1992 NSWRL season

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1992 New South Wales Rugby League
Teams 16
Premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (1st title)
Minor premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (1st title)
Matches played 182
Points scored 5993
Attendance 2282194
Top points scorer(s) North Sydney colours.svg Daryl Halligan (168)
Player of the year Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer (Rothmans Medal)
Top try-scorer(s) Western Suburbs colours.svg Mark Bell (16)
Balmain colours.svg Tim Brasher (16)

The 1992 New South Wales Rugby League Premiership season was the eighty-fifth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Sixteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield during the season which culminated in a grand final for the Winfield Cup between the Brisbane Broncos, making their grand final debut, and the St. George Dragons.[1]

Season summary[edit]

the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand also took place during the season. Having decided in May that a team from Auckland would join the premiership in 1995, the NSWRL announced in November that three more new clubs — from North Queensland, Perth and a second team from Brisbane — will also be invited.

Twenty-two regular season rounds were played from March till August, resulting in a top five of Brisbane, St. George, Illawarra, Newcastle and Wests, who battled it out in the finals. The 3rd-place finish for the Illawarra Steelers would be the best season they ever had in its time as a standalone club.

The 1992 season's Rothmans Medallist was the Brisbane Broncos' halfback and captain, Allan Langer. The Dally M Award went to Eastern Suburbs' halfback, Gary Freeman, while Western Suburbs forward Paul Langmack was named Rugby League Week's player of the year.

The 1992 season also saw the retirement from the League of future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, Wally Lewis.


The lineup of teams remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive season, with sixteen clubs contesting the 1992 premiership, including five Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, two from elsewhere in New South Wales, two from Queensland, and one from the Australian Capital Territory.

Balmain Tigers
85th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Alan Jones
Captain: Steve Roach
Brisbane Broncos
5th season
Ground: Lang Park
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
11th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Mal Meninga
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Canterbury home jersey 1966.svg
58th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Terry Lamb
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
26th season
Ground: Endeavour Park
Coach: Arthur Beetson
Captain: Dan Stains
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Mark Murray
Captain: Craig Salvatori
Gold Coast Seagulls
5th season
Ground: Seagulls Stadium
Captain & Coach:
Wally Lewis
Illawarra Steelers
11th season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Graham Murray
Captain: John Cross
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
46th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Graham Lowe
Captain: Michael O'Connor
Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights home jersey 1988.svg
5th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: David Waite
Captain: Michael Hagan
North Sydney Bears
85th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Steve Martin
Captain: Peter Jackson
Parramatta Eels
45th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Mick Cronin
Captain: Peter SterlingBrett Kenny
Penrith Panthers
26th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Greg AlexanderJohn Cartwright
South Sydney Rabbitohs
85th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Frank Curry
Captain: Michael Andrews
St. George Dragons
72nd season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Michael Beattie
Western Suburbs Magpies
85th season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Warren Ryan
Captain: Joe ThomasPaul Langmack


Riding the consistent Australian popularity of the "The Best" since its 1989 release, due partially to its use and association with the NSWRL, Tina Turner went into a Los Angeles recording studio in early 1992 with Jimmy Barnes to record a duet version specifically for Australian release.[2] The production capitalised on the complementary vocal styles of Turner and Barnes and also features Barnes' brother-in-law Johnny Diesel on guitar.

A simple black-and-white film clip shot around the recording sessions was produced and the track was released and renamed "Simply the Best" to coincide with the 1992 NSWRL season. That year the track peaked at #13 on the Australian charts.

In 1992 and 1993 the League and its advertising agency Hertz Walpole would use the new duet performance of the song in the season launch ads. Excerpts from the black-and-white film clip start the 1992 ad with firstly Tina and then Barnes in wistful solo shots before coming together and displaying a camaraderie that's intended to capture the good times they appear to have had in recording the track. Diesel also appears in the black-and-white footage before the ad bursts into colour with the standard fare of big hits and previous season action.


