1967 NSWRFL season

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1967 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersSouth Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (17th title)
Minor premiersSt. George colours.svg St. George (13th title)
Matches played136
Points scored3827
Top points scorer(s)South Sydney colours.svg Eric Simms (233)
Top try-scorer(s)Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Les Hanigan (16)

The 1967 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 60th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. The introduction of the Cronulla-Sutherland and Penrith clubs saw a total of twelve teams from across the Sydney area compete for the J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between South Sydney and Canterbury-Bankstown. This was also the first live televised broadcast of a football grand final of any code in Australia.[1]

Season summary[edit]

The 1967 season was the first played under the limited tackle rule, replacing the previous era (since the code's 1908 inception) of unlimited tackles.[2] The number of tackles was four and would remain at that number for only four years before being increased to six in 1971.

Also this season Lidcombe Oval became the Western Suburbs club's homeground.

The twelve sides met each other twice in twenty-two regular premiership rounds before the top four teams battled out four finals. For the sixth consecutive season the St. George Dragons finished as minor premiers. The two newcomers to the premiership, Penrith and Cronulla-Sutherland, finished the season second last and last respectively.

In 1967 the Nine Network reached agreement with the NSWRFL for a fee of $5,000 for TV broadcasting rights for the grand final.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs won their seventeenth premiership, defeating Canterbury-Bankstown in their first grand final since 1947. This finally spelled the end for St. George's monopoly on Grand Final wins which lasted over a decade, and commenced a new period of Souths' dominance, in which they would win four premierships in a five-year period.

The 1967 season also saw the retirement from the League of future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, Reg Gasnier.


1967 saw the NSWRFL expand to twelve teams with the introduction of the Penrith and the Cronulla-Sutherland clubs.[3] This was the first time the number of clubs had increased since 1947 and the first time ever the number of clubs competing totalled more than ten.

60th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Captain-coach: Keith Barnes
Canterbury home jersey 1966.svg
33rd season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Captain-coach: Kevin Ryan
1st season
Ground: Sutherland Oval
Coach: Ken Kearney
Captain: Monty Porter
Eastern Suburbs
60th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Jack Gibson
Captain: Jim Matthews
21st season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Wally O'Connell
Captain: Ken Day, Fred Jones
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
60th season
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Dick Poole
Captain: Brian Graham
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1951.svg
North Sydney
60th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Billy Wilson
Captain: Colin Greenwood
21st season
Ground: Cumberland Oval
Captain-coach: Brian Hambly
1st season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Leo Trevena
Captain: Tony BrownLaurie Fagan
South Sydney
60th season
Ground: Redfern Oval
Coach: Clive Churchill
Captain: John Sattler
St. George
47th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Captain-Coach: Ian Walsh
Western Suburbs
60th season
Ground: Lidcombe Oval
Captain-Coach: Noel Kelly


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 16 1 5 437 267 +170 33
2 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 22 16 0 6 422 271 +151 32
3 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 22 14 1 7 349 269 +80 29
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 22 13 2 7 269 219 +50 28
5 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 22 12 2 8 365 271 +94 26
6 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 22 12 2 8 344 258 +86 26
7 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 22 10 2 10 269 255 +14 22
8 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 22 8 1 13 297 370 -73 17
9 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 22 8 0 14 309 322 -13 16
10 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 22 7 2 13 274 406 -132 16
11 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 22 5 2 15 203 352 -149 12
12 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 22 3 1 18 208 486 -278 7


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 13-2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 26 August 1967 Sydney Cricket Ground Col Pearce 47,186
St. George colours.svg St. George 8-13 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 2 September 1967 Sydney Cricket Ground Col Pearce 51,915
Preliminary Final
St. George colours.svg St. George 11-12 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 9 September 1967 Sydney Cricket Ground Col Pearce 49,941
Grand Final
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 12-10 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 16 September 1967 Sydney Cricket Ground Col Pearce 56,358

Grand Final[edit]

Canterbury-Bankstown Position South Sydney
Les Johns FB Kevin Longbottom
Barry Reynolds WG Brian James
Bob Hagan CE Eric Simms
Johnny Greaves CE Bob Moses
Clive Gartner WG Michael Cleary
Bob Doyle FE Jim Lisle
Ross Kidd HB Ivan Jones
Kevin Ryan (Ca./Co.) PR John Sattler (c)
Col Brown HK Elwyn Walters
Merv Hicks PR John O'Neill
Kevin Goldspink SR Bob McCarthy
George Taylforth SR Alan Scott
Ron Raper LK Ron Coote
Coach Clive Churchill

Live television broadcast coverage of grand finals commenced in 1967 with the match being shown on all four Sydney channels. As a result, the crowd of 56,358 was the lowest seen at a grand final since the rainy 1962 St George and Wests decider.[4]

South Sydney, led by new skipper John Sattler, began their period of dominance by downing Canterbury in a torrid 80 minutes played in bleak conditions with a light rain throughout. Taylforth and Eric Simms opened accounts with early goals, before John O'Neill barged over for a close-range try from dummy half. Canterbury's Ron Raper responded with a field-goal kicked from halfway and then Taylforth punished Souths with two successful penalty goals after firstly a clash between Kevin Ryan and O'Neill and then a scrum infringement. Canterbury led 8-5.

A turning point came just before half-time when Rabbitohs second rower Bob McCarthy swooped on a lofted pass from Canterbury's Col Brown intended for Johnny Greaves and ran the length of the field to take Souths into the break with a 10-8 lead.

Taylforth kicked his fourth goal to take the scores level nine minutes into the second-half but from that point on the match became a tight arm wrestle. With five minutes remaining Canterbury's Ross Kidd was penalised for a scrum feed and Simms kicked the Rabbitohs to a two point lead which they held to give them their 17th premiership title.[5]

It marked the beginning of a new golden period for Souths and Ron Coote, Mike Cleary, Bob McCarthy, O'Neill, Sattler and Simms would win four premierships in the next five seasons and figure prominently in representative squads of that period.

South Sydney 12 (Tries: O,Neill, McCarthy. Goals: Simms 3)

Canterbury-Bankstown 10 (Goals: Taylforth 4. Fld Goal: Raper)


  1. ^ Masters, Roy (4 October 2009). "Messenger can watch a better league broadcast in the US than south of the border". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  2. ^ Middleton, David (2008). League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia (PDF). National Museum of Australia. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-876944-64-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2010.
  3. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  4. ^ Big League, 13 July 2006 p.7
  5. ^ Clarkson, Alan (26 September 1986). "The best Grand Finals I've seen". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 77. Retrieved 14 September 2010.

External links[edit]