Dragons v Magpies: 1963 Grand Final
Wednesday 21 August 2013 1:00 PM
The 1963 Grand Final triumph marked an eighth straight Premiership for the Dragons, and also the third straight season that they encountered fierce rivals Western Suburbs.
The game remains famous 50 years on, with the image of mud-covered opposing captains Norm Provan and Arthur Summons embracing at fulltime immortalised on the modern Premiership trophy.
Despite atrocious weather conditions, a crowd of 69,806 packed into the Sydney Cricket Ground, setting a new record attendance figure.
The Dragons’ line-up contained many famous players to don the Red V jersey, including Immortals Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands and Johnny Raper.
They came up against a Magpies outfit not short on legends of their own, with Team of the Century hooker Noel Kelly joining five-eighth and captain Summons as Wests’ key figures.
As expected, the torrential downpour took its toll on the match and forced a rugged and low-scoring affair, rather than a free-flowing spectacle.
When first points were posted, it was Dragons halfback George Evans who breached the Magpies line, with Gasnier’s ensuing conversion giving the Red-and-Whites a 5-nil advantage.
Gasnier’s involvement in the clash was otherwise limited, after the Magpies targeted the legendary centre with a series of illegal tactics.
The Magpies needed to be the next to score, and centre Gil MacDougall gave them the best possible chance to level the scores by scoring underneath the posts.
However, Summons failed to add the extras, leaving the Dragons with a 5-3 lead.
Winger Johnny King had the final say for the Red-and-Whites, scoring in the corner to seal the victory.
King took a pass from fullback Langlands, playing in his first NSWRL Grand Final, and proceeded to tear away down the sideline.
He was met by Wests fullback Don Parish, but after referee Darcy Lawler adjudged that King was not held, the prolific flanker played on and reached the in-goal to score the Saints’ second try of the afternoon.
The score remained 8-3 until the final whistle, giving the Red-and-Whites an eighth successive title, and ending the Magpies’ premiership aspirations in what would prove to be their final appearance on rugby league’s biggest day.
St George Dragons 8 defeated the Western Suburbs Magpies 3
St George Dragons 8. Tries: Evans, King Goals: Gasnier (1/2).
Western Suburbs Magpies 3. Try: MacDougall Goals: Summons (0/1).
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