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St George Dragons Rugby League History
Since 1921 - Our Proud History
Charity Shield - St George Dragons rugby league historyDragons regain Charity Shield
Season snapshot
In 2003, the Dragons finished in 10th position, and outside of finals contention.
Aussie 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 two tries.
New Dragons' halfback, Brett Firman also scored a try and controlled much of the first half.
Click on the pic for larger image (210 kb)

Team 2003 - St George Dragons rugby league history
To date, there have been 20 Charity Shield matches with Saints winning 12, Souths 5 plus 3 draws.
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
More on Charity Shield - click here
A Glorious Return To Kogarah!
Kogarah Jubilee Oval Rainbow - St George Dragons rugby league historyKogarah Jubilee Oval, Sunday 4 May 2003:
Oki Doki as Kogarah Oval scores a new sponsor
29 April 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.
The 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.
The 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: 16,713
Match pics & related links - click here
NRL First Grade

(top 8 in semis)
Panthers p 40
Roosters 38
Bulldogs 36
Raiders 36
Storm 34
Warriors 34
Knights 32
Broncos 28
Eels 26
Dragons 26
Cowboys 24
Sharks 20
W Tigers 18
Sea Eagles 18
Rabbitohs 10
p = Season Premiers

Minor Premiership
Points For 548
(10th best attack)
95t 84g 0fg
Points Against 593
(9th best defence)
102t 91g 3fg
MP Standing

(15 teams)

Season draw, results for 2003 - click here

2003 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.
Trent Barrett - St George Dragons rugby league historyTuesday 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.
Trent Barrett, Nathan Brown - St George Dragons rugby league historyBarrett 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'.
“I have had problems with my lower right leg, but this injury is certainly a surprise,” he said. “I know when I come back I’ll be fully fit and will have a full pre-season.”
Prior to 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 results.
Barrett was initially diagnosed with a cracked bone in his lower right leg when injured in the pre-season World Sevens tournament on February 2.
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
Nathan Blacklock - St George Dragons rugby league historyWednesday 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. “It’s where my heart is. I feel like I’ve come home.”
Nathan Blacklock SOTV profile/history - click here

Dragons end 2003 in style
Suncorp Stadium, Friday 5 September 2003: An injury-ridden Mark Riddell - St George Dragons rugby league historyDragons 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 Lockyer.
Trailing 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 the uprights.

Saints had won by the slimmest of margins and ended the season in fine style.
Luke Bailey, Dean Young, Shaun Timmins - St George Dragons rugby league historyBroncos 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

[pop-up] click here

Players Awards
Ben Hornby - St George Dragons rugby league history
St 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.
Player movements
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”.
New Signings:
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 Palu.

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.
Players 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.

Bailey shines as NSW win State of Origin
Luke Bailey - St George Dragons rugby league historySuncorp 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 Maroons.
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 series 2-1.

Lance Thompson takes pay cut as salary cap looms
Lance Thompson - St George Dragons rugby league historyKogarah, 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 2003 summary
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 final.
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 Stadium.
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).
Dragons 2003 top player stats, first grade:
Most games (out of 24): Ben Hornby (24); Mark Riddell (24); 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, 24 games).
Most field goals: None.
Most points for 2003: Mark Riddell 7t+69g = 166 pts (24 games).
Ron Roberts - St George Dragons rugby league historyRon 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 competition’s 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 game’s history’. More >> click here.

For a full and detailed list of news headlines and links from 2003 - click here

Season snapshot
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 Roosters.
Penrith 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.
Jason Ryles - St George Dragons rugby league history
Jason Ryles gets plenty of attention
Penrith came out firing to lead 24-0 after only 17 minutes. But Saints came back to 24-12 at half time.
With 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.
But 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.
PANTHERS 31 (Tries: Waterhouse 2, Campbell 2, Priddis. Goals: Girdler 5/5, Gower F/G)
defeated DRAGONS 30 (Tries: Blacklock, Hornby, Timmins, Thompson, Young. Goals: Head 5/5).
Crowd: 21,963. Referee: Sean Hampstead.
Full match report by the clock: click here.


Gasnier, Cooper, Ryles, Timmins, Kite, Barrett - NSW Blues - St George Dragons rugby league historyIn 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.
TEAM 2004

Team 2004 - St George Dragons rugby league history
Click on pic for larger image

Gasnier 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.
Ben Hornby - St George Dragons rugby league historyFrom 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 world.
On 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.
NRL First Grade

(top 8 in semis)
Roosters 42
Bulldogs p 42
Broncos 37
Panthers 34
Dragons 32
Storm 30
Cowboys 29
Raiders 26
W Tigers 24
Knights 24
Sharks 24
Eels 22
Sea Eagles 22
Warriors 16
Rabbitohs 16
p = Season Premiers
Minor Premiership
Points For 624
(5th best attack)
Points Against 415
(2nd best defence)
MP Standing

(15 teams)

Points For 30
Points Against 31
Final Standing

25 matches
Points For 654
120t 86g 2fg
Points Against 446
77t 67g 4fg
Season draw, results for 2004 - click here
OKI 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.
Brent Kite, Mark Riddell - St George Dragons rugby league history 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].
Full match report by the clock: click here.

