By SCG Trust
This year’s NRL Heritage Round at the SCG on Sunday 20 March will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the last premiership in sequence by St George.
Eleven straight. Think about that for a moment as we wonder if it’s now possible to win two in a row.
Yes, it was a black-and-white world of grainy pictures and grainier memories, but those golden years when mighty St George ruled the SCG should never be forgotten.
It was an era when the game’s stars played hard and lived hard – and the mighty Saints ruled Sydney like no team before or since.
As the great Johnny Raper said in a Sunday Telegraph interview in 2011: “It was playing for the Dragons . . . that’s what made you feel invincible.”
To celebrate the occasion, we’re counting down all 11 of the Saints’ premierships.
A humbling victory
The 50th season of rugby league was another special one for St George.
They humbled Manly 31-9 in the 1957 grand final in front of 54,399 fans at the SCG.
The Sea Eagles trailed by just five points at the break but were unable to close the gap.
Their captain George Hunter was unconscious after brutal blow and St George quickly pounced, scoring two tries in the first three minutes of the second half.
Veteran Harry Bath iced the victory for the Saints by kicking eight goals for a record individual tally of 16 points.
Dragons captain-coach Ken Kearney had led his side to their second premiership in as many years and as it was later revealed, played the latter part of the season with a broken jaw.
Norm Provan was again a standout for St George, but his efforts in the first two deciders of their incredible run was only the beginning of his contribution to the red and white.
After the 1957 grand final, Manly’s 27 year old coach Ken Arthurson praised Provan along with the rest of the Saints’ big men.
"The sheer physical strength of the St George team is in itself a formidable thing to overcome," he said.
"Our fellows tried everything, but St. George had so much more to give. Those big fellows are so clever."
St George Dragons 31. Tries: Clay (2), Ryan, Fifield, Lumsden. Goals: Bath (8).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 9. Tries: Burke. Goals: Willey (3).