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1970 NSWRFL season

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Title: 1970 NSWRFL season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1970 in sports, List of NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL records, Rugby League Week, Ken Irvine, Terry Randall, John McDonald (rugby league)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1970 NSWRFL season

1970 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 12
Premiers South Sydney (19th title)
Minor premiers South Sydney (16th title)
Matches played 136
Points scored 4407 (total)
32.404 (per match)
Attendance 1,630,630 (total)
11,990 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Eric Simms (241)
Top try scorer(s) grand final match for the WD & HO Wills Cup between the Manly-Warringah and South Sydney clubs.

Season summary

Following the previous season's "lay-down" or "stop-start" grand final, rugby league's rules were changed for this season so that rather than stopping the game to call a doctor onto the field when a player goes down injured, the ball is given to a team-mate to play so that no advantage can be gained from feigning injury.[1] Head-high tackles were also outlawed at the commencement of the 1971 season. Each side met all others twice in twenty-two regular season rounds before the top four finishers, Souths, Manly, St. George and Canterbury, fought out four finals for a place in the grand final.

The 1970 season's Rothmans Medallist was Eastern Suburbs' halfback Kevin Junee. Rugby League Week awarded their player of the year award to Cronulla-Sutherland's halfback Tommy Bishop.


63rd season
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
4th season
Ground: Endeavour Field
Captain-coach: Tommy Bishop
Eastern Suburbs
63rd season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Ground: Brookvale Oval
Coach: Ron Willey
Captain: John McDonald
Henson Park
Roy Francis
Captain-coach: Ron Lynch
4th season
Ground: Penrith Stadium
Captain-coach: Bob Boland
John Sattler
St. George
Western Suburbs
63rd season


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 South Sydney 22 17 1 4 479 273 +206 35
2 Manly-Warringah 22 16 1 5 422 285 +137 33
3 St. George 22 15 0 7 408 329 +79 30
4 Canterbury-Bankstown 22 14 0 8 308 269 +39 28
5 Eastern Suburbs 22 13 0 9 386 320 +66 26
6 Balmain 22 12 1 9 380 347 +33 25
7 Cronulla-Sutherland 22 9 0 13 374 335 +39 18
8 Newtown 22 9 0 13 345 409 -64 18
9 North Sydney 22 7 1 14 332 435 -103 15
10 Template:Leagueicon Penrith 22 7 1 14 292 406 -114 15
11 Western Suburbs 22 6 1 15 329 403 -74 13
12 Parramatta 22 4 0 18 240 484 -244 8


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
St. George 12 - 7 Canterbury-Bankstown 29 August 1970 Sydney Cricket Ground Keith Page 40,083
South Sydney 22 - 15 Manly-Warringah 5 September 1970 Sydney Cricket Ground Don Lancashire 40,211
Preliminary Final
Manly-Warringah 15 - 6 St. George 12 September 1970 Sydney Cricket Ground Don Lancashire 43,147
Grand Final
South Sydney 23 - 12[2] Manly-Warringah 19 September 1970 Sydney Cricket Ground Don Lancashire 53,241

Grand Final

Manly-Warringah Position South Sydney
Bob Batty FB Eric Simms
Dereck Moritz WG Michael Cleary
Bob Fulton CE Paul Sait
Alex Tennant CE Arthur Branighan
John McDonald (c) WG Ray Branighan
Ian Martin FE Denis Pittard
Ed Whiley HB Bob Grant
Bill Hamilton PR John Sattler (c)
Fred Jones HK Elwyn Walters
John Bucknall PR John O'Neill
Lindsay Drake SR Bob McCarthy
John Morgan SR Gary Stevens
Ron Cameron LK Ron Coote
Allan Thomson Reserve Bob Honan
Ron Willey Coach Clive Churchill

Having lost the previous Grand Final to the Balmain Tigers, Souths were desperate to win this year. After four minutes the Rabbitohs had scored. Approximately five minutes later Souths captain John Sattler collapsed, having been punched in an off-the-ball incident by Manly forward John Bucknall.[3] He suffered a double fracture to his jaw but pleaded to team mate Mike Cleary, "Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt". He was helped up and continued to play in the game. At half-time Souths were leading 12-6 when his team mates learnt about his injury.

During the interval Sattler refused treatment and insisted he continue playing. He also told the side, "the next bloke who tries to cut me out of the play is in trouble", to prevent his team mates trying to protect him from further injury. The Souths forward pack returned to the fray and completely dominated the play with their backline hardly called upon. Bucknall had been replaced by Alan Thompson in the 35th minute after sustained punitive attention from the Rabbitohs pack saw him suffer a shoulder injury in a heavy tackle.

Souths' halfback Bob Grant opened the scoring in the fourth minute crossing untouched while his opposite number Eddie Whiley was off the field having an injury treated. Rabbitohs winger Ray Branighan also crossed untouched six minutes from full-time. By game's end South Sydney had scored 3 tries to nil in a 23-12 victory. Sattler later went to hospital to receive treatment but only after receiving the J. J. Giltinan Shield and making an acceptance speech.

Eric Simms' record of four field-goals that day stands as the most ever kicked in a Grand Final.

South Sydney 23 (Tries: Grant 2, R Branighan. Goals: Simms 3. Fld Goals: Simms 4)


Manly-Warringah 12 (Goals: Batty 4. Fld Goals: Fulton 2)


  • Rugby League Tables - Season 1970 The World of Rugby League
  • 1970 Grand Final at
  • Results:1961-70 at
  • 1970 J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup at
  • NSWRFL season 1970 at
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