Winfield Cup

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The Winfield Cup trophy

The Winfield Cup was an Australian rugby league trophy awarded to the winner of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership (NSWRL) Grand Final from 1982 to 1994, and then to the winner of the newly-founded Australian Rugby League (ARL) Grand Final in 1995.

Despite its name, the trophy was retired after the 1995 ARL season when cigarette manufacturer Winfield was forced to withdraw their sponsorship, following the Australian Federal Government's introduction of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 which outlawed tobacco advertising in sports in Australia. Winfield were not the first tobacco company to sponsor the NSWRL Premiership, however; from 1960 to 1981 the pre-season competition was sponsored by W. D. & H. O. Wills.

A redesigned ARL premiership trophy, the Optus Cup, was introduced in 1996 and lasted until 1997 before the ARL and Super League merged to form the National Rugby League (NRL) in 1998.

The Gladiators[edit]

The Winfield Cup trophy was a three-dimensional bronze cast of a famous photo called The Gladiators,[1] which depicted a mud-soaked Norm Provan of St. George and Arthur Summons of Western Suburbs embracing after the 1963 Grand Final. This image became symbolic of the camaraderie and 'mateship' in rugby league and the present-day National Rugby League Premiership Trophy (which evolved from the Winfield Cup) uses a similar design. The sculpture itself was designed by New Zealand-born sculptor Alan Ingham (b. 1920 – 1994).[2]


Year Winners Runners-up Final score Minor Premiers
1982 Parramatta Eels Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 21–8 Parramatta Eels
1983 Parramatta Eels Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18–6 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1984 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Parramatta Eels 6–4 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
1985 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs St. George Dragons 7–6 St. George Dragons
1986 Parramatta Eels Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 4–2 Parramatta Eels
1987 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Canberra Raiders 18–8 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1988 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Balmain Tigers 24–12 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
1989 Canberra Raiders Balmain Tigers 19–14 South Sydney Rabbitohs
1990 Canberra Raiders Penrith Panthers 18–14 Canberra Raiders
1991 Penrith Panthers Canberra Raiders 19–12 Penrith Panthers
1992 Brisbane Broncos St. George Dragons 28–8 Brisbane Broncos
1993 Brisbane Broncos St. George Dragons 14–6 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
1994 Canberra Raiders Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36–12 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
1995 Sydney Bulldogs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 17–4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Gladiators". St George Leagues Club. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Biography". Alan Ingham. Retrieved 14 May 2008.

External links[edit]