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Fifty Years On: The Story of the 1974 Premiers

Sunday afternoon will be one of plenty of celebrations for the Club; Jared Waerea-Hargreaves takes his mantle as The Ultimate Rooster for his 307th match for the Club, but it also marks the 50th anniversary of the drought-breaking 1974 Premiership. 

This is their story. 

After falling short two seasons prior, the 1974 Eastern Suburbs Roosters climbed the mountain - much thanks to the guidance of returning Coach Jack Gibson - to claim the Club's tenth Premiership in emphatic fashion.

Following their defeat to Manly in the 1972 Grand Final, the Roosters had a forgettable year the following season, finishing in 6th position and failing to qualify for the finals, but season 1974 had plenty of promise in the early stages with the addition of Gibson as well as the appointment of Arthur Beetson as captain. 

Crushing victories over Penrith (31-6), Cronulla (44-13) and Balmain (43-6) in the opening three weeks set the tone for the season as the Red, White and Blue displayed plenty of attacking flair backed up by their defensive fortitude. 

A loss to Norths in Round 4 was backed up by six consecutive victories, and although the streak was broken with two defeats in three weeks, the Roosters took top spot from Round 14 onwards.

The Best of the 1974 Season

From there they never wavered, claiming the Minor Premiership in a canter as they ran in a nine-match winning streak to finish the regular season.

A narrow 17-19 loss to eventual Grand Final opponents Canterbury in the first round of finals was eradicated with a thumping 25-2 triumph over Western Suburbs in the preliminary final, before Artie's Roosters faced the Bulldogs in the decider at the SCG.

In contrast to their previous meeting, the Roosters proved too strong for their opponents, which saw Arthur Beetson crash over for the first try as they took a 7-4 lead at half-time.

Barnstorming centre Mark Harris and fleet-footed winger Bill Mullins went over for four-pointers while keeping their opponents scoreless in the second half to claim a memorable 19-4 victory.

1974 Grand Final Extended Highlights

Captain Beetson was famously chaired by his teammates following the full-time siren, with the Red, White and Blue in full cheer as they erased 29 years of pain with the Club's tenth title. 

Eastern Suburbs Roosters 19 (Arthur Beetson, Mark Harris, Bill Mullins tries; John Peard 3 goals; John Peard 2 penalty goals) def Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 4


Make sure you're at Allianz Stadium this Sunday to witness history as we celebrate the 1974 Premiership-winning side, who will be in attendance with a lap of honour before we see Jared Waerea-Hargreaves run out for his 307th Roosters match! 

Get your tickets here and helps us pack out Allianz Stadium!


1974 Grand Final Line Up

1. Russell Fairfax
2. Jim Porter
3. John Brass
4. Mark Harris
5. Bill Mullins
6. John Peard
7. Johnny Mayes
13. Ken Jones
12. Elwyn Walters
11. Arthur Beetson (c)
10. Ian Mackay 
9. Barry 'Bunny' Reilly
8. Ron Coote

16. Harry Cameron
24. Greg Bandiera

Coach: Jack Gibson 

For more details and information on the 1974 Premiership, click the card below:


Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.