1997 Illawarra Steelers season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Illawarra Steelers
1997 season
CEO Australia Bob Millward
Head Coach Australia Andrew Farrar
Captain Australia Paul McGregor
NRL 6th (out of 12)
Top try scorer Club: Wayne Clifford (14)
Top points scorer Club: Wayne Clifford (56)
Highest home attendance 12,089 (vs. Gold Coast Chargers, 30 August 1997, at WIN Stadium)
Lowest home attendance 5,546 (vs. Western Suburbs Magpies, 10 May 1997, at WIN Stadium)
Average home attendance 8,695

The 1997 Illawarra Steelers season was the sixteenth in the club's history. The side made its second appearance in the play-offs, the first ending with the infamous 1992 semi-finals 4-0 loss to the St. George Dragons. Whilst making the finals, the season ultimately ended up as a disappointment, losing in the first week to the Gold Coast Chargers. Many expected them to win this match easily as they had beaten their opponents comfortably 28-6 the week before.

Season Summary[edit]

The Steelers lost many players before the start of this season, including veterans Neil Piccinelli, David Riolo, Brendan O'Meara and Darren Fritz, leaving a massive hole to fill by many inexperienced juniors. They gained only halfback/hooker Will Robinson from Souths. The beginning of the season looked promising for the Steelers with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss from the first six games, sitting third on the ladder. They failed to win any of their next seven games, which included 2 draws. The middle of season didn't suggest a good outcome for the end of the season. To their credit however, they won the next four out of five games and the final two games of the season when they knew a finals berth was on the line. A 25-14 loss at Parramatta Stadium to the hands of the Gold Coast Chargers in the first week of the finals spelt disaster on a season which could have produced so much more during this year without some formidable sides who were competing in the rival Telstra Super League tournament.

Player Movements[edit]

Gains

Player Previous Club
Will Robinson South Sydney Rabbitohs

Losses

Player Joined Club
Paul Carige Parramatta Eels
Darrien Doherty Hunter Mariners
Darren Fritz North Sydney Bears
Brendan O'Meara South Sydney Rabbitohs
Neil Piccinelli Hunter Mariners
Wayne Richards Newcastle Knights
David Riolo Parramatta Eels
Craig Simon South Sydney
Josh White London Broncos

Squad[edit]

No. Position Player
Australia HB Glen Air
Australia FE Trent Barrett
Australia SR Darren Bradstreet
Australia LK Adam Bristow
Australia WG Jonathon Britten
Australia HK Dean Callaway
Australia WG Wayne Clifford
Australia PR David Cox
Australia PR Scott Cram
Australia LK John Cross
Australia SR Michael Cross
Australia PR Maea David
Australia PR Andrew Hart
Australia WG Brendon Hauville
Australia CE Jason Hooper
No. Position Player
Australia SR Terry Lamey
Australia PR Chris Leikvoll
Australia LK Brad Mackay
Australia CE Paul McGregor (captain)
Australia WG Dean Moon
Australia HK Andrew Purcell
Australia FB Brendon Reeves
Australia HB Will Robinson
Australia CE Brett Rodwell
Australia WG Fili Seru
Australia CE Craig Simon
Australia PR Craig Smith
Australia CE Shaun Timmins
Australia SR Brendon Tunbridge
Australia WG Rod Wishart

Draw and Results[edit]

Quick Summary[edit]

1997 Illawarra Steelers season summary
Round Home Score Away
1 Steelers 50-10 South Sydney colours.svg Souths
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 10-18 Steelers
3 Steelers 8-20 St. George colours.svg St. George
4 North Sydney colours.svg Norths 18-18 Steelers
5 Steelers 14-6 South Queensland colours.svg Sth Qld
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney 20-26 Steelers
Round Home Score Away
7 Steelers 16-23 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta
8 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 20-4 Steelers
9 Steelers 34-34 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly
10 Steelers 2-6 Western Suburbs colours.svg Wests
11 Gold Coast 10-11 Steelers
12 South Sydney colours.svg Souths 28-28 Steelers
Round Home Score Away
13 Steelers 6-18 Balmain colours.svg Balmain
14 St. George colours.svg St. George 10-12 Steelers
15 Steelers 15-8 North Sydney colours.svg Norths
16 South Queensland colours.svg Sth Qld 8-34 Steelers
17 Steelers 12-34 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney
18 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 24-28 Steelers
Round Home Score Away
19 Steelers 12-22 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle
20 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 30-14 Steelers
21 Western Suburbs colours.svg Wests 10-34 Steelers
22 Steelers 28-6 Gold Coast
F1 Steelers 14-25 Gold Coast

March (2-1-1)[edit]

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Wishart, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Callaway, Smith, Bristow, Mackay, Rodwell. Interchange: Cram, Tunbridge, David, Hart.


Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Wishart, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Callaway, Smith, Bristow, Mackay, Rodwell. Interchange: Tunbridge, Cram, David, J.Cross.


Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Wishart, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Callaway, Smith, Bristow, Mackay, Rodwell. Interchange: Tunbridge, Cram, David, J.Cross.


