1975 NSWRFL season

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1975 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (11th title)
Minor premiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (13th title)
Matches played140
Points scored4444
Top points scorer(s)Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Graham Eadie (242)
Player of the yearCronulla colours.svg Steve Rogers (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 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.[1] NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1975 Amco Cup.

Season summary[edit]

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,[2] 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.[3]

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.

The 1975 season's Rothmans Medallist was Cronulla-Sutherland centre Steve Rogers. Rugby League Week gave their player of the year award to Manly-Warringah back Bob Fulton.


Balmain Tigers
68th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Paul Broughton
Captain: Brian Lockwood, Keith Outten
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Canterbury home jersey 1966.svg
45th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Malcolm Clift
Captain(s): John Peek, Barry Phillis
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
9th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Johnny Raper
Captain: Greg Pierce
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
68th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Jack Gibson
Captain: Arthur Beetson
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly home jersey 1972.png

29th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Frank Stanton
Captain(s): Bob Fulton / Mal Reilly
Newtown Jets
Newtown Jets home jersey 1972.svg
68th season
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Clarrie Jeffries
Captain: Barry Cox
North Sydney Bears
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1951.svg
68th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Noel Kelly
Captain: Bruce Walker
Parramatta Eels
29th season
Ground: Cumberland Oval
Coach: Norm Provan
Captain(s): John Baker,→ Denis Fitzgerald
Penrith Panthers
9th season
Ground: Penrith Football Stadium
Coach: Barry Harris & Mike Stephenson
Captain: Zac Olejarnik
South Sydney Rabbitohs
68th season
Ground: Redfern Oval
Coach(s): Clive Churchill / Bob McCarthy
Captain: Bob McCarthy
St. George Dragons
55th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Captain-coach: Graeme Langlands
Western Suburbs Magpies
68th season
Ground: Lidcombe Oval
Coach: Don Parish
Captain: Tom Raudonikis


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 22 20 0 2 431 198 +233 40
2 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 22 15 0 7 439 314 +125 30
3 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 12 2 8 341 294 +47 26
4 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 22 11 2 9 330 287 +43 24
5 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 22 10 2 10 365 289 +76 21
6 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 22 10 1 11 391 373 +18 21
7 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 22 10 1 11 288 357 -69 21
8 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 22 9 1 12 370 375 -5 19
9 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 22 9 0 13 322 414 -92 18
10 Newtown colours.svg Newtown Jets 22 7 2 13 349 422 -73 16
11 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 22 7 1 14 312 452 -140 15
12 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 22 6 0 16 298 461 -163 12
  • 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.[4]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 13–18 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 26 August 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Greg Hartley 9,920
Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 19–8 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 28 August 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 19,914
Qualifying Finals
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 3–10 St. George colours.svg St. George 30 August 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Laurie Bruyeres 23,492
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 5–6 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 31 August 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 19,312
Semi Finals
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 5–8 St. George colours.svg St. George 6 September 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Laurie Bruyeres 28,851
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 22–12 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 7 September 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Gary Cook 26,109
Preliminary Final
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 28–13 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 13 September 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Laurie Bruyeres 31,645
Grand Final
St. George colours.svg St. George 0–38 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 20 September 1975 Sydney Cricket Ground Laurie Bruyeres 63,047[5]

Grand Final[edit]

St George Position Eastern Suburbs
Graeme Langlands (c) FB Ian Schubert
Paul Mills WG Bruce Pickett
Roy Ferguson CE John Brass
Ted Goodwin CE John Rheinberger
John Chapman WG Bill Mullins
John Bailey FE John Peard
Billy Smith HB Johnny Mayes
Henry Tatana PR Ian Mackay
Steve Edge HK Elwyn Walters
Barry Beath PR Grant Hedger
Peter Fitzgerald SR Arthur Beetson (c)
Robert Stone SR Ron Coote
Lindsay Drake LK Kevin Stevens
Bruce Starkey Res. Bunny Reilly
Robert Finch Res. Des O'Reilly
Graeme Langlands Coach Jack Gibson

This was the first grand final to be telecast in colour.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.

Easts' eight tries in the Grand Final matched South Sydney's record achievement in the 1951 final (subsequently equalled again by Manly in 2008).

Eastern Suburbs 38
Tries: Brass (2), Mayes (2), McKay, Beetson, Pickett, Schubert
Goals: Peard (7)

St George 0


  1. ^ 1975 J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup Archived May 25, 2012[Date mismatch], at the Wayback Machine at rleague.com
  2. ^ Results: 1971-1980 Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine at rabbitohs.com.au
  3. ^ NSWRFL 1975 at rugbyleagueproject.org
  4. ^ "Form over five years". The Sun-Herald. 19 March 1978. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  5. ^ Rugby League Tables - Season 1975 Archived 2007-03-23 at the Wayback Machine at stats.rleague.com
  6. ^ "Fans turn Parra blue and gold". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Digital. 2009-10-02. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
  7. ^ Coady, Ben (2009-09-28). "Grand final dramas". WA Today. Australia: Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  8. ^ Clarkson, Alan (1986-09-26). "The best Grand Finals I've seen". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 77. Retrieved 2010-09-14.