Now that I’ve given St George the treatment, it’s only fair that I also profile some great Grand Finals involving the Eastern Suburbs, um, Sydney City, ah, Sydney Roosters.
29 August 1908 at Agricultural Society Ground: South Sydney 14 Eastern Suburbs 12 – The first ever final was weakened by players from both sides having already left for the tour to England.
30 August 1919 at Agricultural Society Ground: Balmain 13 Eastern Suburbs 4 – Not strictly a grand final as there were no finals in 1919, but the top two teams, Balmain and Easts, just happened to meet in the final round. Les Wall kicked 5 goals for the Tigers.
1921 – North Sydney 17pts; Eastern Suburbs 15pts – No finals in 1921 either. North Sydney went through the season undefeated, albeit with one draw – an 8-all draw in round 5 with Eastern Suburbs.
22 September 1928 at Agricultural Society Ground: South Sydney 26 Eastern Suburbs 5 – Easts had lost only one game en route to the final but were pummelled by Souths who led 26-0 and won their fourth successive premiership.
12 September 1931 at Sydney Sports Ground: South Sydney 12 Eastern Suburbs 7 – Easts had been runaway minor premiers but in the decider, winger Billy Hong twisted an ankle leaving his team a man short. Souths halfback Harry Eyres crossed for the winning try after the referee had accidentally got in between Eyres and the tackler.
16 September 1934 at Sydney Sports Ground: Western Suburbs 15 Eastern Suburbs 12 – Easts made the score look closer than it should have been after scoring a try which included a blatant knock-on in the lead-up.
3 September 1938 at Sydney Cricket Ground: Canterbury-Bankstown 19 Eastern Suburbs 6 – The Roosters pack contained all internationals but still managed to give Canterbury its first premiership in just its fourth season.
30 August 1941 at Sydney Cricket Ground: St George 31 Eastern Suburbs 14 – St George won its first ever premiership with a superb attacking performance. This was the final match for Easts’ pointscoring legend, Dave Brown.
3 September 1960 at Sydney Cricket Ground: St George 31 Eastern Suburbs 6 – After having to play a series of play-offs to qualify for the finals, Easts were knackered by Grand Final day. St George scored seven tries to nil.
16 September 1972 at Sydney Cricket Ground: Manly-Warringah 19 Eastern Suburbs 14 – Manly won its first premiership after scoring two tries that Easts believed should not have been awarded. Easts also had two tries disallowed.
27 September 1980 at Sydney Cricket Ground: Canterbury-Bankstown 18 Eastern Suburbs 4 – In the last Grand Final on a Saturday afternoon, Steve Gearin scored a classic try for Canterbury to give them their first premiership since 1942.
27 August 2000 at Stadium Australia: Brisbane 14 Sydney Roosters 6 – The Roosters were unable to beat the minor premiers despite some no-name Brisbane prop called Webcke playing with a broken arm.
5 October 2003 at Stadium Australia: Penrith 18 Sydney Roosters 6 – Penrith hooker Luke Priddis turned on a masterclass although any team whose winger (Todd Byrne) can get chased down by a lock (Scott Sattler) doesn’t deserve to win.
4 October 2004 at Stadium Australia: Bulldogs 16 Sydney Roosters 13 – Brad Fittler’s last game saw the Roosters go down to a team whose pre-season bonding practices have, to public knowledge, so far not been emulated.