St George Dragons Rugby League History
INJURY HIGHLIGHTS SEASON OF WOE
regain Charity Shield
Stadium, Saturday 15 February 2003: St
George Illawarra Dragons have convincingly defeated the
South Sydney Rabbitohs to regain the Charity Shield. Saints
scored five tries to two in the pre-season encounter to
defeat Souths 28-10; fullback Amos Roberts scoring
In 2003, the Dragons finished in 10th position,
and outside of finals contention.
Dragons' halfback, Brett Firman also scored a try
and controlled much of the first half.
date, there have been 20 Charity Shield matches with Saints
winning 12, Souths 5 plus 3 draws.
2003 - FULL SQUAD
Click on the pic for larger image (210 kb)
Dragons 28 (Tries: Roberts 2, Firman, Young, Stapleton.
Goals: Riddell 3/4, Roberts 1/1) defeated Rabbitohs 10
(Tries: Bajouri, McKinnon. Goals: Smith 1/1, McKinnon
0/1) Half time: Dragons 16-6
Referee: Sean Hampstead.
Penalties: 7-all. Crowd: 20,834
on Charity Shield - click here
Glorious Return To Kogarah!
Jubilee Oval, Sunday 4 May 2003:
heart of St George celebrated a return to Kogarah
Jubilee Oval today as St George Illawarra posted a
resounding 28-12 victory over the Cronulla Sharks.
Doki as Kogarah Oval scores a new sponsor
2003: Kogarah Council has agreed to a
five-year sponsorship deal with printer and
data communications specialist, Oki, entitling
them to naming rights to the venue which will
be will now be known as Oki Jubilee Stadium.
Mayor Jim Taylor, said a portion of
Oki's sponsorship had been paid up front to
assist with the initial $1.85 million overhaul
of the field and facilities.
Jubilee Oval was acquired by the Kogarah Council
in 1906 and first occupied by the St George
Dragons in 1950.
threat of rain didn't deter the legions of fans who
came to see the local derby between the neighbouring
clubs - the official crowd figure being well below
the actual number.
With a full house on hand, the clouds parted and supporters
were treated to the fanfare of an historic event as
St George Legends ranging from from Matt
McCoy to Mark Coyne joined in the celebrations.
Hooker, Mark Riddell scored the club's first
try at Kogarah since 1999 when he crashed over in
the 19th minute. Saints continued to dominate the
first half to hold a commanding 24-2 lead at half
time. With the wind at their backs, the Sharks managed
to score two tries to one in the second half but they
were never able to present a threat to St George Illawarra
who ran out convincing winners.
Dragons 28 (Tries: Cooper 2, Riddell, Hornby, Saleh.
Goals: Riddell 4/6, Firman 0/1) defeated Sharks 12
(Tries: Bird, Milford. Goals: Kimmorley 2/3) Half
time: Dragons 24-2. Referee: Bill Harrigan. Crowd:
pics & related links - click here
8 in semis)
p = Season Premiers
| AFTER 26 ROUNDS
Points For 548
(10th best attack)
95t 84g 0fg
Points Against 593
(9th best defence)
102t 91g 3fg
saw the Northern Eagles become the Manly Sea Eagles
in a move which saw the end of North Sydney's involvement
in the NRL competition.
20 May 2003: St George Illawarra captain Trent Barrett has
suffered an ankle injury and has been ruled out for the season. Barrett
25, had arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right ankle which revealed
deep ligament damage.
have had problems with my lower right leg, but this injury is certainly
a surprise, he said. I
know when I come back Ill be fully fit and will have a full pre-season.
says he'll cop Brown's slap 'on the chin'
WIN Stadium, Sunday 13 April
2003: Frustrated coach Nathan Brown has berated
skipper Trent Barrett, Brett Firman and Lance
Thompson during a sideline incident at WIN Stadium. In the
53rd minute with the scores locked up at 12-all, Brown 'clipped'
Barrett across the cheek and grabbed the jerseys of Barrett and
Thompson, literally pulling them into line.
After the match, Brown was apologetic to Barrett and took full
responsibility for his actions. He was later was 'slapped' with
a $5000 fine by the NRL.
The incident was seen by the crowd and other players on the big
screen and proved a decisive turning point as Manly ran in five
second half tries to win 38-12.
Afterwards, Barrett says he's sorted out
his differences with Brown and, in his own words, will cop his
coach's slap 'on the chin'.
returning to play for the Dragons, Barrett had undergone a series of
x-rays, bone scans, CT scans and MRIs which had all returned normal
Barrett was initially diagnosed with a cracked bone in his lower right
leg when injured in the pre-season World Sevens tournament on February
He was sidelined for nine weeks until April 13 before pulling up sore
last week after the City-Country Origin game.
In all, Barrett played just five first grade
games in 2003.
Another season of injury
Coming into the final round of the premiership, Saints had 12 first
graders on the sideline.
Unavailable players for the Dragons included fullback Amos Roberts,
wingers Nathan Blacklock and Michael Howell, centres Matt
Cooper and Mark Gasnier, Five eighth, Trent Barrett,
halfback Brett Firman, second rowers Lance Thompson and
Henry Perenara, front rowers Jason Ryles and Ian Donnelly,
as well as bench hooker Aaron Gorrell.
Overall, Saints had done without a number of high profile players throughout
season 2003 including Shaun Timmins, Mark Gasnier, Lance
Thompson and Trent Barrett.
Nathan Blacklock returns home
21 May 2003: Following weeks of negotiations mercurial winger Nathan
'Tingha' Blacklock has returned home to the Dragons.
Blacklock has signed with Saints for the remainder of the season after
finally being granted a release from the New South Wales Rugby Union.
Anyone who knows Nathan, knows he is passionate about his footy
and his personal life. Last year was difficult for him from a personal
point of view." chief executive Peter Doust said.
The competition's top try scorer, 1999, 2000, 2001 Blacklock, scored
a record 27 tries for Saints in 2001. 'Tingha' was granted a release
from Saints in June 2002 before signing with the NSWRU.
I am very excited about playing rugby league again, Blacklock
said. Its where my heart is. I feel like Ive come
Blacklock SOTV profile/history - click here
a full and detailed list of news headlines and links from 2003 - click
end 2003 in style
Suncorp Stadium, Friday 5 September
2003: An injury-ridden Dragons
outfit have lifted to outclass the Brisbane Broncos 26-25 in
front of 35,597 people at old Lang Park.
With no less than 12 first graders on the sideline, Dragons'
selectors called up a number of reserve graders with Mathew
Head, Reece Simmonds and Ashton Sims shining
against their more fancied opponents.