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (P) 22 18 0 4 506 311 +195 36
2 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 15 0 7 401 283 +118 30
3 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 22 13 1 8 318 259 +59 27
4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 22 12 2 8 363 267 +96 26
5 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 22 12 1 9 356 327 +29 25
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 22 12 0 10 392 319 +73 24
7 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 22 10 2 10 423 417 +6 22
8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 22 10 2 10 334 335 -1 22
9 Panthers colours.svg Penrith 22 11 0 11 274 309 -35 22
10 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 22 10 1 11 402 398 +4 21
11 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 22 10 1 11 376 381 -5 21
12 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 22 10 0 12 435 409 +26 20
13 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 22 8 0 14 284 395 -111 16
14 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 22 7 0 15 429 533 -104 14
15 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 22 6 1 15 276 491 -215 13
16 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast 22 6 1 15 288 423 -135 11
  • Gold Coast Seagulls were docked 2 points due to exceeding the replacement limit in one game.


A great advertisement for the expansion of the game was the appearance of three non-Sydney teams in the final five - Brisbane, Illawarra and Newcastle. The "steel-city-cousins", Illawarra and Newcastle, both won their first semi finals from their first attempt, Illawarra defeating St George and Newcastle downing Wests.

An all non-Sydney grand final was a real possibility, with Illawarra and St George meeting a second time in the preliminary final with Brisbane waiting to play the winner in the grand final.

The Dragons played two of the lowest scoring matches in finals history as they beat the Newcastle Knights 3-2 in the semi final and the Illawarra Steelers 4-0 in the preliminary final.

The preliminary final saw four disallowed tries with Saints denied once in the first half and Illawarra three times in the second half. Illawarra looked as though they were going to finish on top and began opening up the St George defence, only to be denied twice by referee Greg McCallum for forward passes. A late attacking movement from the Steelers saw winger Allan McIndoe excitedly appeal for a try off a John Simon grubber kick but was denied by the in-goal touch judge. St George had held on to win 4-0 and ensure a Sydney club appeared in the grand final once again (this Sydney representation in grand finals would be maintained until 2006).

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 16–18 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 5 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley 28,521
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 21–2 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs Magpies 6 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 28,571
Semi Finals
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 22–12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 12 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 38,859
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 3–2 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 13 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Graeme Annesley 38,772
Preliminary Final
Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 0–4 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 20 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 38,928
Grand Final
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 28-8 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 27 September 1992 Sydney Football Stadium Greg McCallum 41,560


  Qualifying/Elimination Final Major/Minor Semi Final Preliminary Final Grand Final
1  Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 22  
     Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 12          Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 28
2  St. George colours.svg St. George 16      Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 0    St. George colours.svg St. George 8
3  Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 18        St. George colours.svg St. George 4  
 St. George colours.svg St. George 3
4  Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 21    Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 2  
5  Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 2

Grand Final[edit]

In their fifth year of competition, Brisbane finally put together the right combination to reach the grand final. Their big names in Langer, Renouf, Hancock and Lazarus had been unstoppable all year and helped the club power their way straight through the finals. This meant the Broncos went into the grand final as favourites.[3]

The 1992 grand final was played on the afternoon of Sunday, 27 September at the Sydney Football Stadium before a crowd of 41,560.[4] For the pre-match entertainment, Debbie Byrne sang I Still Call Australia Home in a duet with the late Peter Allen, thanks to video on the big screen. Yothu Yindi also performed, and Jodie Gillies sang the national anthem.[5]

Brisbane Broncos Position St George
Julian O'Neill FB Mick Potter
Michael Hancock WG Ricky Walford
Steve Renouf CE Mark Coyne
Chris Johns CE Michael Beattie (c)
Willie Carne WG Ian Herron
Kevin Walters FE Peter Coyne
Allan Langer (c) HB Noel Goldthorpe
Glenn Lazarus PR Tony Priddle
Kerrod Walters HK Wayne Collins
Gavin Allen PR Neil Tierney
Trevor Gillmeister SR David Barnhill
Alan Cann SR Scott Gourley
Terry Matterson LK Jeff Hardy
Mark Hohn Bench Brad Mackay
Andrew Gee Bench Matthew Elliott
John Plath Bench Tony Smith
Tony Currie Bench Rex Terp
Wayne Bennett Coach Brian Smith

