1975 NSWRFL season
|1975 New South Wales Rugby Football League|
|Premiers||Eastern Suburbs (11th title)|
|Minor premiers||Eastern Suburbs (14th title)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Graham Eadie (242)|
|Player of the year||Steve Rogers (Rothmans Medal)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Johnny Mayes (16)|
The 1975 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 68th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve teams, including six of 1908's foundation clubs and another six from across Sydney competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield during the season, which culminated in a grand final match for the WD & HO Wills Cup between the Eastern Suburbs and St. George clubs. NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1975 Amco Cup.
The season saw the introduction of differential penalties for scrum offences. Each side faced each other twice in twenty-two regular season rounds from March to August, resulting in a top five of Eastern Suburbs, Manly-Warringah, St. George, Canterbury-Bankstown and Western Suburbs who battled it out for the premiership over six finals matches. With three sides finishing in equal fifth place, two elimination finals playoffs also had to be played.
Western Suburbs had 1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player in round 8. After losing two consecutive matches in rounds 2 and 3, defending premiers Eastern Suburbs posted 19 consecutive wins in 1975 to close out the regular season; a streak than ran from round 4 to round 22 and remains the record for the most consecutive wins in premiership history.
- Western Suburbs were stripped of 1 competition point due to an illegal replacement in one game.
Balmain, Parramatta and Western Suburbs tied for fifth place, necessitating a play-off drawn from a hat.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|Western Suburbs||13–18||Parramatta||26 August 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Greg Hartley||9,920|
|Parramatta||19–8||Balmain||28 August 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Gary Cook||19,914|
|Manly-Warringah||3–10||St. George||30 August 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Laurie Bruyeres||23,492|
|Canterbury-Bankstown||5–6||Parramatta||31 August 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Gary Cook||19,312|
|Eastern Suburbs||5–8||St. George||6 September 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Laurie Bruyeres||28,851|
|Manly-Warringah||22–12||Parramatta||7 September 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Gary Cook||26,109|
|Eastern Suburbs||28–13||Manly-Warringah||13 September 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Laurie Bruyeres||31,645|
|St. George||0–38||Eastern Suburbs||20 September 1975||Sydney Cricket Ground||Laurie Bruyeres||63,047|
This was the first grand final to be telecast in colour. The star-studded Eastern Suburbs line up had lost only 2 matches in the 22-game regular season and were clear starting favourites. However, St. George looked a chance early on when utility back "Lord Ted" Goodwin put on a chip and chase. Goodwin collided with Eastern Suburbs' fullback Ian Schubert, came off second best and was out of touch for the remainder of the match. Things were also wrong with captain-coach Graeme Langlands who was struggling with his coordination following an ill-directed pain killing injection that numbed his right leg and severely affected his form.
At half-time, Eastern Suburbs were up 5–0. Just after the break the Roosters' prop Ian McKay crashed over from close range and the floodgates opened. Eastern Suburbs unleashed a torrent of tries with Johnny Mayes, Arthur Beetson, John Brass, Bruce Pickett and boom recruit Schubert all scoring.
Despite his numbed leg, Langlands returned in the second half hoping it would come good. It didn't and he was replaced. By the end of the game, St. George had been completely demoralised by Easts in a 38–0 record Grand Final defeat. Fellow Immortal and peer Australian Captain Arthur Beetson attempted in vain to console the forlorn Langlands at match end.
Eastern Suburbs 38
Tries: Brass (2), Mayes (2), McKay, Beetson, Pickett, Schubert
Goals: Peard (7)
St George 0
- 1975 J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. at rleague.com
- Results: 1971-1980 Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. at rabbitohs.com.au
- NSWRFL 1975 at rugbyleagueproject.org
- "Form over five years". The Sun-Herald. 19 March 1978. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Rugby League Tables - Season 1975 at stats.rleague.com
- "Fans turn Parra blue and gold". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Digital. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- Coady, Ben (2009-09-28). "Grand final dramas". WA Today. Australia: Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Clarkson, Alan (1986-09-26). "The best Grand Finals I've seen". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 77. Retrieved 2010-09-14.