Nathan Blacklock - St George Dragons rugby league historyThursday 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 celebrations.
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.
More > Nathan Blacklock page

Players Awards

Mathew Head - St George Dragons rugby league history
Wollongong, 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 Coaches Award.
Matt Cooper - Red V Members Player of the Year.
Clint Greenshields - Mark Coyne Award – Premier League Player of the Year.
Justin Poore - Paul McGregor Award – Most Outstanding Player Achievement.

Dragons 2004 stats, first grade:
Matt Cooper - St George Dragons rugby league history
Matt Cooper
Most 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 Kite (23).
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 Barrett 1.
Most points for 2004: Mathew Head 5t+49g = 119 points (23 games).
More > 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

Ross Kite - St George Dragons rugby league historyKogarah, 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.

Ross Kite also played with the winning St George side in the 1956 Grand Final.
From 1952-57, he played 88 first grade games for St George, scoring 48 tries and kicked 49 goals for a tally of 245 points.
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.
Kevin Ryan - St George Dragons rugby league historyKevin 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.
More > Full story [pop up]
Season 2004 summary
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 periods.
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 year.
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
. Semi-finalists, the Dragons go down narrowly and miss out on a spot in the decider.
Charity Shield - St George Dragons rugby league history14 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.
St George Bank - St George Dragons rugby league history05 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 4 tries.
23 APR: Bailey, Timmins play for Australia. Shaun Timmins and Luke Bailey represent Australia, defeating New Zealand 37-10 in Newcastle.
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 Kite.
Mark Gasnier - St George Dragons rugby league history20 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 8.
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.
GST - Great St George Team - supporter banner - St George Dragons rugby league history20 Jun: Gasnier bags 4 tries, Dragons destroy Tigers. Saints crush West Tigers 50-0 at Kogarah with Mark Gasnier scoring 4 tries. (BIGGEST WIN 2004)
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.
Big Jersey - St George Dragons rugby league history 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.
Ashton Sims, Clint Newton - St George Dragons rugby league history20 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 weeks.
More> 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
Ben Creagh - St George Dragons rugby league history03 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.
More > 2004 news in detail.
More > 2004 draw and match details.
Gains (NRL Squad)
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)

More > 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)
John Olzard
Wycliff Palu (Waratahs)
Henry Perenara (Eels)
Mark Riddell (Eels)
Brett White (Storm)
Lincoln Withers (Raiders)
Tony Jensen
Stacey Katu
Lachlan Russell
Coiln Best - St George Dragons rugby league historyWIN 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.
After 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.
Utility forward Dean Young played a sensational match in both attack and defence.
Tries: Best 2, Young, Barrett, Naiqama
Goals: Naiqama 0/1 Ennis 4/4
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.
Aussie Stadium (SFS), Saturday 24 September 2005:
In 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 poor execution.

Ben Hornby - St George Dragons rugby league historyST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 12
Tries: Naiqama, Barrett
Goals: Ennis (2/2)
Tries: Halatau 2, Marshall, Heighington
Goals: Hodgson (2/4)
Referee: Tim Mander. Crowd: 41,260
Pic: Ben Hornby runs onto the Aussie Stadium (SFS) pitch.
In the 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.
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.

Player Awards
Luke Bailey - St George Dragons rugby league history
Luke Bailey
Wollongong, 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

Dragons 2005 stats, first grade:
Most 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)
Most field goals: Trent Barrett 1
Michael Ennis - St George Dragons rugby league history
Michael Ennis
Most points for 2005: Michael Ennis 5t + 44g = 108 points (24 games)
More > 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)
Season snapshot
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.


A late charge and tremendous winning streak saw the Dragons come within a whisker of winning the minor premiership.
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 ladder.
Mathew Head - St George Dragons rugby league historyAfter 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.
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 by 36-10.
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 Roosters' season.
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.
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.
NRL First Grade

(top 8 in semis)
Eels 36
Dragons 36
Broncos 34
W Tigers p 32
Cowboys 32
Storm 30
Sharks 28
Sea Eagles 28
Roosters 26
Panthers 26
Warriors 24
Bulldogs 23
Rabbitohs 23
Raiders 22
Knights 20
p = Season Premiers

Minor Premiership
Points For 655
(3rd best attack)
Points Against 510
(5th best defence)
MP Standing

(15 teams)

