July 2020

Stat Attack: Kings of the Comp

Who are the kings of the competition and which sides are desperate to break the drought?

Premiership Drought

The Parramatta Eels are the current drought kings of the NRL, waiting 34 years for their fifth premiership since their 1986 triumph. It’s also the same amount of time the club waited from 1947 until their first premiership in 1981.

The longest drought

While Eels fans are long starved of success, Cronulla Sharks hold the record for the longest drought at 49 years.

South Sydney also had a four decade drought. Winning a title in 1971 then having to wait until 2014 to taste success once again.

St George too could be included on the list given they had 31 years between 1979 and 2010, however they became a joint-venture with the Illawarra Steelers in 1999. The same can be said for Balmain who claimed the title in 1969 and then didn’t taste success again until 2005 as a joint venture under the Wests Tigers.

Back to back

The Sydney Roosters became the first team to win back to back premierships since the Broncos did it in 1997-98, although that was a fractured competition due to the Super League war.

The last team to win back to back premierships in a united competition was Brisbane in 1992-93. 

The Roosters are also attempting to become the first team to win three in a row since the Parramatta Eels from 1981-1983. That Eels side is also the only side to win three Premierships in a row since the advent of the limited tackle rule in 1972.

Most Premiers in a decade

There is yet to be a decade without a team going back to back. The most number of teams to claim the premiership across a decade is eight, occurring in the 2000s.

Fewest Premiers in a decade

The dominant St George sides of the 1950s and 1960s meant Premierships for other sides were few and far between. In both the 50s and 60s, only three different clubs were able to be triumphant. 

The Dragons, Souths and Wests claimed competitions in the 50s, with the Dragons, Souths and Balmain crowned premiers in the 60s.

In fact, the 50s and 60s saw just four different premiers across two decades.

No Grand Finals

Throughout the 112 seasons of rugby league in Australia, not every competition has been settled on grand final day.

1909 saw the first and only forfeit ever recorded in the NSWRL, as detailed in the Rugby League Monthly’s June edition.

From 1912-1915 and 1917-1921 as well as 1925 and 1937 the premiership was decided on a first past the post system.

Drawn grand finals

Only two grand finals have ever been drawn. The first in 1977 between St George and Parramatta finished 9-9, the Dragons won the replay 22-0. 

The second occurred in 1978 between Manly and Cronulla, finishing 11-11 and Manly subsequently winning the replay 16-0.

In 1979 extra time was reinstated for finals matches and in 2003 golden point was adopted.

The 2015 grand final is the only decider to finish even after 80 minutes since 1978, being decided by a Johnathan Thurston field goal in golden point.

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