1998 NRL season


1998 NRL season
1998 NRL season
Teams 20
Premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (4th title)
Minor premiers Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane (3rd title)
Matches played 253
Points scored 10131 (total)
40.043 (per match)
Attendance 2,937,741 (total)
11,612 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Ivan Cleary (284)
Top try scorer(s) Brisbane colours.svg Darren Smith (23)

The 1998 NRL season was the 91st season of professional rugby league football in Australia, and the inaugural season of the newly formed National Rugby League. After the Australian Rugby League and Super League organisations ran separate competitions parallel to each other in 1997, they joined to create a reunited competition in the NRL. The first professional rugby league club to be based in Melbourne, the Melbourne Storm was introduced into the League, and with the closure of the Hunter Mariners, Western Reds and South Queensland Crushers, twenty teams competed for the premiership, which culminated in the 1998 NRL grand final between the Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bulldogs.

Contents

Pre-season

The National Rugby League was formed after an agreement was reached between the two rivaling competitions from 1997, the Australian Rugby League and the Super League. In December 1997, the two parties formed a joint board to run the new Australian rugby league club competition. The vast majority of the 22 clubs that contested in 1997 across the split competitions also contested the first season of the National Rugby League, with the exception of the Hunter Mariners, the Western Reds and South Queensland.

The National Rugby League imposed a $3M salary cap on each of the clubs.[1]

Teams

In all, 20 clubs contested in 1998 after the addition of a new club, Melbourne. Eleven of these clubs were from Sydney, the traditional home of the competition, but an agreement between the Australian Rugby League and Super League meant that many of these clubs were in danger of being cut from the competition by the 2000 season when, it was decided, only 14 clubs would be invited to contest the premiership.

Adelaide Rams
Adelaide Rams home jersey 1997.svg
2nd season
Ground: Adelaide OvalHindmarsh Stadium
Coach: Rod ReddyDean Lance
Captain: Kerrod Walters
Auckland Warriors
New Zealand home jersey 1997.svg
4th season
Ground: Ericsson Stadium
Coach: Frank Endacott
Captain: Matthew Ridge
Balmain Tigers
Balmain home jersey 1963.svg
91st season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Wayne Pearce
Captain: Darren Senter
Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Broncos home jersey 1997.svg
11th season
Ground: ANZ Stadium
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Allan Langer
Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders home jersey 1998.svg
17th season
Ground: Bruce Stadium
Coach: Mal Meninga
Captain: Laurie Daley
Canterbury Bulldogs
Canterbury Bulldogs home jersey 1997.svg
64th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Steve Folkes
Captain: Darren Britt
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Cronulla home jersey 1997.svg
32nd season
Ground: Shark Park
Coach: John Lang
Captain: Andrew Ettinghausen
Gold Coast Chargers
Gold Coast Chargers home jersey 1996.svg
11th season
Ground: Carrara Stadium
Coach: Phil Economidis
Captain: Jamie Goddard
Illawarra Steelers
Illawarra Steelers home jersey 1997.svg
17th season
Ground: WIN Stadium
Coach: Andrew Farrar
Captain: Paul McGregor
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Manly Sea Eagles home jersey 1998.svg
52nd season
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Bob Fulton
Captain: Geoff Toovey
Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm home jersey 1998.svg
1st season
Ground: Olympic Park Stadium
Coach: Chris Anderson
Captain: Glenn Lazarus
Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights home jersey 1997.svg
11th season
Ground: Marathon Stadium
Coach: Mal Reilly
Captain: Paul Harragon
North Queensland Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys home jersey 1997.svg
4th season
Ground: Stockland Stadium
Coach: Tim Sheens
Captain: Ian Roberts & John Lomax
North Sydney Bears
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1992.svg
91st season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Peter Louis
Captain: Jason Taylor
Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Eels home jersey 1995.svg
52nd season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Dean Pay
Penrith Panthers
90px-Penrith Panthers home jersey 1997.png
32nd season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Coach: Royce Simmons
Captain: Steve Carter
Sydney City Roosters
Eastern Suburbs home jersey 1953.svg
91st season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Phil Gould
Captain: Brad Fittler
South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney home jersey 1980.svg
91st season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Steve MartinCraig Coleman
Captain: Sean Garlick
St. George Dragons
St. George home jersey 1945.svg
78th season
Ground: Kogarah Oval
Coach: David Waite
Captain: Mark Coyne
Western Suburbs Magpies
Western Suburbs home jersey 1977.svg
91st season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium
Coach: Tommy Raudonikis
Captain: Paul Langmack

