1983 NSWRFL season
|1983 New South Wales Rugby Football League|
|Premiers||Parramatta (3rd title)|
|Minor premiers||Manly-Warringah (5th title)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Michael Eden (256)|
|Player of the year||Michael Eden (Rothmans Medal)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Phil Blake (27)|
The 1983 NSWRFL season was the 76th season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Fourteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. During the season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1983 KB Cup.
1983 was the final season in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership for Sydney-based foundation club Newtown Jets, and the first reduction in the number of teams in the competition since Sydney University’s departure at the end of the 1937 NSWRFL season. It was also the first season that was played with four-point tries.
For the first time, the number of points awarded for scoring a try was raised from three to four. There was also the introduction of a handover if a team was caught in possession six times, which had the effect of killing the traditional scrum but attracted many new followers to a game that had seen attendances decline by fifty percent since the record year of 1968. To counter a lucrative illegal betting market, legal betting via FootyTAB was introduced and was a regarded as a success.
Twenty-six regular season rounds were played from February till August, resulting in a top five of Manly-Warringah, Parramatta, Canterbury-Bankstown, Balmain and St. George, who battled it out in the finals. Manly-Warringah managed 23 wins from 28 matches in 1983 – at the time the most wins in a season by a club in NSWRFL premiership history alongside Parramatta’s 23 in 1982.
The 1983 season's Rothmans Medallist was Eastern Suburbs’ back, Michael Eden and the Dally M Award went to Western Suburbs’ half, Terry Lamb. Rugby League Week gave their player of the year award to Manly-Warringah winger, Phil Sigsworth. This season the Cocal-Cola Coach-of-the-year award was voted for by the coaches in the League and was awarded to rookie coach Laurie Freier.
This was also the last year in the first-grade competition for foundation club Newtown, who were dropped at the season’s end.
The lineup of teams remained unchanged from the previous season, with fourteen clubs competing in total, including six Sydney-based foundation teams, another six from Sydney, one from greater New South Wales and one from the Australian Capital Territory. It was the last season for the Newtown club.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|St. George||44-16||Eastern Suburbs||30 August 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||B. Barnes||17,981|
|Balmain||14-17||St. George||3 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||Kevin Roberts||24,652|
|Parramatta||30-22||Canterbury-Bankstown||4 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||B. Barnes||22,311|
|Canterbury-Bankstown||26-24||St. George||10 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||John Gocher||27,867|
|Manly-Warringah||19-10||Parramatta||11 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||Kevin Roberts||28,921|
|Parramatta||18-4||Canterbury-Bankstown||18 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||Kevin Roberts||27,726|
|Manly-Warringah||6-18||Parramatta||25 September 1983||Sydney Cricket Ground||Kevin Roberts||40,285|
|Graham Eadie||FB||Paul Taylor|
|John Ribot||WG||David Liddiard|
|Chris Close||CE||Mick Cronin|
|Phil Sigsworth||CE||Steve Ella|
|Kerry Boustead||WG||Eric Grothe|
|Alan Thompson (c)||FE||Brett Kenny|
|Phil Blake||HB||Peter Sterling|
|Ian Schubert||LK||Ray Price|
|Noel Cleal||SR||Steve Sharp|
|Paul Vautin||SR||Peter Wynn|
|Paul McCabe||PR||Paul Mares|
|Ray Brown||HK||Steve Edge (c)|
|Geoff Gerard||PR||Stan Jurd|
|Glenn Ryan||Reserve||Chris Phelan|
|Rick Chisholm||Reserve||Don Duffy|
|Michael Blake||Reserve||Mark Laurie|
|Bob Fulton||Coach||Jack Gibson|
Parramatta powered over Manly for the second year straight to claim their third successive title. The 18-6 win saw Brett Kenny claim a unique achievement in scoring two tries in three successive grand finals. Kenny opened the scoring and the Eels raced to a 10-0 lead after 13 minutes when Eric Grothe steamrolled burly Manly fullback Graham Eadie.
Parramatta 18 (Tries: Brett Kenny 2, Eric Grothe; Goals: Cronin 3)
Manly-Warringah 6 (Tries: Phil Sigsworth; Goals: Graham Eadie)
- AFL Tables – Rugby League Crowds summary
- Clarkson, Alan (21 September 1983). "Coach-of-year newcomer surprised by his voting rivals". the Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 47. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 21 October 2013.[permanent dead link]