Points For 40
Points Against 42
Final Standing

26 matches
Points For 695
119t 109g 1fg
Points Against 552
99t 78g 0fg

More > draw and match results for 2005 - click here

Prop forward
23 appearances
3t (12pts)
Luke Bailey - St George Dragons rugby league history
Trent BARRETT (c)
18 appearances
9t, 1 fg (37pts)
Trent Barrett - St George Dragons rugby league history
Colin BEST
26 appearances
20t (80pts)
Coiln Best - St George Dragons rugby league history
20 appearances
13t (52pts)
Matt Cooper - St George Dragons rugby league history
Back row forward
21 appearances
5t (20pts)
Ben Creagh - St George Dragons rugby league history
Michael ENNIS
24 appearances
5t, 44g (108pts)
Michael Ennis - St George Dragons rugby league history
19 appearances
8t, 4g (40pts)
Mark Gasnier - St George Dragons rugby league history
6 appearances
11g (22pts)
Aaron Gorrell - St George Dragons rugby league history
15 appearances
4t (16pts)
Clint Greenshields - St George Dragons rugby league history
Mathew HEAD
10 appearances
2t, 25g (58pts)
Mathew Head - St George Dragons rugby league history
12 appearances (0pts)
Michael Henderson - St George Dragons rugby league history
3 appearances (0pts)
Daniel Holdsworth - St George Dragons rugby league history
Fullback / halfback
25 appearances
6t (24pts)
Ben Hornby - St George Dragons rugby league history
Willie MANU
14 appearances
1t (4pts)
Willie Manu - St George Dragons rugby league history
2 appearances
1t (4pts)
Shane Marteene - St George Dragons rugby league history
20 appearances
9t, 25g (86pts)
Wes Naiqama - St George Dragons rugby league history
4 appearances
Bryan Norrie - St George Dragons rugby league history
17 appearances
5t (20pts)
Corey Payne - St George Dragons rugby league history
Justin POORE
24 appearances
Justin Poore - St George Dragons rugby league history

1 appearance

Ryan Powell - St George Dragons rugby league history
Prop Forward
21 appearances
2t (8pts)
Jason Ryles - St George Dragons rugby league history
1 appearance
Chris Sheppard - St George Dragons rugby league history
5 appearances
Reece Simmonds - St George Dragons rugby league history
Ashton SIMS
Prop forward
19 appearances
4t (16pts)
Ashton Sims - St George Dragons rugby league history
26 appearances
7t (28pts)
Lance Thompson - St George Dragons rugby league history
Back row / lock forward
25 appearances
6t (24pts)
Shaun Timmins - St George Dragons rugby league history
10 appearances
3t (12pts)
Albert Torrens - St George Dragons rugby league history
Hooker / lock forward
26 appearances
4t (16pts)
Dean Young - St George Dragons rugby league history
5 appearances
2t (8pts)
Nick Youngquest - St George Dragons rugby league history

Appearances 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.
A 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 dealt with.
"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 confidential."
Lance Thompson - St George Dragons rugby league historyBorn:
16 February 1978, Sydney.
Junior club:
Hurstville United.
First Grade debut 1995:
St George v Cronulla at Caltex Field, June 24, 1995. Thompson aged 17-years-old.
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 finals.
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 and 2004.
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 Children’s 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.

Dragons Continue Commitment to Youth in 2006
'Bull' 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 2006.
"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 coming through.
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 ear problem.
"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."
Dragons 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.
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 NRL heroes.
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.

(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)
(N Leloux 2 tries)

Scorebaord Dragons 102 Central Coast 8 - St George Dragons rugby league history
Kogarah, 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.
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 remaining.
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.
Jamie Keith - St George Dragons rugby league historyJERSEY FLEGG GRAND FINAL
Tries: Hewitt 2, Lewis, Houston, Nightingale, Ryan
Goals: Lewis 3/6
Tries: Basan, Micallef, Inu, Hauraki
Goals: Williams 2/4
Referee: Jason Robinson
Telstra Stadium, 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 didn’t get it easy though, with Parra throwing everything they had at them and leading at various stages of the game.
Premier 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 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 dramatically.
The Dragons relaxed their approach as the Eels upped the tempo to take a 10-4 lead.
But 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.
Ben Creagh - St George Dragons rugby league historyREP HONOURS TO SIX DRAGONS
In 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.

Adidas jersey - St George Dragons rugby league historyIn 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 away

Robert Stone - St George Dragons rugby league historyEngadine, 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 match.
In 1984, he was the Dragons' captain 15 times out of 24 appearances.
Stoney's Slab Kogarah - St George Dragons rugby league historyAs 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."
More > Robert Stone website

Official Laurie Doust passes away
Laurie Doust - St George Dragons rugby league historyTuesday 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

John Wittenberg - St George Dragons rugby league historySaints 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 Australia.
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.
Corrections and enquiries: [email protected]