The St George Dragons: A Sydney Rugby League Icon

The St George Dragons are, along with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, NRL royalty; they are the two clubs with their histories immortalised in the deepest traditions of the league game. Graeme Langlands, Norm Provan, Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper are just four St George players who are also considered four of the greatest ever to have played the game of rugby league. The red and white jersey of the St George Dragons is recognisable throughout Sydney; and this unofficial name for a group of southern suburbs in Sydney bleeds red and white to its core.

The club was formed in 1921 as the St George Dragons, and in 1999 it merged with the Illawarra Steelers, who were formed in 1982. Today the club is known as the St George Illawarra Dragons. The club has won a total of sixteen premierships, dating from 1941 to the most recent in 2010. During that time they have finished runners-up fourteen times; most recently in 1999. Individually, the most tries scored in a season was twenty seven by Nathan Blacklock in 2001. The most goals in a season were scored in 1958 by Harry Bath; a total of one hundred and eight. The most points in a season was by Jamie Soward in 2009; a total of two hundred and thirty four. Most goals in club history was achieved by the mighty Graeme Langlands with six hundred and forty eight. Graeme Langlands also scored the most points in club history with a whopping fifteen hundred and fifty four.

Norm Provan, who is immortalised in the NRL Premiership winning trophy, played in ten successive St George Dragon winning premiership teams from 1956 to 1965. Ten in a row what a feat of sustained brilliance! Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands and Johnny Raper have been made Rugby League Immortals. Michael Potter in 1991 and Trent Barrett in 2000 won the Dally M Medal. Brad Mackay in 1993 and Darius Boyd in 2010 won the Clive Churchill Medal.

Paul McGregor is the St George Dragon’s current NRL Head Coach and he has held the position since 2014. Sports betting has St George as rank outsider to claim the NRL premiership in 2016; with one corporate bookmaker offering thirty four dollars for the Dragons to salute in the year of the red monkey. It looks to be more of a rebuilding year for the red and whites and, perhaps, next year may see them rise once more to the scaly heights of success.

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