Advertising

Super League's ad agency VCD in Sydney successfully kept the account post-reunification. The 1998 ad featured the song "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba with its theme of rising against adversity:

I get knocked down! But I get up again; you're never gonna keep me down.

There was no visual performance of the song in the ad which returned to the standard rugby league imagery of big hits and crunching tackles to accompany the track.

Regular season

Rounds 5 and 7: Brisbane Broncos set a new record for their biggest win, firstly 58-4 against North Queensland Cowboys, then 60-6 against North Sydney Bears, both games being played at Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre.
Round 12: The record for the biggest comeback in premiership history was re-set by the North Queensland Cowboys who trailed 26–0 at half-time and came back to beat the Penrith Panthers 36–28.
Round 24: Ivan Cleary's tally of 284 points set a new individual record for most points scored in a season in Australian club rugby league history; it has since been beaten.

Ladder

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 24 18 1 5 688 310 +378 37
2 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 24 18 1 5 562 381 +181 37
3 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne 24 17 1 6 546 372 +174 35
4 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 24 17 1 6 468 349 +119 35
5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 24 17 0 7 663 367 +296 34
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City 24 16 0 8 680 383 +297 32
7 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 24 15 0 9 564 429 +135 30
8 St. George colours.svg St. George 24 13 1 10 486 490 -4 27
9 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 24 13 0 11 489 411 +78 26
10 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 24 13 0 11 503 473 +30 26
11 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 24 12 1 11 438 387 +51 25
12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 24 11 1 12 476 539 -63 23
13 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 24 9 1 14 381 463 -82 19
14 Panthers colours.svg Penrith 24 8 2 14 525 580 -55 18
15 Auckland colours.svg Auckland 24 9 0 15 417 518 -101 18
16 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 24 9 0 15 361 556 -195 18
17 Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide 24 7 0 17 393 615 -222 14
18 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 24 5 0 19 339 560 -221 10
19 Gold Coast 24 4 0 20 289 654 -365 8
20 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 24 4 0 20 371 802 -431 8

Ladder progression

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 10.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 2 4 6 8 10 10 12 14 14 14 16 16 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 29 31 33 35 37
2 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 2 4 6 8 10 10 12 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 24 26 27 29 31 31 31 33 35 37
3 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne 2 4 6 8 8 10 12 14 14 16 17 19 21 23 25 25 25 27 27 29 31 33 33 35
4 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 2 4 4 6 8 8 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 24 24 26 28 28 30 32 34 35
5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 0 2 4 4 6 8 8 10 12 12 14 14 16 18 18 20 22 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City 2 2 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 16 16 18 20 20 22 24 24 26 26 26 28 30 32
7 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 0 0 2 2 4 4 6 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 18 18 20 20 22 24 26 28 30 30
8 St. George colours.svg St. George 2 2 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 20 22 22 22 22 24 24 26 26 26 26 27
9 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 2 2 2 2 2 4 6 8 10 10 10 12 12 12 14 14 16 18 18 18 20 22 24 26
10 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 0 2 2 2 2 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 10 12 14 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
11 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 0 2 2 2 4 4 6 8 10 10 12 14 14 14 16 18 18 18 19 21 23 23 23 25
12 Illawarra colours.svg Illawarra 0 2 2 2 2 4 6 6 8 8 9 11 13 13 15 17 19 19 19 19 21 21 23 23
13 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 2 2 4 6 8 10 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 14 16 16 16 18 18 19 19 19 19 19
14 Panthers colours.svg Penrith 0 2 2 4 4 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 11 12 14 14 14 16 18
15 Auckland colours.svg Auckland 0 0 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 10 10 12 14 14 14 16 16 18 18 18 18
16 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 2 4 6 8 8 10 10 10 10 10 10 12 14 14 14 14 16 16 18 18 18 18 18 18
17 Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 6 6 6 8 10 12 12 14 14 14 14 14
18 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 10 10 10
19 Gold Coast 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
20 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