Written off as underdogs, Saints came out firing and ran away
to early 12-0 lead with Shaun Timmins and rookie winger
Ben Creagh touching down. But the Broncos recovered to
score three unanswered tries and at half-time, the home side
were in front 18-12.
In a tremendous second half of end-to-end football,
Saints' hooker Mark Riddell played the match of his life
running amok from dummy half and scoring two tries. Unable to
cross the Dragons' try line in the second half, Brisbane were
kept in the match thanks to three penalty goals from Michael
De Vere and a late field goal from champion fullback Darren
25-24 with a minute to go, the tiring Broncos were found to
be a well offside when referee Tim Mander awarded Saints
a penalty from 41 metres out and 10 metres in from touch.
Despite never having kicked that far throughout the season,
Riddell looked to stand-in skipper Timmins and coach Brown insisting
that the kick was within his range. His request was received
with enthusiastic approval and in front of a hostile packed
stadium, Riddell calmly lined up the ball and piloted it between
Saints had won by the slimmest of margins and
ended the season in fine style.
25 (Webcke, Carroll, De Vere tries. De Vere 6/6 goals. Lockyer
1 field goal) defeated by Dragons 26 (Riddell 2, Timmins,
Creagh tries. Riddell 5/5 goals.)
Pic right: Luke Bailey, Dean Young and Shaun Timmins thank
the large contingent of Dragons' fans that travelled to Brisbane.
Related links and match pics - click here
BRONCOS: 'ALL TIME LOW' & 'WORST DEFEAT IN HISTORY'
[pop-up] click here
George Illawarra fullback Ben Hornby [pictured left]
has been named the club's first grade 'player of the year' in
winning the 2003 Integral Energy Dragons Medal.
Hornby, 23, made his debut as captain of the Dragons this season
during the absence of the injured Trent Barrett, Lance
Thompson and Shaun Timmins.
The Medal, won by Timmins last year, is determined by a mixed
criteria including a voting system involving the first grade
players and coaching staff, and qualitative factors taken into
account by the club.
Hornby, scored five tries in 24 games, joining Mark Riddell
as the only Dragons to play all premiership games this season.
He also played out of his favoured fullback position at five-eighth
on several occasions because of the Dragons injury woes.
Summary of award winners
Ben Hornby - Integral Energy Dragons Medal.
(other nominations were Luke Bailey, Matt Cooper
and Lance Thompson).
Matt Cooper - Geoff Selby Memorial NRL Coaches Award.
Luke Bailey - Red V Members Player of the Year.
Nathan Tutt - Mark Coyne Award for Premier League Player
of the Year.
Dean Young - Paul McGregor Award for Most Valued Contribution
to the Club.
The Dragons are close to finalising their 2004 roster with a
number of new signings confirmed, including backrowers, outside
backs, front row forwards plus triangles.
E Asotasi, N Youngquest, J Olzard, A Frew, B Scott, L Roberts,
L Withers, C Greenshields, L Russell, S Katu, C Payne, S Fa'logo,
N Long, D Tangata-toa, J Ellem, J Poore, T Jensen, W
DETAILS: DRAGONS NEW RECRUITS [pop-up] click here
Players who have re-signed
or extended their contracts:
Mark Gasnier (2006), Shaun Timmins (2006), Lance
Thompson (2006), David Howell (2006), Nathan Blacklock
(2005), Brett Firman (2005), Michael Henderson
(2005), Ben Creagh (2005), Bryan Norrie (2005),
Henry Perenara (2004), Reece Simmonds (2004).
Negotiations are continuing positively with captain Trent
Barrett, who is under contract to the end of 2004, to extend
his commitment to the club.
Other Dragons players already under contract for 2004 include
Luke Bailey, Mark Riddell, Jason Ryles,
Matt Cooper, Ben Hornby, Wes Naiqama, Michael
Howell, Mathew Head, Aaron Gorrell, Brent
Kite, Dean Young, Ryan Powell, Ashton Sims
and Brett White.
who will not play for the Dragons in 2004:
John Cross (retiring; 2004 Steelers Jersey Flegg coach),
Craig Stapleton (Parramatta), Amos Roberts (Penrith),Chris
Leikvoll (Warrington, England), John Wilshere (England),
Chris Nero (England),Ryan Tandy (released to Souths
during the season), Wise Kativerata (released to Souths
during the season), Dean Byrne (Souths), Ian Donnelly
(Manly), Nathan Tutt (Manly), and Hassan Saleh.
shines as NSW win State of Origin
Stadium, 11 June 2003: Dragons front rower Luke Bailey has
been named man-of-the-match in the first game of the three match
State of Origin series. Playing in front of 52,000 fans, the
New Souths Wales Blues came away 25-12 victors over the Queensland
In a tough and bruising encounter, NSW led 12-2 at half time;
Bailey leading the Blues pack against a tiring Maroons outfit.
Luke Bailey and team mate Shaun Timmins continued their great
form for NSW, with the Blues eventually wrapping the 2003 Origin
Lance Thompson takes pay cut as salary cap
19 July 2003: The Dragons have confirmed that back rower
Lance Thompson has taken a substantial pay cut so the
club can retain Shaun Timmins, Mark Gasnier, and
Nathan Blacklock under the salary cap.
Thompson's contract has been extended until the end of 2006.
In a competition where club loyalties are generally regarded
a thing of the past, Thompson's decision has been received as
refreshing news. Thompson 25, recently donated $10,000 to the
St George Junior League and has indicated that he will only
play for the Dragons.Season
Following several losses at the beginning of the
season, Saints bounced back to out-muscle eventual finalists
Canterbury 24-14 (round 6) thereby giving fans an indication
of the team's potential.
Dragons were then able to defeat the Roosters 24-20 (round 7)
after they ambushed the reigning premiers on Anzac day. To complete
the double, Saints also ran out 34-28 winners over the Penrith
Panthers (round 21) - the Panthers eventually went onto premiership
glory when they defeated the Roosters 18-6 in the 2003 grand
Saints continued their good form with an outstanding first half
display to defeat the Sharks 28-12 (round 8) to herald in a
tremendous return to Kogarah Jubilee Oval and for intents and
purposes, it looked like we were going have a good season. But
they were unable to repeat the form, being defeated in the next
four matches at Kogarah and in a shocking effort in round 25
when they were disgraced 42-8 by Newcastle.
Nevertheless, Saints bounced back again with a nail biting 26-25
win over the Brisbane Broncos in round 26, this being the best
game of the year for the Dragons. Fielding a side of virtual
reserve graders, they outclassed a Broncos outfit humiliating
them in front of their home crowd at Suncorp Stadium. Saints
also convincingly defeated Brisbane 32-16 (round 17) at WIN
Season 2003 was the first year as Dragons' head coach for Nathan
Brown. The NRL's youngest ever coach, Brown gave an honest analysis
and was first to admit that he found himself on a learning curve.
