St George Dragons overview
The St George district's first taste of rugby league action occurred in Kogarah in 1886, but it wouldn't be until six years after when the first football club, Rockdale, was introduced to the area.
St George's intentions to join the inaugural NSWRL competition commenced upon the organisation being formed in August of 1907, although not enough interest was shown within the area particularly from the members of the St George rugby union club.
St George would settle for a third grade team in 1910 before a second attempt to join the first grade competition was rejected by NSWRL in January, 1911. This galvanised then third grade secretary Allan Clark to establish the St George Junior Rugby League in March that year.
Another rejected application to join the first grade competition followed in 1913. However in the years following World War 1, St George’s claims for a first grade license were irresistible. Population-wise, the district was one of the fastest growing in the metropolitan area.
On October 13, 1920, the NSWRL formally invited St George to form at the expense of Annandale. St George District Rugby League Football Club was officially formed on November 8, 1920.
The Dragons' first premiership match was played on St George Day (April 23, 1921) – a 4-3 loss to Glebe at the Sydney Sports Ground.
15 premierships across 78 years made for an impressive record, but none more so than the 11 consecutive premierships won between 1956 and 1966. Such was the Dragons' success in this period that no less than four players (Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Graeme Langlands and Norm Provan) from this era are since earned the title of 'rugby league immortal'.
St George merged with the Illawarra Steelers ahead of the 1999 NRL season. However, the Dragons are still proudly represented to this day in the Harold Matthews Under-16s, SG Ball male and Tarsha Gale Cup female (both Under-18s) competitions.
Year entered premiership: 1921
First match: April 23, 1921 – lost 3-4 v Glebe, Sydney Sportsground
Full premiership record: Played 1545; won 910, lost 579, drew 56, for 27,454 (5146 tries, 5284 goals, 185 field goals), against 21,729 (3832 tries, 4497 goals, 143 field goals).
Home ground: Hurstville Oval (1921-23, 1940-49); Earl Park (1925-39), Kogarah Oval (1950-85, 1989-98), Sydney Cricket Ground (1986-87), Belmore Sportsground (1988).
Home ground attendance record: 23,582 v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Kogarah Oval, May 4, 1975.