St George Illawarra were the first club to form from a merger of the 1980s expansion team Illawarra Steelers and the second most successful NSWRL premiership side of the St George Dragons. The team met early success in their first year, reaching the 1999 grand final and going down to the then newly minted Melbourne Storm.
Through the 2000s, the Dragons were always a threat, regularly making finals appearances. This period of strength reached its peak at the end of the decade with back-to-back minor premierships under Wayne Bennett with Darius Boyd, Jamie Soward and Brett Morris and winning the big one in 2010. Leaner years have followed recently, with the Dragons appearing in only one finals series since 2012. Nonetheless, the Dragons stormed off to flying start this year and remain in contention for a final appearance.
Using the Eratosthenes system, we measure the long term class – their structural competence – of NRL clubs.
The St George Illawarra Dragons’ current rating is 1481, putting them fifth last in the league. Saints have had an average class rating of 1527 since 1998. This is above average and puts them ahead of all but four teams: Brisbane, Canterbury, Melbourne and Sydney City. The Dragons are one of six teams with a winning record over the last twenty years (post-merger).
Over the last decade, their average rating has been 1525. This is the league’s fourth best; only Brisbane, Melbourne and Manly Warringah are better.
The Dragons peaked at a maximum rating of 1643 after round 12, 2011. This is the sixth highest club rating, ahead of all but the Broncos, Bulldogs, Storm, Eels and Roosters. St George Illawarra’s lowest ever rating was 1456, after round 25, 2016. Thirteen clubs have worse minimum ratings with Melbourne and Brisbane the exceptions.
- Premierships – 1 | 2010
- Runners-up – 1 | 1999
- Minor Premierships – 2 | 2009, 2010
- Finalist – 12 | 1998 (St George), 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015
- Wooden Spoons – 0
Record (rd1/1999 – rd18/2017)
- Games 475
- Wins 244 (51.4%)
- Draws 6
- Points For 10,100
- Points Against 9,204
- Net F/A +896
- Pythagorean expectation 54.4%
Using the Archimedes system, we measure the short term form of NRL clubs.
Saints have averaged a form rating of 1493 over the last 26 regular season rounds. Their current rating is 1631.
The Dragons’ highest rating was 1631 after round 7’s win over the Cowboys. The lowest rating was 1330 after round 22 last year after a loss to the Broncos.
Record (last 26 rounds)
- Finished 2016 in 11th
- Currently 7th
- Games 24
- Wins 11 (45.9%)
- Draws 0
- Points For 465
- Points Against 481
- Net F/A -16
- Pythagorean expectation 48.4%
We use the Stocky to predict what might happen in the season ahead. This is what the Stocky has predicted for St George Illawarra so far in the 2017 season.