In a season of marred by injuries and disappointment, Saints
finished 10th in 2003 and two points out of the playoffs.
Overall, just as they had in the previous year, the 2003 Dragons
struggled for consistency, falling way short of expectations.
Biggest win 2003: 36-16 (v Cowboys at Dairy Farmers
Stadium Townsville, round 19, 19 July).
Biggest loss 2003: 42-8 (v Newcastle at Kogarah round
25, 31 August).
Highest team score 2003: 42 (42-28 v Manly at Brookvale,
round 16, 28 June).
Lowest team score 2003: 8 (42-8 v Newcastle at Kogarah
round 25, 31 August).
2003 DRAW & RESULTS - CLICK HERE
2003 top player stats, first grade:
Most games (out of 24): Ben
Hornby (24); Mark
Matt Cooper (23);
Brent Kite (23);
Dean Young (22).
Most tries: Nathan
Blacklock 14 tries (12 games);
Matt Cooper 11
tries (23 games).
Most goals: Mark
Riddell 69 goals (82 attempts,
Most field goals: None.
Most points for 2003: Mark
Riddell 7t+69g = 166 pts (24
Roberts passes away
Tweed Heads NSW, Wednesday 11 June 2003:
St George League legend Ron
Roberts, 75, has been laid to rest at Tweed Heads cemetery.
Dragons players marked the passing by wearing black arm
bands as they took the field in their match against Newcastle.
In a short career which spanned 1949-1951, Ron Roberts played
51 matches for St George and scored 51 tries. He was the
competitions leading try scorer in 1949 and 1950.
In 1950 at the Sydney
Cricket Ground, Roberts scored the
winning try in the third and deciding Test against Great
Britain, Australia winning the Ashes for the first time
in 30 years. The try was rated by 1980s Rugby League Week
poll as the single greatest moment in the games
>> click here.
PIPPED BY PENRITH AT THE POST
Football Stadium, Friday 10 September 2004: The Penrith Panthers
have held on to defeat St George Illawarra Dragons 31-30 in week
one of the 2004 semi-finals.
In 2004 Saints finished fifth after qualifying for finals.
Following Friday night's one point loss, Saints
looked to the Broncos v Storm and Bulldogs v Cowboys matches.
Under the 'McIntyre System', Saints needed the Storm or
the Cowboys, positioned lower on the ladder, to lose in
order to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Storm defeated the Broncos. Then in a boil over, rank
outsiders the Cowboys defeated the Bulldogs, thus eliminating
Saints from the 2004 competition.
The Raiders were also eliminated after their loss to the
out firing to lead 24-0 after only 17 minutes. But Saints came
back to 24-12 at half time.
Ryles gets plenty of attention
Saints on the attack, the Panthers managed an intercept try early
in the second half. It was body blow to the Dragons who looked
likely to score before Panthers' five eighth Preston Campbell
snatched a pass from Saints' skipper Trent Barrett, Campbell
running 90 metres to score.
Saints continued their comeback, scoring 18 points in the second
half, and 30-7 since the 17th minute. But it wasn't enough with
a Penrith field goal being the difference.
31 (Tries: Waterhouse 2, Campbell 2, Priddis. Goals: Girdler 5/5,
defeated DRAGONS 30 (Tries: Blacklock, Hornby, Timmins, Thompson,
Young. Goals: Head 5/5).
Crowd: 21,963. Referee: Sean Hampstead.
match report by the clock: click here.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
2004, St George Illawarra Dragons players Mark Gasnier,
Matt Cooper, Jason Ryles, Shaun Timmins,
Brent Kite, Trent Barrett [pic right] and
Ben Hornby [pic below] competed at the toughest level
of the modern game, State of Origin football.
With no less than six Dragons in Origin III, New South Wales
defeated Queensland and won the series 2-1.
scored two tries in the decider while Barrett dominated
play on both sides of the ruck. It was an emphatic victory
for NSW and the Dragons players were the talk of the town.
the point of view of a Saints supporter, selection of these
seven players for NSW was an outstanding achievement. Fans
can point to the history books and re-tell the story of
when the Dragons joined the Roosters and the Broncos in
dominating the most competitive rugby league series in the
the international scene, Luke Bailey and Shaun
Timmins represented Australia in their win over New
Zealand while Jason Ryles, Matt Cooper and
Shaun Timmins toured with the victorious 2004 Kangaroos
to Britain, France and the USA.
(top 8 in semis)
p = Season Premiers
draw, results for 2004 - click here
| AFTER 26 ROUNDS
Points For 624
(5th best attack)
Points Against 415
(2nd best defence)
Points For 30
Points Against 31
Points For 654
120t 86g 2fg
Points Against 446
77t 67g 4fg
SHINE IN MIRACLE COMEBACK AT KOGARAH
Jubilee (Kogarah) Stadium, Sunday 29 August 2004: The St George
Illawarra Dragons have staged a remarkable comeback, defeating
the Manly Sea Eagles 36-34 at a rain soaked Jubilee Oval.
Midway through the second half, the Dragons trailed 34-10 but
a bombardment of points, led by winger Nathan Blacklock,
helped seal the miraculous win. In what was his farewell appearance
at Kogarah, Blacklock score two sensational tries and setup another
to inspire Saints to one of the greatest comebacks in the history
of the game.
At half time, Manly held a commanding 24-4 lead and looked certain
to hand the Dragons a shock loss just two weeks out from the finals.
The Sea Eagles appeared to be scoring at will, busting through
some ordinary defence. But Blacklock would not be denied and had
a hand in three second half tries, scoring two and setting up
another for Matt Cooper out wide.
Then, with just minutes remaining, halfback Mathew Head
sent a bullet pass to rookie prop Justin Poore who crashed
over wide of the goal posts.
With the scores locked up at 34-all, Mark Riddell lined
up the conversion. In the wet conditions and given his mixed success
rate, it was in no sure thing. But as cool as you like, 'Pig'
raised the arm and raised the flags, slotting the goal and bringing
the house down.
Saints scored 26 points in 24 minutes, in the rain. A memorable
event and the second greatest comeback in the history of the competition.
DRAGONS 36 (Tries: Timmins, Withers, Blacklock 2, Hornby, Cooper,
Poore. Goals: Head 1/2, Riddell 3/5)
defeated SEA EAGLES 34 (Tries: Stephenson 2, Menzies, Donald,
Stewart, Williamson. Goals: Williamson 2/2, Walker 3/4)
Crowd: 13,913. Referee: Tony Archer
[pic above: Brent Kite and Mark Riddell celebrate.
