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New South Wales Rugby Football League season 1983

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Title: New South Wales Rugby Football League season 1983  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Newtown Jets, Brett Kenny, History of the Parramatta Eels, Australian rugby league premiers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

New South Wales Rugby Football League season 1983

1983 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 14
Premiers Parramatta (3rd title)
Minor premiers Manly-Warringah (5th title)
Matches played 189
Points scored 7296 (total)
38.603 (per match)
Attendance 1,458,144 (total)
7,715 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Michael Eden (256)
Top try scorer(s) Phil Blake (27)

The 1983 NSWRFL season was the seventy-sixth 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 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 4-point tries.

Season summary

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 hand over 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 crowds 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 resounding success.

Twenty-six regular season rounds were played from February till August, resulting in a top five of Manly, Parramatta, Canterbury, 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 premieship 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.[1]

This was also the last year in the first-grade competition for foundation club the Newtown Jets, 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 Jets club.[2]

Balmain Tigers
76th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Frank Stanton
Captain: Wayne Pearce
Canberra Raiders
2nd season
Ground: Seiffert Oval
Coach: Don Furner
Captain: Allan McMahon
Chris Anderson Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
17th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Coach: Terry Fearnley
Captain: Gavin Miller
Eastern Suburbs Roosters
76th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Laurie Freier
Captain: Royce Ayliffe
Illawarra Steelers
2nd season
Ground: Wollongong Stadium
Coach: Allan Fitzgibbon
Captain: John Dorahy
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
37th season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Max Krilich
Brian Moore
Greg Hawick
Steve Edge Royce Simmons Ziggy Niszczot
Craig Young Warren Boland


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Manly-Warringah 26 22 0 4 690 361 +329 44
2 Parramatta 26 18 0 8 639 293 +346 36
3 Canterbury-Bankstown 26 18 0 8 531 409 +122 36
4 Balmain 26 17 0 9 525 438 +87 34
5 St. George 26 14 1 11 551 450 +101 29
6 Eastern Suburbs 26 14 1 11 579 492 +87 29
7 North Sydney 26 13 1 12 435 446 -11 27
8 South Sydney 26 12 1 13 439 495 -56 25
9 Cronulla-Sutherland 26 12 0 14 450 520 -70 24
10 Canberra 26 9 0 17 495 614 -119 18
11 Penrith 26 9 0 17 476 647 -171 18
12 Illawarra 26 8 0 18 451 644 -193 16
13 Newtown 26 7 2 17 373 591 -218 16
14 Western Suburbs 26 5 2 19 394 628 -234 12


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
St. George 44-16 Eastern Suburbs 30 August 1983 Sydney Cricket Ground B. Barnes 17,981
Qualifying FInals
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
Semi Finals
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
Preliminary Final
Parramatta 18-4 Canterbury-Bankstown 18 September 1983 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 27,726
Grand Final
Manly-Warringah 6-18 Parramatta 25 September 1983 Sydney Cricket Ground Kevin Roberts 40,285

Grand Final

Manly-Warringah Position Parramatta
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
Reserve Gary Martine
Bob Fulton Coach Jack Gibson

Parramatta powered over Manly for the second year straight to claim their third successive title. The one-sided 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: Sigsworth; Goals: Eadie)


  • Rugby League Tables - Season 1983 The World of Rugby League
  • Results: 1981-90 at
  • 1983 J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup at
  • NSWRFL season 1983 at
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