Favorite Moments - 026 -050 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm34 - Illawarra's big win over Brisbane at Wollongong Stadium 1994.

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
Man of Steel
Illawarra .. is the club I follow

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1994 - Steelers Stadium, Wollongong. Friday Night.

Illawarra Steelers 26
Brisbane Broncos 4

I was sitting in the Western concourse in the front row, the crowd was amazing.

It was mid season, both Illawarra and Brisbane were sitting on about 8th and 9th and needed to win this match to show they had what it takes. The Steelers had celebrated the launch of David Middleton's book on the Illawarra RL and Steeler's history through the week and the build up to the match suggested something big was going to happen.

The crowd was absolutely crammed in, with gates closed to the northern cement steps and hill for safety purposes. John Simon smothered Langer and didn't allow him to have any impact on the game and the Steelers defence was brillant.

At half time we lead 12-0 and got a standing ovation, with talk around the ground saying that they need to go another gear to shut Brisbane out. They did exactly that, leading 26-0 with Brisbane scoring a late try before fulltime in the north-western corner.

The best moment was when Ref McCallum sent Alfie to the sin bin, the crowd were so vocal - it's something I think will never be matched. The massive screams of "off! off!" were quickly interrupted by a massive roar of rejoice. Then what seemed like every single person was on their feet booing, leaning over the fence as langer hurriedly made his way back to the sheds, not looking up once.

I got home in time to see the second half on the TV delayed, and hear just how loud the crowd were on TV, with Steve Roach saying it was so loud he couldn't hear the bloke next to him. It didn't let up all match, with touchies copping constant "suggestive" remarks all match.

The way the crowd played a part, passionately lifting the boys to a level of footy that simply blew Brisbane away is something that is rare in Australian sports (paricularly today where people sit there like stunned mullets). Wayne Bennett said that no other team could of come close to Illawarra that night, admitting it was one of the best performances he'd seen.

Unfortunately, at seasons end Brisbane finished 5th, while the Steelers were 2 points behind them in 6th, just missing out on the top five.

A very similar thing happend late in the year in a must win game against the high flying Canberra, us leading 8-0 at half time and the crowd wipped into a frezny, applauding and chanting as they left the field, Ray Warren commenting "look at the crowd! they want more!". Unfortunately I wasn't at that match, and Canberra managed to get home, Mal Meninga saying it was the best game they played all year. Because we lost that one, and that fact I only saw it on TV makes the Brisbane game my obvious favourite.

That friday night win against Brisbane is something I will never forget.

(the extreme passion of all RL people that was shown before super league, seems to be lost forever).

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