Both players heading off to other clubs in 2005].
match report by the clock: click here.
12 August 2004: It has been confirmed
that winger Nathan Blacklock [pic right] has signed
a two year deal with UK club Hull.
Hailing from Tingha (NSW), the 28-year-old flanker came
to St George in 1997. In 1998, he scored 20 tries from 22
games, the second highest in the competition.
In 1999, Blacklock was the competition's top try scorer
with 24 tries from 26 matches. He repeated the feat in 2000
(25 tries from 26 matches) and 2001 (27 tries from 28 matches
- a club record previously held by Tom Ryan who scored 26
tries in 1957).
Nathan holds the unique record of scoring 20 tries or more
for four seasons running.
In 2001, Blacklock was in sensational form, notching up
two hat tricks by round 15. But controversy followed when
selectors inexplicably omitted him from the NSW Origin side.
Later that year, Blacklock was selected for Australia, playing
two Tests and scoring two tries.
In 2002, shortly after scoring his 100th career try, Blacklock
quit rugby league stating, "I no longer have the passion
for the game..."
He then signed with rugby union, representing the NSW Waratahs
in 2003. But in the same year, Blacklock returned to rugby
league and the Dragons, scoring 14 tries from just 12 matches
to become the club's top try scorer for a 5th time.
A crowd favourite, Nathan 'Tingha' Blacklock was noted for
his trademark backflips as being part of his try scoring
From 1997-2004, Nathan Blacklock played 137 first grade
games for the Dragons, scoring 120 tries and 14 goals for
a total of 508 points.
From 1995-2004, Blacklock played 142 career first grade
games. He has scored 121 tries and kicked 14 goals for a
total of 512 points.
> Nathan Blacklock page
Friday 7 October 2004: Dragons halfback Mathew
Head [pic left] has won the prestigious 2004
Integral Energy Dragons Medal at a formal presentation
at the WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong.
The Medal was previously won by Hornby, Shaun
Timmins (2002), Jason Ryles (2001), Trent
Barrett (2000) and Jamie Ainscough (1999).
Summary of 2004 award winners
Mathew Head - Integral Energy Dragons Medal
(other nominations were Ben Hornby, Matt
Cooper and Reece Simmonds).
Reece Simmonds - Geoff Selby Memorial NRL
Matt Cooper - Red V Members Player of the
Clint Greenshields - Mark Coyne Award
Premier League Player of the Year.
Justin Poore - Paul McGregor Award
Most Outstanding Player Achievement.
2004 stats, first grade:
games (out of 25): Lincoln
Withers (25); Dean
Young (25); Mark
Riddell (24); Reece
Simmonds (24); Matt
Cooper (23); Mathew
Head (23); Ben
Hornby (23); Brent
Most tries: Matt Cooper
17 tries (23 games); Reece
Simmonds 14 tries (24 games).
Most goals: Mathew
Head 49 goals (71 attempts, 23 games).
Most field goals: Mathew
Head 1; Trent
Most points for 2004: Mathew
Head 5t+49g = 119 points (23 games).
> full first grade team list & stats
Biggest win 2004: 50-0 (v Wests Tigers
at Kogarah Jubilee, round 15, 20 June).
Biggest loss 2004: 34-6 (v Melbourne
Storm at Olympic Park Melb, round 3, 28 March).
Highest team score 2004: 52 (52-12
v Souths at SCG, round 16, 27 June).
Lowest team score 2004: 6 (34-6 v
Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park Melb, round
3, 28 March).
Arncliffe Scot, Ross Kite passes away
Sunday 30 May 2004: Former
St George winger/centre Ross Kite has passed
away. A local St George resident (Bexley), Mr Kite
had been battling cancer for some time before being
admitted into Calvary hospital, Kogarah.
Described as a true and thorough gentleman, Kite had
a distinguished career representing NSW (1954-56 &
1958) and Australia (1955 & 1958). He scored four
tries on debut for NSW. A St George junior and Arncliffe
Scots life member, Ross Kite didn't miss a grade game
between 1951-54. He was rated as Australia's most
successful winger for season 1955.
Kite also played with the winning St George side in
the 1956 Grand Final.
1952-57, he played 88 first grade games for St George,
scoring 48 tries and kicked 49 goals for a tally of
One of the toughest men to play the game, former St
George prop forward Kevin Ryan once said that
Ross Kite was one of the few men who could hurt him
in a tackle.
Ryan: 'Dragon dead for six minutes'
Sydney, 26 December 2004: St George legend
Kevin Ryan has recovered following a heart attack
which saw him in a coma for three days.
The former front rower was running on a Manly beach
last October when he suddenly collapsed. He stopped
breathing for a six to seven minutes before being
brought 'back to life' by two off-duty lifeguards.
> Full story [pop up]
In 2004, Saints experienced another season
of mounting injuries as star players were often sidelined. Half
back Brett Firman broke his leg early in the season before
Saints had to do without centre Mark Gasnier, winger Nathan
Blacklock, forwards Jason Ryles, Nathan Long,
Henry Perenara, Lance Thompson and Luke Bailey
as well as captain and five eighth Trent Barrett for extended
Despite this, Saints finished in 5th position after 26
rounds, their best result in the minor premiership since 1993.
In addition, they boasted the second best defensive record in
the competition, the best from a Dragons team since 1985.
At the very least, the Dragons performed better than the previous
However, with no less than 10 representative players in their
ranks, coach Nathan Brown's Dragons were also considered
'underachievers' after going down in week one of the finals.
24-25 Jan: World Sevens.
the Dragons go down narrowly and miss out
on a spot in the decider.
Feb: Dragons retain Charity Shield. The pre-season underway
and Saints defeat Souths 34-8 in front of 21,500 fans at Aussie
Stadium. Since 1982, there have been 21 Charity Shields; honours
going to Dragons 13, Souths 5 and 3 draws.
03 Mar: Legend's Walk opens. The completion of the `Legend's
Walk' as part of the Kogarah Jubilee Oval upgrade and encapsulate
the rich history of the St.George Dragons. more
> click here.
Mar: St George Bank announced as major sponsor. The jersey
sponsorship deals runs to the end of 2007.
18 Apr: Cooper bags 4 tries, Dragons thrash Panthers. Dragons
beat reigning premiers Penrith 44-18 with Matt Cooper scoring
23 APR: Bailey, Timmins play for Australia. Shaun Timmins
and Luke Bailey represent Australia, defeating New Zealand 37-10
01 May: Try-fecta Hornby smashes Sharks. Ben Hornby bags
a hat trick of tries as Saints thrash the Sharks. Record crowd
of 23,302 at Toyota Park.