Finals series

The biggest surprise of the season was when the Melbourne Storm finished 3rd after the regular season in their first ever year, only to be knocked out by the Brisbane Broncos in the Semi Final. The Canterbury Bulldogs became the lowest placed team ever to make the Grand Final, after finishing 9th after the regular season. The Bulldogs did it tough though, coming from 16 points down twice in as many weeks. They came from 16-0 down to win 28-16 against the Newcastle Knights in the Semi Final, then 18-2 down with 11 minutes to go to make it 18-18 after regulation time, then going on to win 32-20 in extra time against the Parramatta Eels in the Preliminary Final.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 17–4 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 August 1998 Bruce Stadium Bill Harrigan 15,953
St. George colours.svg St. George Dragons 12–20 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 29 August 1998 Jubilee Oval Steve Clark 16,833
Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 25–12 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears 29 August 1998 Parramatta Stadium Kelvin Jeffes 16,033
Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 12–26 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City Roosters 30 August 1998 Olympic Park Paul McBlane 18,247
Semi Finals
North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears 2–23 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 4 September 1998 North Sydney Oval Bill Harrigan 18,718
Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 24–10 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 5 September 1998 Olympic Park Steve Clark 12,592
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 15–26 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City Roosters 5 September 1998 Marathon Stadium Kelvin Jeffes 26,482
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 10–15 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 6 September 1998 ANZ Stadium Paul McBlane 21,172
Preliminary Finals
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 16–28 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 12 September 1998 Sydney Football Stadium Steve Clark 24,449
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 30–6 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 13 September 1998 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 20,354
Finals
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City Roosters 18–46 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 19 September 1998 ANZ Stadium Steve Clark 28,374
Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 20–32 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 20 September 1998 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 36,841

Grand Final

27 September Brisbane Broncos home jersey 1997.svg Brisbane Broncos 38 - 12[2] Canterbury Bulldogs Canterbury Bulldogs home jersey 1997.svg Sydney Football Stadium
Attendance: 40,857
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Gorden Tallis
Tries:
Michael De Vere, Kevin Campion, Tonie Carroll, Wendell Sailor, Gorden Tallis, Phil Lee, Darren Smith
Goals:
Darren Lockyer (5/7)
Tries:
Tony Grimaldi, Willie Talau
Goals:
Darryl Halligan (2/3)

Post season

Brisbane's consistent dominance over other teams at this period of time contributed to the National Rugby League's plans to cut the number of teams down to 14 in order to ensure competitiveness and the long-term financial success of the game.[citation needed]

Despite the inclusion of "national" in the new competition's name, both the Gold Coast and Adelaide clubs folded at the end of the 1998 season.

The long-serving St. George team, existent since 1921, and the Illawarra team merged to form the first joint-venture side at the conclusion of the season, St. George Illawarra for inclusion in the 1999 Premiership.

References

  1. ^ Toby Miller, Geoffrey A. Lawrence, Jim McKay (2001). Globalization and sport: playing the world. SAGE. p. 82. ISBN 0761959696, 9780761959694. http://books.google.com/books?id=dlijetL53Q0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  2. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 196. ISBN 0702235369, 9780702235368. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OFE2EZ7JyEkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 

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