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1972 NSWRFL season

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Title: 1972 NSWRFL season  
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Subject: 1972 in sports, Parramatta Eels, List of NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL records, 1972 in Australia, Graham Eadie, Terry Randall, Fred Jones (rugby league)
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1972 NSWRFL season

1972 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 12
Premiers Manly-Warringah (1st title)
Minor premiers Manly-Warringah (2nd title)
Matches played 136
Points scored 4670 (total)
34.338 (per match)
Attendance 1,469,899 (total)
10,808 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Allan McKean (220)
Top try scorer(s) Bob Fulton (19)

The 1972 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the sixty-fifth season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve teams, including six of 1908's foundation clubs and another six from across Sydney, competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield during the season, which culminated in a grand final match for the WD & HO Wills Cup between the Manly-Warringah and Eastern Suburbs clubs.

Season summary

The 1982 season's Rothmans Medal winner was Western Suburbs' halfback Tommy Raudonikis. Rugby League Week awarded their player of the year award to Eastern Suburbs' five-eighth John Ballesty.

This season, for the first time since 1966, Souths would fail to reach the grand final.

Following the grand final, several players travelled to France to represent Australia in the 1972 Rugby League World Cup.


65th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Leo Nosworthy
Captain: N/A
Johnny Greaves
6th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Tommy Bishop
Eastern Suburbs
65th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Don Furner
Captain: Ron Coote
26th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Ron Willey
Captain: Fred Jones
Henson Park
Coach: N/A
Merv Hicks
Ian Walsh
Captain: N/A
6th season
Ground: Penrith Park
Coach: Bob Boland
Captain: Ron Lynch
John Sattler
Graeme Langlands
Pratten Park
Coach: Don Parish
Captain: N/A


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Manly-Warringah 22 18 1 3 460 255 +205 37
2 Eastern Suburbs 22 17 1 4 514 297 +217 35
3 St. George 22 16 2 4 398 221 +177 34
4 South Sydney 22 14 0 8 456 331 +125 28
5 Newtown 22 11 2 9 402 371 +31 24
6 Canterbury-Bankstown 22 12 0 10 382 373 +9 24
7 Western Suburbs 22 8 1 13 367 398 -31 17
8 Cronulla-Sutherland 22 8 0 14 332 378 -46 16
9 North Sydney 22 7 1 14 320 405 -85 15
10 Balmain 22 6 1 15 333 455 -122 13
11 Template:Leagueicon Penrith 22 5 1 16 278 490 -212 11
12 Parramatta 22 4 2 16 317 585 -268 10


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
St. George 14-10 South Sydney 26 August 1972 Sydney Cricket Ground Keith Page 47,945
Manly-Warringah 32-8 Eastern Suburbs 2 September 1972 Sydney Cricket Ground Keith Page 43,695
Preliminary Final
Eastern Suburbs 8-6 St. George 9 September 1972 Sydney Cricket Ground Keith Page 41,313
Grand Final
Manly-Warringah 19-14 Eastern Suburbs 16 September 1972 Sydney Cricket Ground Keith Page 54,537

Grand final

Manly-Warringah Position Eastern Suburbs
Graham Eadie FB Allan McKean
Ken Irvine WG Jim Porter
Ray Branighan CE Harry Cameron
Bob Fulton CE Mark Harris
Max Brown WG Bill Mullins
Ian Martin FE John Ballesty
Dennis Ward HB Kevin Junee
Bill Hamilton PR John Armstrong
Fred Jones (c) HK Peter Moscatt
John O'Neill PR Arthur Beetson
Allan Thomson SR Greg Bandiera
Terry Randall SR John Quayle
Malcolm "Mal" Reilly LK Ron Coote (c)
Bench Laurie Freier
Ron Willey Coach Don Furner

After twenty-five years in the competition and five Grand Final losses, Manly finally broke through to win the club's first NSWRFL premiership.[1]

In a controversial match, the Sea-Eagles downed the Eastern Suburbs Roosters 19 to 14, thus shedding their 'bridesmaids' tag. The Roosters were highly critical of referee Keith Page after the match, claiming both of Manly's tries shouldn't have been awarded. To add to their rage, Easts crossed for 2 tries that were disallowed.

A dour first half saw the teams go to the break at 4-all, before a try by hooker Fred Jones put Manly ahead. Jones appeared to drop the ball as he attempted to ground it, but was awarded the try nonetheless. Midway through the second half, controversy flared again when Manly centre Ray Branighan appeared to stop over the Eastern Suburbs try line after accepting what looked like a forward pass from prop Bill Hamilton. However, referee Page allowed it and the Manly fans began celebrating, knowing that at 19-4 their first premiership victory was assured. Although Easts fought back and brought the score to 19-14, time was out for the Roosters.

Manly-Warringah 19 (Tries: Fred Jones, Ray Branighan. Goals: Ray Branighan 6. Fld Goal: Bob Fulton)

Eastern Suburbs 14 (Tries: John Ballesty, Bill Mullins. Goals: Allan McKean 4 )

Man of the Match: Dennis Ward (Manly).

Referee: Keith Page

Attendance: 54,537


External links

  • Rugby League Tables - Season 1972 The World of Rugby League
  • Results:1971-80 at
  • 1972 J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup at
  • NSWRFL season 1972 at
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