2005 NRL season
|2005 National Rugby League|
|Premiers||Wests Tigers (1st title)|
|Minor premiers||Parramatta (5th title)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Brett Hodgson (308)|
|Player of the year||Johnathan Thurston (Dally M Medal)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Matthew Bowen (21)|
The 2005 NRL season was the 98th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the eighth run by the National Rugby League. The lineup of clubs remained unchanged from the previous year, with fifteen teams contesting the 2005 Telstra Premiership, which culminated in a grand final between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys.
In 2005 the NRL's salary cap was $3.25 million for the 25 highest-paid players in a club.
The season was statistically the closest season ever, with just sixteen points separating the Parramatta Eels (1st) and Newcastle Knights (15th). It was also notable in that the previous four premiers failed to qualify for the finals (Bulldogs, Penrith Panthers, Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights).
In the middle of 2005 the NRL reached a broadcasting rights agreement with Foxsports and Channel 9 worth $500 million over six years, representing a 65% increase in direct television income.
The Knights recorded their worst ever start to a season (13 straight losses) and were consigned to last place for the entire season. They did however win 8 of their last 11 games thanks to the return of superstar Andrew Johns. The Knights also defeated five of the top eight teams during the season, four of which were at home. They also recorded their then equal worst ever defeat - a 50-0 thrashing by the Parramatta Eels in round 14. During this match, an EnergyAustralia Stadium attendant ran onto the field, trying to tackle Parramatta's Daniel Wagon before he scored in the 78th minute. It should also be noted that minor premiers the Parramatta Eels lost to each of the bottom four teams (Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Raiders and Knights in rounds 8, 2, 19 and 20 respectively) during the course of the season.
It was announced that the Gold Coast Titans were to be admitted into the NRL as the sixteenth team, scheduled to begin playing in the 2007 season. The Titans would recruit John Cartwright as their inaugural coach and Preston Campbell was their first signing.
The two clubs that had players sent off won their matches (unlike in 2004) but the dismissal of John Hopoate made rugby league headlines. Hopoate was sent off in his team's win over the Cronulla Sharks and consequently received a 17-match ban. The Sea Eagles then terminated his contract.
The Wests Tigers became the first ever joint venture club to win the premiership, having formed in 2000 as a union between the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies, both foundation members of the original New South Wales Rugby Football League.
The campaign focussed on the association of "strength" with the game and the ads featured three different musical interpretations of the song all without vocals. Each was created intending to bring out the positionings of rugby league characteristice of ‘strength of body’, ‘strength of mind’ and ‘strength of character’
Outdoor supersites also featured in suburban locations in NSW and local cinema versions of the TVC ran with a call to action inviting fans to attend a game of the team local to the cinema location.
|2||St George Illawarra Dragons||24||16||0||8||2||655||510||+145||36|
|5||North Queensland Cowboys||24||14||0||10||2||639||563||+76||32|
|8||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||24||12||0||12||2||554||632||-78||28|
|11||New Zealand Warriors||24||10||0||14||2||515||528||-13||24|
|13||South Sydney Rabbitohs||24||9||1||14||2||482||700||-218||23|
- Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 8.
- Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
- Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
- Underlined numbers indicate that the team had a bye during that round.