Referee Greg McCallum blew time on and early in the first half St. George came very close to scoring first when Ricky Walford dived over in the corner, but had only just slipped into touch. Around the ten-minute mark Brisbane were on the attack when on the last tackle Allan Langer cleverly stepped and passed inside to Gavin Allen who charged at the line, drawing the defence before flicking the ball back in to the little half to nip in and score untouched beneath posts. Terry Matterson kicked the simplest of conversions to make it 6-0 in favour of the Broncos. The Dragons hit back about five minute later when Scott Gourley charged from just within his own half and produced a remarkable off-load for Michael Beattie in support,[6] who then passed it out for Walford to race off and score in the right-hand corner.[7] Ian Herron hooked the conversion attempt so Brisbane remained in the lead at 6-4. Both sides then came close to scoring from kicks but no further points were posted before half-time.

In the second half the Broncos ran away with the game. About ten minutes in and after winning a scrum close to the Dragons try-line, Langer scurried through the defence from dummy-half and reached out to put the ball down. Terry Matterson kicked the extras and Brisbane's lead was now 12-4. A few minutes later they scored again when, about thirty metres out, the Broncos again decided to run on the fifth tackle, the ball reaching Alan Cann who beat several defenders to put it down.[8] Matterson kicked the extras so now Brisbane led 18-4. Around the midpoint of the second half, after Willie Carne did well to return a kick from his own in goal to the field of play before being tackled, the Broncos decided to swing the ball left, out to centre Steve Renouf, who took off on a 90-metre run to the try-line in what was a defining moment in the game and the Broncos' season.[9] Matterson missed the conversion attempt so the score remained at 22-4. About five minutes later Cann scored a second try when he ran from over twenty metres out, stepping past lazy defence to score untouched. The extras were kicked successfully this time by Matterson, giving the Bronocos a lead of 28-4. In the seventy-ninth minute St. George got a consolation try when Scott Gourley crossed in the right corner and as the full-time siren sounded, Herron's kick from the sideline missed leaving the final score Brisbane 28, St. George 8.[10]

Brisbane Broncos 28
Tries: Langer 2, Cann 2, Renouf
Goals: Matterson 4/5

St. George Dragons 8
Tries: Walford, Gourley
Goals: Herron 0/2

For Langer to play as he did, after a week of hearing how St George must stop him, confirms he deserves to be talked about with Peter Sterling and Wally Lewis as one of the three best players of the past decade.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 1992[11]

The win enabled Brisbane captain Allan Langer, in his first year in the role, to hoist the Winfield Cup and bear the trophy and title back to Queensland. As a result of his two-try performance, Langer also became the first Queenslander to be awarded the Clive Churchill Medal. Brisbane thus became the second non New South Wales team to win the premiership after the Canberra Raiders previous victories in 1989 and 1990.

World Club Challenge[edit]

On the 31st of October the Broncos travelled to England to play in the World Club Challenge against British champions, Wigan. Brisbane became the first team since 1975's premiers, Eastern Suburbs, to defeat the English champions, and the first to do so on English soil, winning the match 22 - 8 in front of 17,460 spectators.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1992 J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. at rleague.com
  2. ^ Creswell, Toby and Trenoweth, Samantha (2006). 1001 Australians You Should Know. Australia: Pluto Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-86403-361-8. 
  3. ^ Hadfield, Dave (26 February 1992). "Brisbane backs on parade". The Independent. UK: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  4. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Stephens, Tony (27 September 1992). "No hard Feelings, the Broncos deserved to win". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 1. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Sarno, Tony (27 September 1992). "Forget the Tactics, the Broncos were just too good". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 47. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  7. ^ MacDonald, John (27 September 1992). "The Bennett Stamp carries new Premiers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 26. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Masters, Roy (27 September 1992). "Broncos rejoice, but the plotting begins". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 27. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Heads, Ian (27 September 1992). "This will take League into the 21st Century". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 48. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "NRL Finals in the 1990s". sportal.com.au. Retrieved 30 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Williams, Daniel (27 September 1992). "Beaten Saints take Defeat on the Chin". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 47. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 

External links[edit]