07 May: Dragons named in rep sides. Lance Thompson and
Mark Riddell play for City Origin, defeated 22-18 by a Country
Origin side featuring Nathan Blacklock, Matt Cooper and Brent
May: Gasnier dumped. Mark Gasnier [pic right] is sacked from
the NSW squad after leaving an offensive phone message whilst
in camp. He is later fined $50,000 by the Dragons before being
recalled for Origin III.
26 May: Timmins sees NSW to victory. Ben Hornby, Shaun
Timmins and Brent Kite represent NSW. Timmins named man-of-the-match
after kicking the winning field goal in extra time, NSW 9 - QLD
11 Jun: Saints outclass Panthers again. Dragons beat Panthers
28-8 at Penrith Stadium. Saints defeating the reigning premiers
twice in 2004.
16 Jun: Queensland win Origin 2: QLD defeat NSW 22-18 with
Brent Kite representing NSW.
Jun: Gasnier bags 4 tries, Dragons
destroy Tigers. Saints crush West Tigers
50-0 at Kogarah with Mark Gasnier scoring 4 tries. (BIGGEST WIN
27 Jun: Dragons thrash Souths. Saints defeat Souths 52-18,
scoring 32 points in the first 25 minutes.
07 Jul: Six Dragons in NSW side. Mark Gasnier, Trent Barrett,
Jason Ryles, Brent Kite, Matt Cooper and Shaun Timmins represent
NSW, defeating QLD 36-14 in the decider.
Gasnier starred, scoring two tries but was injured with a cracked
collarbone, sidelining him indefinitely.
21 Jul: Gasnier's freak accident. Mark Gasnier falls awkwardly
while leaving a car and re-breaks collarbone. A day earlier, the
Dragons put an end to suggestions he was signing with Wigan (UK),
announcing they were not releasing the star centre.
30 Jul: Dragons duo in car smash. Trent Barrett and Mark
Gasnier involved in a car crash but emerge unhurt.
Aug: Knight sent off for hit on Sims. Newcastle forward Clint
Newton is sent off for delivering a high shot on Ashton Sims.
It was feared that Sims had a broken jaw but he recovered to star
in the Dragons 24-22 victory. Newton was later suspended for 12
click on image to see footage.
29 Aug: Saints comeback & win thriller. Dragons defeat
Manly 36-34, scoring 26 points in 25 mins. Saints hit the front
for the first time in the 78th minute.
10 Sep: Panthers knock Saints out. Penrith hold on to win
31-30 the Friday night semifinal
Oct: Dragons reserves defeated. Saints' Premier League side
defeated 30-8 in grand final by the Roosters at Telstra Stadium.
04 Oct: Creagh named in Junior Roos. Utility forward Ben
Creagh [pic right] named in the Australian junior Kangaroos squad.
04 Oct: Dragons named as Kangaroos. Jason Ryles, Matt Cooper
and Shaun Timmins tour with the victorious 2004 Kangaroos to Britain,
France and the USA.
Oct 14: Kogarah upgrade planned. Jubilee Stadium to receive
$8MIL government grant for 2005-2006 upgrades.
> 2004 news in detail.
> 2004 draw and match details.
Colin Best (Hull, England)
Albert Torrens (Manly)
Michael Ennis (Knights)
Willie Manu (Souths)
Lee Te Maari (Norths)
Tom Haberecht (Canterbury)
Will Tapou (Roosters)
Brett Kelly (Balmain)
Luke Dalziel-Don (Wynnum)
> 2005 Squad [pop up]
Lee Bennett (Tigers)
Nathan Blacklock (Hull, England)
Brett Firman (Roosters)
David and Michael Howell (Raiders)
Brent Kite (Sea Eagles)
Willie Leyshon (retired)
Wycliff Palu (Waratahs)
Henry Perenara (Eels)
Mark Riddell (Eels)
Brett White (Storm)
Lincoln Withers (Raiders)
DEFEAT SHARKS IN 'GONG HOME SEMI
Stadium, Saturday 10 September 2005:
The rain didn't deter the crowd as the St George Illawarra
Dragons played their first ever home quarterfinal in Wollongong,
defeating rank outsiders the Sharks 28-22 in week one of
the 2005 semi-finals.
trailing 6-4 at half time and then 12-4 after the break,
Saints scored three tries in eight minutes to take control
of an error-ridden match in the wet. Some solid ruck play
and a 40/20 kick from skipper Trent Barrett provided
enough momentum to put Saints in front in the second half.
forward Dean Young played a sensational match in
both attack and defence.
GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 28
Tries: Best 2, Young, Barrett, Naiqama
Goals: Naiqama 0/1 Ennis 4/4
CRONULLA SHARKS 22
Tries: Scott, Simmons, Vagana, Gallen
Goals: Covell 3/4
Referee: Tony Archer. Crowd: 19,608
Pic: Colin Best scoring one of his two quarter-final
tries against his former club.
GO DOWN IN PRELIMINARY FINAL
Aussie Stadium (SFS), Saturday 24 September
what was a disappointing exit for 2005, the St George Illawarra
Dragons have been defeated 20-12 by Wests Tigers at the
Sydney Football (Aussie) Stadium. Saints appeared to be
suffering from lack of match practice following a break
which saw them play just two matches in four weeks. Wests
Tigers controlled possession with repeat sets in the first
half and at the break were enjoying 66% of the ball. As
a result, Saints were camped in their own half and forced
to do a mountain of defence.
At half time, Wests Tigers led by 16-6.
It was a more even affair in the second half but the Dragons
bombed too many opportunities. At 20-12, Saints were still
in the contest, charging at the line but were let down by
end, Wests Tigers locked up shop and were able to hold Saints
out, going on to defeat the North Queensland Cowboys in
the Grand Final and win the 2005 premiership.
GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 12
Tries: Naiqama, Barrett
Goals: Ennis (2/2)
WESTS TIGERS 20
Tries: Halatau 2, Marshall, Heighington
Goals: Hodgson (2/4)
Referee: Tim Mander. Crowd: 41,260
Pic: Ben Hornby runs onto the Aussie Stadium (SFS)
DRAGONS TEAM: PRELIMINARY FINAL 1
1. Clint Greenshields, 2. Colin Best, 3. Mark Gasnier, 4.
Matt Cooper, 5. Wes Naiqama, 6. Trent Barrett (c), 7. Ben
Hornby, 8. Luke Bailey, 9. Dean Young, 10. Jason Ryles,
11. Ben Creagh, 12. Lance Thompson, 13. Shaun Timmins.
Interchange: 14. Michael Henderson, 15. Justin Poore, 16.
