NRL Grand Final

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NRL Grand Final
National Rugby League logo.svg
Locale Sydney, New South Wales
Teams 2
First meeting 1998
Latest meeting 2015
Next meeting 2016
Broadcasters Nine Network
Stadiums Stadium Australia
Statistics
Meetings total 98
Most wins Souths, 17

The NRL Grand Final, which determines the Australian rugby league football season's premiers, is one of Australia's major sporting events and one of the largest attended club championship events in the world.[citation needed] Since 1999 it has been contested at Sydney's Stadium Australia, which was the primary athletics venue for the 2000 Olympic Games.[1] The first year it was held at Stadium Australia, the NRL Grand Final broke the record for attendance at an Australian rugby league game, with 107,999 people attending.[2]

The Grand Final had traditionally been played on Sunday afternoons until 2000, the following year saw the game shifted to an evening start. From 2008, a compromise was reached between official broadcaster Nine Network's preferred starting time of 7 pm and the traditional starting time of 3 pm, with the Grand Final beginning at 5 pm AEDT.[3] In 2013 the evening start resumed, the match commencing at 7:15 pm.

Each year the Grand Final Breakfast, a function that is attended by both teams, hundreds of guests and screened live on Australian television is held during the week before the game. However In 2015 the breakfast was cancelled

The game itself is usually preceded by an opening ceremony featuring entertainment and the singing of the national anthem by well-known Australasian and international musical acts. After the pre-game entertainment it is traditional for the Provan-Summons Trophy, the NRL's official premiership trophy, to be delivered to the field by an Australian Army helicopter shortly before kick off.

At the conclusion of the Grand Final there is a presentation ceremony where the winning team are awarded premiership rings.[4] The player judged to be the man-of-the-match by the Australian national team selectors is awarded the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal and the Prime Minister of Australia is typically on-hand to hand the Provan-Summons Trophy to the winning captain.

In 2010 the Government of New South Wales secured the grand final for Stadium Australia until 2022 for $45 million.[5]

History[edit]

See also: Grand Final

First grade rugby league in NSW began in 1908, the first premiership deciding game was played at the Royal Agricultural Society Showground, with Souths defeating Easts 14-12. From 1912 to 1925, no finals system was in place, however in 1916, 1922, 1923 and 1924, a match was played as a tiebreaker to decide the season's premiership winner. From 1926 to 1953, finals were played under the Argus system, which produced a deciding game in two slightly differing ways.

All of these deciding games are now deemed to be grand finals, whether they were referred to as such at the time or not. From 1954 to the present, using a variety of systems, the deciding match has been explicitly termed a grand final, and no distinction is made between grand finals played under the auspices of the various governing bodies.

Stadiums[edit]

The NRL Grand Final is held in Sydney since it has the most clubs in the NRL and the current venue for the Grand Final, Stadium Australia is the second highest capacity stadium in Australia, after the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

City Stadium Years
Australia Sydney Sydney Football Stadium 1998
Australia Sydney Stadium Australia 1999-present

Attendances

Year City Stadium Attendance
1999 Australia Sydney Stadium Australia 107,999

Qualification for World Club Series[edit]

Main article: World Club Series

The winners of the Grand Final qualify to play the winners of the Super League Grand Final in the World Club Challenge. The runners up qualify to play the Super League minor premiership winners in the second game of the World Club Series.

Trophy and Awards[edit]

Provan-Summons Trophy[edit]

Nrltrophy.jpg

The Provan-Summons Trophy is the NRL's main prize, awarded to the team that wins the premiership. Its sculptured design is similar to the Winfield Cup trophy, which was introduced for the 1982 NSWRFL season. It is a three-dimensional cast of a famous photo called The Gladiators,[6] which depicts a mud-soaked Norm Provan of St. George and Arthur Summons of Western Suburbs embracing after the 1963 NSWRFL season's Grand Final. It was not officially named the Provan-Summons Trophy until 2013, the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Grand Final.[7] The trophy is awarded following each grand final to the captain of the winning club.

