LIFE AS A DRAGONS SUPPORTER, The Way I See It
I have supported the Dragons since i was 4 years old back in 1963.
I saw the last 4 wins of the 11 grand finals in a row (1956 - 1966).
At that time they were the greatest club side in the world of any football code.
As an 8 year old in 1967 i watched in disbelief as the Dragons minor premiers for 1967, lost by 1 point to the Canterbury Bankstown (Berries as they were know as then), in the final.
This result meant for the first time in 12 seasons there was no Dragons in a grand final in Sydney, they fell one game short.
After that they made the semis every season for the next 6 years, with a close grand final loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1971.
A year of injuries in 1974 saw the Dragons miss the semi finals for the first time in 23 years, back in that time it was only a top 4 semi finals series.
Then another grand final loss came at the hands of Eastern Suburbs Roosters in 1975. In 1976 the dragons once again made the semis.
In 1977 i got to see the Dragons take out another premiership after a second grand final had to played after the first game was a draw.
In 1978 another rare time that the Dragons missed out on the semi finals.
The Dragons were back in the semis again in 1979 and once again won the grand final, for the 15th time. (The last 1st grade premiership they won).
The next season in 1980 saw the Dragons play in the semis again, but for the next 2 seasons after that 1981 and 1982 the Dragons failed to make the semis.
Seasons 1983 and 1984 saw the Dragons back in the semi finals.
In 1985 saw the Dragons as minor premiers make the grand final in all 3 grades, they won the 2 minor grade grand finals but lost the main game to the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs by 1 point.
The Dragons went into an extraordinary slump in 1986, when for the first time in 50 years, none of their three grades made the semi finals. The first grade side then missed making the semis for the next 5 seasons, but they did take out the Panasonic mid week cup in 1988.
In 1992 and 1993 the Dragons not only made the semis but appeared in the Grand final both years but it was to no avail both games resulted in losses to the Brisbane Broncos.
The 1994 season was a lean year for the Dragons with them not making the semis again.
It was a better year in 1995 with the dragons in the semis.
In 1996 a very troubled year for both the Dragons and Australian rugby league in general with all the drama of a coming split in the game over Super League, A couple of months before the season started it was not know if the Dragons still had a team left.
It turned out they did, then against huge odds they made the grand final that year against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
The Dragons tried hard but victory was not to be for them that day.
The 1997 season saw the Dragons miss the semis again.
With the game in Australia split into 2 competitions, the ARL competition which the Dragons played in, the other was the Super League competition.
The 1998 season saw the Dragons make the semis again, the season also saw the ARL and Super League go into a joint partnership known as the National Rugby League, the NRL was born and that year was to see the St George Dragons as a stand alone club play their last season before the merger with the Illawarra Steelers in 1999.
The 1999 season saw the St George Illawarra Dragons not only into the semis but totally destroy every team they faced in the lead up games to the grand final. In the grand final the Dragons were well in the lead for most of the game, with about 90 seconds to go in the game the Melbourne Storm Were awarded a penalty try which then gave them 8 points and a 2 point victory in the Grand Final.
I was at the game and i was not a very happy chappy.
From the 2000 season onwards it has been a real roller coaster ride for the Dragons in those 11 years up till now the Dragons missed out on making the semis in only 3 seasons 2000, 2003 and 2007.
So here we are in 2010 the Dragons as minor premiers for the second year in a row are in a grand final against the Sydney Roosters (Eastern Suburbs).
I have a strong feeling a 31 year premiership drought is about to break for the Dragons and bring about sweet revenge for the 1975 Grand Final Loss.
Then finally the CHOKERS TAG will be well and truly put to bed.
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