Corey Payne, 17. Michael Ennis.
Saturday 8 October 2005: 2005
DRAGONS AWARD WINNERS
Luke Bailey St George Bank Dragons Medal
Dean Young St George Bank Immortals Trophy
Ben Hornby Geoff Selby Memorial NRL Coaches Award
Dean Young Red V Members Player of the Year
Bryan Norrie Mark Coyne Award Premier League
Player of the Year
Tom Haberecht Paul McGregor Award Jersey Flegg
Player of the Year
2005 stats, first grade:
games (out of 26):
Colin Best (26); Lance Thompson
(26); Dean Young (26); Ben Hornby (25); Shaun Timmins (25);
Michael Ennis (24); Justin Poore (24); Luke Bailey (23)
Most tries: Colin Best 20 tries (from 26 games)
Most goals: Michael Ennis 44 goals (51 attempts)
field goals: Trent Barrett 1
points for 2005: Michael Ennis 5t + 44g = 108 points
> full first grade team list & stats
BIGGEST WIN 2005: 44-6 (v Sydney Roosters at WIN
Stadium, round 21, 29 July)
BIGGEST LOSS 2005: 46-12 (v Melbourne Storm at
WIN Stadium, round 2, 19 March)
HIGHEST TEAM SCORE 2005: 44 (v Sydney Roosters
at WIN Stadium, round 21, 29 July)
LOWEST TEAM SCORE 2005: 8 (v Penrith Panthers
at Penrith F.S., round 3, 26 March)
In 2005, the Dragons were equal on points
at the top of competition table, just shy
of taking out the minor premiership and
in second position. A win and a loss in
the finals saw Saints finish the season
in third position.
THE ROAD TO THE SEMIS
A late charge and tremendous winning streak saw
the Dragons come within a whisker of winning the
But it came after horror start in the opening rounds.
Saints lost five of their first six matches and
in April were languishing in last place on the NRL
losing their first four matches, Saints had conceded
152 points (70 points in favour) and coach Nathan
Brown's job was on the line. For the most part,
the Dragons were 'written off' for season 2005.
Saints recovered but their campaign suffered another
setback when in round 14, star halfback Mathew
Head was delivered a season-ending knee injury.
Utility back Ben Hornby moved from full back
to take over the half back role, opening the door
for Clint Greenshields to be successfully
promoted from the Premier League (second grade)
into the fullback position.
WINNING STREAK & FAVOURITISM
Following a series of victories in the second half
of the season, the St George Illawarra Dragons were
declared competition favourites.
The eight match winning streak began in round 19
with Saints easily disposing of the Manly Sea Eagles
But the season turnaround happened the week before
when Parramatta defeated Saints in controversial
circumstances - an all-in brawl saw the Eels score
an uncontested try and go on to win 40-12. The round
18 result was a wake-up call to the Dragons who
then played with a new-found discipline coming into
the latter part of the season.
The winning habit was highlighted in round 21 when
Saints thrashed the Sydney Roosters 44-6, scoring
38-0 in the second half and effectively ending the
In the weeks that followed, Saints disposed of other
premiership contenders, the Cowboys (36-16), the
Broncos (24-4 in front of 50,000 people in Brisbane),
and in a return match, the Eels (25-22). The punters
were buzzing and by August, the Dragons had firmed
as hot favourites.
POOR START COST SAINTS MINOR PREMIERSHIP
Nevertheless, the early season losses appear to
have cost Saints the minor premiership. After 26
rounds, Parramatta and St George were equal on 36
points but the Eels were declared minor premiers
by virtue of a better for-and-against.
8 in semis)
= Season Premiers
| AFTER 26 ROUNDS
Points For 655
(3rd best attack)
Points Against 510
(5th best defence)
Points For 40
Points Against 42
Points For 695
119t 109g 1fg
Points Against 552
99t 78g 0fg
> draw and match results for 2005 - click here
GRADE DRAGONS 2005
include interchange, t= tries, g=goals, fg=field goals,
pts=total points for season 2005
Kogarah, Tuesday 15 November 2005:
Following a breakdown in negotiations and communication,
forward Lance Thompson and the St George Illawarra
Dragons have mutually agreed to go their separate ways.
veteran of over 200 games with the Dragons, Thompson met
with officials at St George Leagues Club, emerging almost
two-and-a-half hours later.
Thompson's legal representative Chris Murphy said
Thompson would be leaving the club.
"We've agreed on terms," Murphy said. "The
Club indicates that the player's obligations under his playing
contract during the period of that contract to today's date
were discharged by him to the satisfaction of the club.
The matter has been resolved and settled and Lance is available
for a new club next year."
On October 7, Thompson left a Dragons awards function, claiming
he had been told he played his last game with the club.
A St George junior, Thompson still had one more year to
run on his contract. But salary cap concerns and a much
publicised falling out with Dragons Chief Executive Peter
Doust saw matters come to a head.
Claims, allegations and a media circus followed, culminating
in a letter being sent to Thompson asking him to show cause
why he should not be dismissed for misconduct.
Thompson expressed relief that the issue had finally been
"I'm happy it's all over and done with," Thompson
said. "I'm pretty happy with the outcome so I can move
on and obviously look to brighter pastures."
The St George Illawarra club later issued a brief statement:
"The St George Illawarra Dragons and Lance Thompson
have today agreed to terminate his 2006 playing contract
on terms mutually agreeable to both parties. The parties
also agreed that the terms of the agreement would remain
16 February 1978, Sydney.
First Grade debut 1995:
St George v Cronulla at Caltex Field, June 24, 1995. Thompson
First Grade Stats with Saints: 1995-2005, 201 appearances.
24 tries, 17 goals (130 points).
Early in his career, Thompson declared his passion
as a true clubman when he once exclaimed, "I would
die for St George."
1996-1999: Thompson played in 1996 and 1999 grand
2000: Thompson was involved in a fight with fellow
forward Andrew Hart at St George Leagues Club. Thompson
(fined $15,000 by the club) later apologised to Hart, the
club, his family and the fans. Hart (fined $5000) was reported
to be just as keen to put the incident behind him.
2001: Thompson debuts in City Firsts and is named
as captain. Thompson also played for City Origin in 2003
2003: Thompson took a pay cut in 2003 so the club
could re-sign other star players under the salary cap. Also
in 2003, Thompson donated $10,000 to the St George Junior
League. In November of the same year, Thompson entered the
boxing ring in a charity bout to raise funds for the St
George Foundation and the Childrens Hospital at Randwick.