Each player from the premiership winning side are also awarded Premiership Rings.

Clive Churchill Medal[edit]

Main article: Clive Churchill Medal

The Clive Churchill Medal is the award given to the player judged to be man-of-the-match in the National Rugby League's annual Grand Final. The award was created to honour Clive Churchill, one of the greatest rugby league players in Australian history, following his death in 1985. A prestigious honour in the NRL, The medal's recipient is chosen by the selectors of the Australian national team and announced and awarded to the player judged best and fairest on the ground at every post-grand final ceremony.

The Clive Churchill Medal has been awarded ever since the 1986 NSWRL season when its first recipient was Parramatta's Peter Sterling. The only player to have won the award more than once is Canberra's Bradley Clyde (1989 and 1991). In 2010, the Melbourne Storm were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches exposed by the NRL, however the Clive Churchill Medallists from those years still continue to be recognised.

Results[edit]

Season Winners Score Runners up Attendance Clive Churchill Medal
1998 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 38-12 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 40,857 Brisbane colours.svg Gorden Tallis
1999 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 20-18 St. George colours.svg St. George-Illawarra Dragons 107,999 Melbourne colours.svg Brett Kimmorley
2000 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 14-6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 94,277 Brisbane colours.svg Darren Lockyer
2001 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 30-24 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 90,414 Newcastle colours.svg Andrew Johns
2002 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 30-8 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors 80,130 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Craig Fitzgibbon
2003 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 18-6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 81,166 Penrith colours.svg Luke Priddis
2004 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 16-13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 82,127 Canterbury colours.svg Willie Mason
2005 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers 30-16 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys 82,453 Wests Tigers colours.svg Scott Prince
2006 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 15-8 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 79,609 Brisbane colours.svg Shaun Berrigan
2007* Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 34-8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 81,392 Melbourne colours.svg Greg Inglis
2008 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40-0 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 80,388 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Brent Kite
2009* Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 23-16 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 82,538 Melbourne colours.svg Billy Slater
2010 St. George colours.svg St. George-Illawarra Dragons 32-8 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 82,334 St. George colours.svg Darius Boyd
2011 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-10 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors 81,988 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Glenn Stewart
2012 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 14-4 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 82,976 Melbourne colours.svg Cooper Cronk
2013 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 26-18 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 81,491 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Daly Cherry-Evans
2014 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-6 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 83,833 South Sydney colours.svg Sam Burgess
2015 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys 17-16 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 82,758 North Queensland colours.svg Johnathan Thurston

Winners[edit]

Club Wins Winning years
1
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos
3 1998, 2000, 2006
2
Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
2* 1999, 2012
3
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
2 2002, 2013
4
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Sea Eagles
2 2008, 2011
5
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
1 2001
6
Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers
1 2003
7
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
1 2004
8
Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
1 2005
9
St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
1 2010
10
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
1 2014
11
North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys
1 2015
  • Wins in 2007 and 2009 were subsequently annulled

Kickoff times[edit]

Time Years
3pm 1908 - 2012
5pm 2013
7pm 2007*, 2014 - present

The 1997 Super League Grand Final was a night time match*

Notable grand finals[edit]

1909 - South Sydney win the premiership by forfeit over Balmain. There was an agreement that both sides would forfeit the match, however Souths showed up, kicked off to an imaginary opponent, scored a try and were declared premiers.[citation needed]

1956 - St. George beat Balmain to claim the first of a world record 11 straight premierships.[citation needed]

1963 - St. George beat Western Suburbs 8-3 in a match famous for the iconic 'Gladiators' photo of Norm Provan and Arthur Summons covered in mud. It is also notable for a controversial try scored by Dragons winger Johnny King. Wests players tackled him and believed him to be held, however the referee rules play on.[citation needed]