It was a day of draws for the Steelers and the Bears. All three grades were drawn (U-20s: 12-all, Reserves: 18-all, Firsts: 18-all). After capitulating in the second half, the Steelers saw themselves down 18-14, losing their 14-4 lead at half-time. Brendon Hauville scored in the final minutes, in what seemed to be a get-out-jail move by the substitute, who had come on for winger and regular goal-kicker Rod Wishart. What should have been a last-minute victory for the Steelers instead became a fruitless event when Shaun Timmins missed the conversion from in front of the uprights. It was just not their day for defeating the Bears.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Wishart, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Robinson; Bradstreet, Callaway, Smith, Cram, Mackay, Rodwell. Interchange: Tunbridge, J.Cross, Bristow, Hauville.


April (2-0-2)[edit]

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Hauville, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Robinson, Smith, Cram, Mackay, J.Cross. Interchange: Bristow, Tunbridge, David, Hart.


Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Hauville, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Robinson, Smith, Cram, Mackay, J.Cross. Interchange: Bristow, Tunbridge, David, Hart.


Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Hauville, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Bradstreet, Robinson, Smith, Cram, Mackay, J.Cross. Interchange: Bristow, David, Tunbridge, Seru.


Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Seru, Timmins, McGregor (c), Clifford; Barrett, Air; Cram, Robinson, Smith, Bradstreet, Mackay, J.Cross. Interchange: Bristow, David, Rodwell, Tunbridge.


May (0-2-2)[edit]

A gripping twelve try game. By the end of the match these two clubs equalled the premiership record for the highest score for a drawn game at 34-all. Manly started great and finished strong. The Steelers were up 34-22 with six minutes remaining. However, they only had eleven men on the field and the Sea Eagles ran them home. Five-Eighth Trent Barrett was sent off in the 66th minute for a high tackle on Steve Menzies and David Cox was sin binned in the 69th minute. Manly stayed at the top of the table with 15 points and the Steelers were sitting fifth with ten by the end of the round. Barrett received a two-match ban for the tackle.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Seru, Rodwell, Timmins, Clifford; Barrett, Air; Smith, Robinson, Bradstreet, Bristow, Mackay, J.Cross (c). Interchange: Cram, David, Cox, Purcell.


The supporters stayed away from Saturday night's wind and rain. Everything about the night was miserable for the five-thousand Steelers fans that bothered to show up. Only one try was scored in stark contrast to the entertaining twelve-try feast of the previous week against the Manly Sea Eagles at the same venue. Both fullbacks, Brendon Reeves (Illawarra) and Andrew Leeds (Wests), were sin binned during the game.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Seru, Timmins, Rodwell, Clifford; Purcell, Air; Bradstreet, Robinson, Smith, David, Bristow, J.Cross (c). Interchange: Cram, Cox, Hart, Hooper.


Brendan Hurst's late field goal leaves Illawarra's chances in the competition diminishing, dropping to seventh on ten points with Wests and St. George waiting eagerly below them, also with ten points.

Steelers Lineup: Seru; Wishart, Rodwell, McGregor (c), Clifford; Timmins, Robinson; Cram, J.Cross, Smith, Bristow, Bradstreet, Hart. Interchange: Reeves, Cox, David, M.Cross.


Illawarra's thrilling third draw of the campaign, and a high scoring one at that (28-all). Another ten-tries put on by the players, giving the crowd of less than five-thousand their money's worth. Steelers supports certainly couldn't help but feel if they had of gotten over the line in at least two of these three games their season might have shaped up differently. After this game, Illawarra was sitting in eighth place, outside of play-off's contention for the first time this season.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Seru, Rodwell, Timmins, Clifford; Barrett, Robinson; Cram, J.Cross (c), Bradstreet, Bristow, Hart, Mackay. Interchange: Cox, Tunbridge, Lamey, Leikvoll.


June (1-0-1)[edit]

It was a disappointing first Friday Night Football of the season for the Illawarra side at home, losing 18-6 to a Balmain Tigers side seething from their second-round loss at Leichhardt the first time these two teams met in the season. The Tigers held onto their 12-0 lead at the break. Barrett got one back for the Steelers, taking them only six points behind, but an Adam Starr try held-off any attempted comeback. The result aided the Steelers slip down the ladder into tenth.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Seru, Rodwell, Timmins, Clifford; Barrett, Robinson; Cram, Callaway, Bradstreet, Hart, Mackay, J.Cross (c). Interchange: Cox, Bristow, Leikvoll, Air.


The third and final game of weekend due to the split round saw the Steelers side completely dominate the St. George team, but they failed to convert their superiority into points. They eventually got themselves over the line with two minutes remaining through experienced centre Brett Rodwell, winning 12-10. The win saw them leap-frog St. George and Balmain back up into eighth position, one place away from finals footy.

Steelers Lineup: Reeves; Britten, Rodwell, Timmins, Clifford; Air, Robinson; Cram, Callaway, Bradstreet, Hart, Mackay, J.Cross (c). Interchange: Leikvoll, Lamey, Cox.


Ladder[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly 22 15 2 5 521 366 +155 32
2 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 22 14 1 7 512 320 +192 29
3 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 22 14 1 7 431 359 +72 29
4 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 22 13 1 8 529 341 +188 27
5 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City 22 13 1 8 487 366 +121 27
6 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 22 10 3 9 423 376 +47 23
7 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Gold Coast 22 10 1 11 438 466 -28 21
8 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 22 10 0 12 339 340 -1 20
9 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 22 10 0 12 355 424 -69 20
10 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 9 1 12 331 392 -61 19
11 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 22 4 1 17 323 630 -307 9
12 South Queensland colours.svg South Queensland 22 4 0 18 321 630 -309 8

Home Crowd Averages[edit]