2004: Thompson was dropped to the Premier League
after showing up to training under the influence of alcohol.
Personal matters aside, Thompson was again facing disciplinary
action from the club. He bounced back however, and following
a series of stand-out performances, the star forward was
named in NSW's 30-man State of Origin train-on squad.
2005: Thompson was in top form, playing in all 26
first grade games for the Dragons.
2006: After being released by Saints in late 2005,
Thompson signed to play with the Cronulla Sharks for 2006.
Continue Commitment to Youth in 2006
Media, Thursday 1 December 2005:
The St George Illawarra Dragons have continued to develop
and reward their junior talents with 10 players from the
Club's 2005 Premiership winning Jersey Flegg team joining
the full-time training squad for 2006.
Bailey a Gold Coaster in 2007
Citing family reasons, Dragons prop
Luke Bailey has signed a lucrative four year deal
with the new Gold Coast Titans club, beginning in
2007. But the St George Bank Dragons Medal Player
of the Year has made it clear he owes much to the
Dragons and intends to go out on a winning note in
"I was fortunate enough to play football for
the Dragons and also secure mine and my family's future,"
Bailey told the Red V magazine.
"Originally my objective was to stay at the Dragons
but when we started the year so bad contract talks
dragged on a bit and I started to think its hard to
get a three-year deal now, how hard will it be when
that time runs out?" Bailey said.
"When the option came to get four years at the
Gold Coast from 2007 it was one I found hard to pass
up. It's a new challenge and it secures my family."
The Shellharbour junior also acknowledged the Club's
future stood well with the development of local juniors
and the salary cap was looming. At 25-years-old, Bailey
will be at the height of his career in 2006 and will
have truckloads of experience to offer new players
A NSW Origin rep (2002-05) and Australian rep (2003-2004),
Bailey stood down from the Tri-Nations tour of 2005,
opting to undergo an operation for a degenerative
"If I had of gone on tour and delayed the operation
then I would not have been fully fit to give my all
for the Club at the start of the year. The Dragons
have been good to me for 10 years so I owed it to
them to be at my best in my last year."
Jersey Flegg "Player of the Year" Tom Haberecht,
Tom Hewitt, Chris Houston, Jason Klimis,
Charlie Leaneo, Daryl Millard, George Ndaira,
Danny Wicks and the Morris twins Brett and Josh
have all earned the opportunity to train alongside their
New recruits to the Dragons for 2006 include: Damon Alley-Tovio
(Canberra), Matt Bickerstaff (France), Bryson
Goodwin (Cronulla), Sam Isemonger (Cronulla),
Andrew Price (Newcastle), Lagi Setu (Rugby
Union), Richard Williams (South Sydney).
"Our priority has always been with the development
of our local juniors and we are fortunate to have such a
talent base," said Coach Nathan Brown. "Our young
guys have earned their place in our full-time squad and
will be pushing for a place in the top grade.
"We have a number of representative players in our
squad and it was important to ensure we have depth and strength
with "value for money", first grade players to
help cope with our ongoing representative requirements."
Dragons Full-Time Squad for 2006
Damon Alley-Tovio, Luke Bailey, Trent Barrett, Colin Best,
Matt Bickerstaff, Reece Blayney, Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh,
Mark Gasnier, Bryson Goodwin, Clint Greenshields, Tom Haberecht,
Mathew Head, Michael Henderson, Tom Hewitt, Ben Hornby,
Chris Houston, Sam Isemonger, Jason Klimis, Charlie Leaneo,
Daryl Millard, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Wes Naiqama, George
Ndaira, Corey Payne, Justin Poore, Andrew Price, Jason Ryles,
Lagi Setu, Chris Sheppard, Reece Simmonds, Ashton Sims,
Shaun Timmins, Willie Tupou, Aaron Wheatley, Danny Wicks,
Richard Williams, Dean Young.
JERSEY FLEGG DRAGONS ANNIHILATE CENTRAL COAST 102-8
Sunday 12 June 2005: The St George Illawarra
Dragons Jersey Flegg side have delivered a 102-8 thrashing to
Central Coast Rip at OKI Jubilee, the premiership favourites merciless
in racking up 18 tries to 2 over the competition cellar dwellers.
GEORGE ILLAWARRA 102
(J Keith 3, B Morris 2, L Te Maari 2, B Jefferey 2, J Jiminez
2, W Tupou 2, G Ndaira, J Lewis, D Wicks, T Hewitt, J Tanner
tries; J Lewis 15 goals)
CENTRAL COAST RIP 8
(N Leloux 2 tries)
Five-eighth Josh Lewis posted a personal tally of 34 points
(1 try and 15 goals). The scoreline had statisticians looking
back through the record books with a century not being achieved
in any grade of the NSWRL/ARL/NRL competition for over 80 years.
Saints opened the scoring after two minutes when captain Jamie
Keith set up play and then backed up to score the first of
his three tries under the posts. In the next set of six, the Dragons
entertained with some dazzling football, going the length of the
field with second rower James Jiminez being on hand to
score the first of his two tries. The points continued with Saints
scoring seven times off seven consecutive sets before half time.
With 25 minutes to go, the Dragons needed 36 points to reach the
century. The Rip stemmed the tide momentarily, scoring their second
try. But the Dragons struck back with a flood of points, crossing
six times to bring the scoreline to 96-8 with less than a minute
With the crowd still pouring in for the main fixture, centre Lee
Te Maari kicked ahead for the outside backs. A flying Tom
Hewitt toed the ball into the in-goal area, winning the foot
race to score a tremendous try, racking up the century and bringing
a huge cheer from the Kogarah crowd.
BOYS BRING HOME A PREMIERSHIP
FLEGG GRAND FINAL
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 30
Tries: Hewitt 2, Lewis, Houston, Nightingale, Ryan
Goals: Lewis 3/6
PARRAMATTA EELS 20
Tries: Basan, Micallef, Inu, Hauraki
Goals: Williams 2/4
Referee: Jason Robinson
Sunday 2 October 2005: Coached by former
Dragons first grader Steven Price, the St George Illawarra Dragons
have defeated the Parramatta Eels in the Jersey Flegg Grand Final
by 30-20 at Telstra Stadium.
Red hot favourites for the title, the Dragons third graders completed
the minor premiership at the top of the ladder on 45 points, eight
points clear of second place. Their opponents on Grand Final day
came from third position and 36 competition points.
