Amco Cup

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The Amco Cup trophy

The Amco Cup (subsequently known by various other sponsors' names including the Tooth Cup, KB Cup, National Panasonic Cup and Panasonic Cup) was a mid-week rugby league competition held in Australia between 1974 and 1989. The format was usually a straight knock-out, but various group formats were used between 1979 and 1982. It aired on Channel Ten with Ray Warren and Keith Barnes the commentators for many years. The concept was created by Colin McLennan.


Promoter Colin McLennan, who also brought to Australia the jazz legend Benny Goodman and comedians Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, was the man who brought the mid-week Cup to life.[1] The competition was essentially a "made for TV" event, featuring 4 x 20-minute quarters and a penalty countback rule in the event of a draw. Matches were played under floodlights, usually on a Wednesday evening. Initially Leichhardt Oval in Sydney was the main venue, though later matches were played at Lang Park in Brisbane, Parramatta Stadium and various New South Wales country centres. The competition was scrapped after the increasingly professional clubs resented the additional burdens on their players caused by the mid-week games. In 1990 it was replaced by a preseason challenge cup played for only by the New South Wales Rugby League premiership teams.



The number and composition of teams varied considerably over the course of the competition.

Region/Competition Years Teams
NSWRL Club Teams 1974–1989 Balmain Tigers, Brisbane Broncos (from 1988), Canberra Raiders (from 1982) Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks, Eastern Suburbs Roosters, Gold Coast Giants (from 1988), Illawarra Steelers (from 1982), Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Newcastle Knights (from 1988), Newtown Jets (to 1983), North Sydney Bears, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers, St George Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Western Suburbs Magpies.
NSW Country Divisional Teams 1974–1978 Illawarra, Monaro, Newcastle (from 1975), North Coast, Northern Division, Riverina, Southern Division, Western Division
NSW Second Division Premiers 1974–1977 Ryde-Eastwood
BRL Club Teams 1975–1978 Brothers Leprechauns, Eastern Suburbs Tigers (from 1976), Northern Suburbs Devils, Redcliffe Dolphins (from 1976), Southern Suburbs Magpies, Valleys Diehards, Western Suburbs Panthers (from 1976), Wynnum Manly Seagulls (from 1977)
New Zealand Provincial Team/s 1974–1985 Auckland (1974–1980, 1984–1985), Canterbury (1976–1977), Central Districts (1981, 1983), South Island (1982), Wellington (1978)
Australian Regional Representative Teams 1979–1989 Brisbane, NSW Country, Queensland Country (to 1984)
Australian State Teams 1977–1978, 1986–1987 Northern Territory (not 1986), South Australia (1987 only), Victoria (1987 only), Western Australia
Queensland Country Regional Teams 1975–1978 Central Queensland (from 1977), Gold Coast (1978), Ipswich, North Queensland (from 1976), Toowoomba, Wide Bay (from 1976)
Papua New Guinea team 1986–1989 Port Moresby

Winners, Runners-Up and # Teams[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-Up Score # Teams
1974 Canberra colours.svg Western Division 6 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 2 21
1975 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters 17 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 7 28
1976 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 21 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears 7 35
1977 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs Magpies 6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters 5 38
1978 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters 16 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 4 38
1979 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 St. George colours.svg Combined Brisbane 5 16
1980 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 8 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 5 16
1981 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 10 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 2 16
1982 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 23 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 8 18
1983 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 26 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 6 18
1984 St. George colours.svg Combined Brisbane 12 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Roosters 11 17
1985 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 14 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12 16
1986 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 32 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 16 17
1987 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 14 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 12 20
1988 St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 16 Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers 8 19
1989 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 22 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra Steelers 20 19

Multiple Winners[edit]

Cup and Premiership in the Same Season[edit]

  • Easts in 1975.
  • Parramatta in 1986.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rowlands, David (24 May 1988). "Lights, Kick-off, Action... 14 Years of the Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

External links[edit]