1965 - A then record crowd of 78,056 packed into the Sydney Cricket Ground to see St. George captain Norm Provan play his last NSWRFL game. It was also St. George's 10th straight premiership.[citation needed]

1966 - St. George win their 11th straight premiership, at the time a world record in any football code.[citation needed]

1969 - Balmain win a controversial grand final 11-2 over South Sydney. The game causes controversy due to Balmain's lay down tactics.[citation needed]

1975 - Eastern Suburbs beat St. George by a then record 38-0 score line. St. George fullback Graeme Langlands plays the game in white boots and has a painkiller injection go wrong.[citation needed]

1977 - St. George and Parramatta play out the first drawn grand final, 9-all after extra time. They come back the next week for a grand final replay and St. George win 22-0.[citation needed]

1978 - Manly and Cronulla play out the second drawn grand final, 11-all. There is no extra time and the replay is played on the following Tuesday, won by Manly 16-0.[citation needed]

1987 - Manly defeat Canberra 18-8 in the last grand final played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.[citation needed]

1989 - Known by many as the best grand final ever, Canberra come from 14-2 down to beat Balmain 19-14 in extra time.[citation needed] Canberra became the first team outside of NSW to win the competition.[citation needed]

1992 - The Brisbane Broncos defeat St. George 28-8 to become the first Queensland team to win the grand final.[citation needed]

1997 - Brisbane defeat Cronulla for their third premiership in the Super League grand final. This was the first night grand final, the first (and currently only) top level rugby league grand final to be played outside of Sydney before a record crowd for any sporting event in Queensland of 58,912.[citation needed]

1997 - Newcastle winger Darren Albert scores a try with six seconds left to deliver Newcastle their first ever premiership, 22-16 over Manly.[citation needed]

1999 - A world record crowd of 107,999 watch the two newest clubs Melbourne Storm and St. George Illawarra battle it out. St. George Illawarra lead 18-14 before a late penalty try to Melbourne winger Craig Smith gives the Storm a 20-18 win to become the first Victorian team to win a NRL premiership and the quickest NRL club to win their first ever premiership in only their second season.[citation needed]

2001 - Newcastle win the first night grand final in Sydney, 30-24 over Parramatta.[citation needed]

2005 - Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall throws a magic flick pass to winger Pat Richards as the Tigers become the first joint venture to win the premiership, 30-16 over the North Queensland Cowboys.[citation needed]

2008 - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles secure a record 40-0 win over Melbourne Storm.[citation needed]

2014 - South Sydney Rabbitohs win their first premiership in 43 years, beating Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6.[citation needed]

2015 - The first all-Queensland NRL Grand Final sparked talk of a Grand Final being held in Queensland in the near future.[citation needed] It was also notable as Brisbane Broncos ended their biggest drought from a Grand Final since entering the competition and it was Bennett's first year back since leaving the Broncos.[citation needed] It was also notable for North Queensland Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt scoring a try after the full-time siren to level the game at 16-all.[citation needed] After Jonathan Thurston missed the sideline conversion, he kicked a golden point field goal to win the Cowboys their first ever premiership in the first golden point grand final. It also ended Brisbane's undefeated streak in grand final's having won all six previous games.[citation needed]

Audience[edit]

The 1999 NRL Grand Final saw a new rugby league world record crowd of 107,999 was at Stadium Australia for the game. The attendance, which saw 67,142 more people attend than had done so for the 1998 NRL Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium, broke the record attendance for a Grand Final, eclipsing the previous record of 78,065 set in 1965 when St. George defeated South Sydney 12-8 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 2014 NRL Grand Final had a crowd of 83,833 was the largest attendance at a sporting event at Stadium Australia since its 2001 reconfiguration.[8][9]

Entertainment[edit]

Early NRL Grand Finals featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands but as the popularity of the game increased, a trend where popular singers and musicians performed during its pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show, or simply sang the Advance Australia Fair, emerged.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]