
15 Balmain colours.svg Sydney Tigers 2 2 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 8 8 10 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 14 14
16 South Queensland colours.svg South Queensland 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 5 5 7 7 7 9 9 9 11 11 11 13 13 13 13
17 Gold Coast 0 0 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 9
18 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 8 8 8 9 9
19 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
20 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


Finals[edit]

A new finals system involving eight teams instead of the previous five was introduced for the expanded 1995 competition.[6] The final eight was to be made of four clubs who would ultimately prove loyal to the Australian Rugby League (Manly-Warringah, St. George, North Sydney and Newcastle) and four clubs who would join Super League's rebel ranks (Sydney Bulldogs, Canberra, Brisbane and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks). The Grand Final was played out by a team from each faction, being the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Sydney Bulldogs.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Quarter Finals
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 20-10 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears 1 September 1995 Parramatta Stadium David Manson 14,174
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 14-8 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 2 September 1995 Suncorp Stadium Kelvin Jeffes 40,187
Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 12-8 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 2 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 26,835
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-20 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 3 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Paul McBlane 32,795
Semi Finals
Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18-19 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 9 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 26,061
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 10-24 Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 10 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium David Manson 34,087
Preliminary Finals
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 6-25 Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 16 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 36,894
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12-4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 17 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium David Manson 38,874
Grand Final
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4-17 Canterbury colours.svg Sydney Bulldogs 24 September 1995 Sydney Football Stadium Eddie Ward 41,127

Grand Final[edit]

Sydney Bulldogs Posit. Manly-Warringah
Rod Silva FB Matthew Ridge
Jason Williams WG Craig Hancock
John Timu CE Danny Moore
Matthew Ryan CE Terry Hill
Darryl Halligan WG John Hopoate
Terry Lamb (c) FE Cliff Lyons
Craig Polla-Mounter HB Geoff Toovey (c)
Darren Britt PR David Gillespie
Jason Hetherington HK Des Hasler
Dean Pay PR Mark Carroll
Steve Price SR Steve Menzies
Simon Gillies SR Ian Roberts
Jim Dymock LK Nik Kosef
Jason Smith Res. Owen Cunningham
Glen Hughes Res. Daniel Gartner
Mitch Newton Res. Solomon Haumono
Chris Anderson Coach Bob Fulton

Having finished in sixth place at the end of the regular season, the Bulldogs managed a history-making finals surge, winning three sudden death matches to make the grand final. Canterbury were ahead at half-time 6-4. They lost the scrum count 3-5 and the penalty count 9-10. Manly's 22-3 season win/loss record was the best not to have secured the premiership.

At game's end Lamb enjoyed the rare honour of celebrating as a retiring victorious skipper, although he surprisingly returned for the 1996 season.

The performance of Eddie Ward, refereeing his first grand final, was subject to some post match controversy.[7][8][9] Rugby League Week commented: "Two of Canterbury's three tries appeared to have resulted from borderline passes, another came on the seventh tackle, and a fourth - which in fact was a fair try - was disallowed"[10]

Sydney Bulldogs 17 (Tries: Price, Hughes, Silva. Goals: Halligan 2/5. Field Goal: Lamb.)

Manly-Warringah 4 (Goals: Ridge 2.)

Clive Churchill Medallist: Jim Dymock[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 167. ISBN 9780702235368. 
  2. ^ "Gallop salutes NRL's march forward - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  3. ^ Ray Martin (1999-10-03). "Why my beloved Rabbitohs can't die". The Sun-Herald (Fairfax Digital). p. 69. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  4. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Hadfield, Dave (1995-03-13). "Winfield plan threatened by revolt". The Independent (London: independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  6. ^ "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "6 Referee/Umpire Blunders « The Grandstand Sports Lists". Lists.thegrandstand.net. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  8. ^ "Grand Final Dramas( No. 8)". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Greatest gaffes by those in charge | Knockout Polls". Fox Sports. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  10. ^ Rugby League Week, Vol. 26 No. 34, p. 20
  11. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Retrieved 8 September 2013.