|2||St. George Illawarra||0||0||0||0||2||2||4||6||8||10||12||12||14||16||18||18||20||20||22||24||26||28||30||32||34||36|
To decide the grand finalists from the top eight finishing teams, the NRL adopts the McIntyre Final Eight System.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|Wests Tigers||50 – 6||North Queensland Cowboys||9 September 2005||Telstra Stadium||Paul Simpkins||26,463|
|Brisbane Broncos||18 – 24||Melbourne Storm||10 September 2005||Suncorp Stadium||Steve Clark||25,193|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||28 – 22||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||10 September 2005||WIN Stadium||Tony Archer||19,608|
|Parramatta Eels||46 – 22||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||11 September 2005||Parramatta Stadium||Tim Mander||19,710|
|Melbourne Storm||16 – 24||North Queensland Cowboys||17 September 2005||Aussie Stadium||Paul Simpkins||16,810|
|Wests Tigers||34 – 6||Brisbane Broncos||18 September 2005||Aussie Stadium||Tim Mander||36,563|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||12 – 20||Wests Tigers||24 September 2005||Aussie Stadium||Tim Mander||41,260|
|Parramatta Eels||0 – 29||North Queensland Cowboys||25 September 2005||Telstra Stadium||Steve Clark||44,327|
Sunday, 2 October
|Wests Tigers||30 - 16||North Queensland Cowboys|
Brett Hodgson (5/6)
Josh Hannay (2/3)
Statistics and records
- The Broncos' Darren Smith was the NRL's oldest player in 2005 at 36 years and 284 days.
- The Brisbane Broncos set a new club record for highest score conceded (50 points) and greatest losing margin (46 points), when they lost 50-4 against the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park in Round 4. These records were broken in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
- The Newcastle Knights lost a club record 13 straight matches from 13 March - 19 June, and went on to win the wooden spoon for the first time.
- In Rounds 23 and 24, the Canterbury Bulldogs suffered their worst defeats since 1935, when they lost 56-4 against the Parramatta Eels in Round 23, then lost 54-2 against Wests Tigers in Round 24.
- Wests Tigers' club record for their longest winning streak with 8 wins from round 16 to round 24.
- Wests Tigers' standing record[when?] for their biggest ever win : 54-2 over the Canterbury Bulldogs in Round 24.
Leading try scorers
|1||21||Matt Bowen||North Queensland Cowboys||21||1.00|
|1||20||Billy Slater||Melbourne Storm||25||0.80|
|1||20||Colin Best||St George Illawarra Dragons||26||0.77|
|1||20||Pat Richards||Wests Tigers||28||0.71|
|5||19||Shaun Berrigan||Brisbane Broncos||23||0.83|
|6||18||Ty Williams||North Queensland Cowboys||23||0.78|
|6||18||Paul Whatuira||Wests Tigers||24||0.75|
|7||17||Amos Roberts||Sydney Roosters||28||0.61|
|9||16||Brett Stewart||Manly Sea Eagles||24||0.67|
|9||16||David Simmons||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||25||0.64|
|9||16||Matt Sing||North Queensland Cowboys||25||0.64|
Leading point scorers
|Rank||Points||Player||Team||Matches||Tries||Gls||Fld Goals||Pts Ave.|
|1||308||Brett Hodgson||Wests Tigers||28||15||124||-||11.00|
|2||214||Luke Burt||Parramatta Eels||23||11||85||-||9.30|
|3||190||Preston Campbell||Penrith Panthers||23||11||73||-||8.26|
|4||186||Luke Covell||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||22||9||75||-||8.45|
|5||180||Hazem El Masri||Bulldogs||18||11||68||-||10.00|
|6||172||Matt Orford||Melbourne Storm||26||11||63||2||6.62|
|7||152||Josh Hannay||North Queensland Cowboys||21||7||62||-||7.24|
|8||147||Stacey Jones||New Zealand Warriors||23||5||63||1||6.39|
|9||142||Clinton Schifcofske||Canberra Raiders||19||6||58||2||7.47|
|10||140||Michael Witt||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||19||5||60||-||7.37|
Sources and footnotes
- Solomon, David (2007). Pillars of power: Australia's institutions. Federation Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-86287-645-3.
- "NRL secures $500m rights deal". ABC News. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2005-07-01. Archived from the original on 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Pace, Daniel (2005-03-02). "Same theme, different sound for NRL ads". AAP Sports News. Australia: The Gale Group, Inc. (). Retrieved 2010-06-30.[dead link]
- B&T magazine article 2005 Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Toohey, Barry (2 February 2011). "Still some bite in old Mad Dog". The Daily Telegraph. Australia: News Limited. Retrieved 2 February 2011.