BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DRAGONS
1908, St George almost joined the New South
Wales Rugby League following a meeting at Rockdale
Town Hall. At that meeting, a St George Rugby
League club was definitely formed with a president
and other officials being elected. But the new
club was unable to form a team when pressure
from the Rugby Union saw only three players
In 1910, a St George Third Grade team entered
the competition. They won their first game in
convincing fashion, defeating the Newtown Thirds
On Monday 8 November 1920, at the Kogarah School
of Arts, a St George District Rugby League club
was formed with the view of entering a First
Grade team into the 1921 competition.
On St George's Day (April 23) 1921, a St George
First Grade side finally entered the Sydney
premiership, narrowly losing their first game
4-3 to Glebe.
In 1927, St George were runners up and in 1928,
they were minor premiers for the first time.
In the 1930s, The 'Dragon Slayers' as they were
known, were again runners up in 1930, 1933 and
1937. In 1935, St George posted a premiership
record when they defeated Canterbury by 91-6
at Saints' old home ground at Earl Park.
In 1941, St George finally won their first premiership
when they defeated Easts 31-14 at the Sydney
Saints were runners up in 1942 and again in
1946 before winning a second premiership in
In 1950, St George left Hurstville Oval began
their long association with Kogarah Jubilee
Oval as a home ground.
In 1953, St George were runners up when they
went down to Souths in the Final.
The St George Dragons cemented themselves as
one of the world's greatest sporting clubs when
they won and unprecedented 11 straight premierships
between 1956-1966. They were undefeated in 1959
and won all three grade Grand Finals in 1963.
Immortals such as Graeme Langlands, John Raper
and Reg Gasnier were just a few of the greats
who wore the red and white during these golden
The Dragons were Grand finalists in 1971 and
1975. before St George and Parramatta played
in the historic drawn Grand Final of 1977, the
match ending at 9-all after extra time. The
young Saints team came out the following week
to defeat the Eels 22-0 in the 'Grand Final
In 1979, St George won their 15th premiership
after defeating Canterbury 17-13 in the Grand
St George played in five more Grand Finals in
1985, 1992, 1993, 1996, and most recently in
1999 as the 'St George-Illawarra Dragons'
following Rugby League's first successful joint
venture. To this day, the St George Dragons
in their famous 'Red V' jersey are probably
the most well known Rugby League name in the
Illawarra Steelers entered the premiership in
1982 during one of the game's expansions. Basing
themselves in Wollongong, it seemed that their
inclusion into the NSWRL Sydney premiership
was long overdue.
The Southern Division competition has a long
history which can be traced back to 1910. In
1946, they beat England 15-12 and did the same
in 1950 defeating Great Britain 18-11.
Charlie 'Saus' Hazleton was the first Illawarra
international in 1937-38 and like many top class
players he soon found himself in the Sydney
Competition playing for St George (1939 and
1940). The Wollongong area has produced many
great players, including Graeme 'Changa' Langlands,
'Slippery' Steve Morris and Rod Wishart.
Illawarra Steeler's best year
was in 1992 when they finished third on the
ladder and made it all the way to the preliminary
final before being beaten by St George by just
In late 1998, Illawarra and St
George joined forces to become known as the
'St George - Illawarra Dragons' who went on
to be 1999 grand finalists.
September 1998, the St George Dragons and the
Illawarra Steelers made history when they formed
Rugby League's first successful joint venture,
the 'St George Illawarra Dragons'. Overall,
this was a popular move as both clubs had many
things in common. In 1999 the Dragons almost
pulled off a remarkable year when they made
the semi-finals and appeared unstoppable as
they suddenly hit top form. They went into the
Grand Final as favourites but went down narrowly
20-18 in controversial circumstances when Melbourne
were awarded a penalty try just before full
Debates over home ground, club
identity and recruitment continued into 2002.
In 2003, the St George Illawarra Dragons returned
to Kogarah Jubilee Oval for the first time since
1999 with Wollongong and St George districts
both sharing home ground matches. This coincided
with a club journal announcement that the history
of the clubs would unite with the next Dragons
Grand Final win being premiership number 16.
More history, click on
the links below...