The young Dragons didnt get it easy though, with Parra throwing
everything they had at them and leading at various stages of the
opened with a try to promising winger Tom Hewitt in the
6th minute following a beautifully worked backline move down the
blindside. The conversion from five-eighth Josh Lewis was
unsuccessful and from there the complexion of the game changed
League Saints semi-finalists
Aussie Stadium, Saturday 17 September 2005: The Dragons
Premier League (second grade) side have gone down to the
Newtown Jets 31-22 in week two of the finals.
After completing the minor premiership on 30 points and
in 6th position, the Mick Potter coached Saints went on
to win their first semi-finals encounter, easily defeating
the 3rd placed Manly side by 52-12 at Brookvale Oval.
But Saints were unable to continue the momentum, going down
to the Jets the following week.
Minor premiers Parramatta were the ultimate premiers, defeating
the Roosters 31-12 in the Premier League Grand Final.
The Dragons relaxed their approach as the Eels upped the tempo
to take a 10-4 lead.
Saints struck back two minutes before halftime when the talented
Lewis scooped up the ball after a kick-through and at half time,
the scores level at 10-all.
Parramatta posted a try two minutes into the second half to push
the lead out to 14-10. The Dragons scored again through Hewitt
in the 48th minute after another Lewis kick ahead.
The Dragons looked in control from that point on, scoring the
next two tries through prop Chris Houston and winger Jason
Nightingale, opening up a 24-14 lead and it appeared the game
was in their keeping.
But with seven minutes left the Eels rallied to score a converted
try, narrowing the lead to 24-20.
With their season flashing before their eyes, St George Illawarra
hit back three minutes later with a try to centre Beau Ryan
with lead-up work from Lewis once again a feature. He added the
extras to cap off a man of the match performance and seal victory
for the Dragons.
HONOURS TO SIX DRAGONS
2005, the St George Illawarra Dragons had no less than four players
in the New South Wales side with Mark Gasnier, Matt
Cooper, Jason Ryles and Luke Bailey all being
called up the State of Origin series. Trent Barrett was
named as well but withdrew due to injury. NSW went on to defeat
Queensland 2-1 with centre partners Gasnier and Cooper scoring
two tries and one try respectively while Bailey and Ryles paved
the way up front throughout the three-match series.
In October and November, the Dragons were well represented in
the Australian Tri-Nations squad with Barrett (4 Tri-Nations matches),
Cooper (4 Tri-Nations plus France match), Gasnier (5 Tri-Nations
plus France match) and Ryles (5 Tri-Nations plus France match)
all being selected. Bailey was also named in the squad but had
to withdraw due to an ongoing ear infection.
In what was greeted as a surprise selection, 20-year-old Ben
Creagh [pic left] was called into the squad following injury
concerns to Parramatta backrower Nathan Hindmarsh.
Creagh's utility value as a forward or back saw him train well
with the Kangaroos and on the 13th November, the Wollongong University
junior became the Dragons' 61st club international when Australia
played France in a Test match in Perpignan, Creagh running on
in the number 12 jersey and Australia winning 44-12. It was a
wonderful Test debut for the young back rower and although he
didn't play in another match, the experience gained can only help
in advancing the future career of Ben Creagh.
Afterwards, the Wayne Bennett coached Kangaroos took on
New Zealand in the Tri-Nations final in Leeds, the Kiwis winning
24-0 and delivering Australia their first international series
defeat since 1978.
2005, the Dragons signed a new five-year deal with sportswear company
Adidas, beginning in 2006.
The Dragons players resumed training in November with the new Red V
jersey, and the return of the 'goatee', the bottom of the V which has
been missing from the famous jumper for some years.
The deal sees the Dragons as the first rugby league club to be associated
with Adidas. They join Cricket Australia, NZ All Blacks, Real Madrid,
and Collingwood AFL as sponsorship partners with the sportswear giant.
Club legend and Kogarah champ Robert Stone passes
Monday 1 August 2005:
St George legend Robert Stone has passed away after battling
with a number of malignant tumors since 2003. The former front
row forward passed away quietly on the morning of August 1, 2005.
A rugged forward with pace, Robert Stone debuted in first grade
in 1975 as an 18-year-old. He was part of a ruthless St George
pack which won the 1977 premiership, Stone scoring a memorable
runaway try in the Grand Final replay.
Robert played a 281 all-grade games for St George. He won premierships
in all three grades (thirds in 1974, seconds in 1976 and firsts
in 1977). From 1975-1985, he played 170 first grade games, crossing
for 26 tries.
A NSW rep in 1980, Stone played in the first ever State of Origin
In 1984, he was the Dragons' captain 15 times out of 24 appearances.
an administrator, 'Stoney' was instrumental, if not passionate,
in his push to have the Dragons return to Kogarah Jubilee Oval.
In 2003, with the reconstruction deadline approaching, 'Stoney'
was spotted shoveling gravel near the western grandstand, an area
later dubbed 'Stoney's Slab' by supporters.
Robert Stone epitomised the great spirit and dedication of the
St George community. While pondering the scale of works that had
been completed at Kogarah Oval, Stone said, "We thought we
had no chance of getting through it. Not only was it a community
project, and it was marvelous to see the community coming behind
us, but I am sure that God is a Dragon."
> Robert Stone website
Official Laurie Doust passes away
18 October, 2005:
Long-serving rugby league official Laurie Doust, the
father of St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust
has passed away, aged 84.
A former St George Football Club and Leagues Club director, Laurie
was the head of selectors at St George from 1956-61. A tough and
sometimes ruthless negotiator, he played an integral part in the
recruitment and retention of St George players when the club won
11 consecutive premierships. Doust is credited with identifying
some of the club's greatest stars during the golden years of the
St George Dragons.
More > Laurie
Doust - click here
mourn loss of hard man John Wittenberg
Monday 7 November 2005:
Former Dragons and representative prop forward John Wittenberg
has died, aged 67, after suffering a heart attack while working
on his Wauchope property last week.
Hailing from Wide Bay in Queensland, Wittenberg played for Queensland
and NSW as a state rep. He made his Test debut in the 1966 Ashes
series. Wittenberg then tried to link up with St George but was
blocked by the QRL, forcing him to sit out the 1967 season and
miss out on touring with the Kangaroos. Wittenberg went on to
play three seasons for Saints from 1968 to 1970.
Further rep honours followed in the 1968 World Cup and in Tests
against New Zealand and Great Britain. John played six Tests for
Former Australian and Dragons captain-coach Graeme Langlands
remembers Wittenberg as one of the toughest forwards of his era.
"He was very, very tough," said Langlands. "He
lost half a hand in an accident with farming equipment before
he came to Sydney but it didn't worry him. He told me that when
he resumed playing after the accident the tops of the finger stumps
would bleed during matches. He didn't let it worry him."
John Wittenberg scored four tries in 53 games for Saints.