NRL-Classic League Grand Finals: 1977 St. George versus Parramatta

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Released 29-Aug-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 94:57
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Nat. Rugby League
Visual Entertainment Group
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I particularly wanted to review this disc as I was present at the second of the two matches on this disc, back when I used to follow the code. I sat in the old Brewongle Stand, which had been partly demolished by removal of most of the roof. You don't get to see much of this area of the ground on the disc, because the camera position was on the same side of the stadium.

    So these were the last two games of the 1977 NSWRL season. If I recall correctly, there had never been a drawn Grand Final in the league's history, so the first of these matches was an historic occasion. One that was not unique for very long, as the following year's final match had to be replayed as well.

    Parramatta had joined the league in 1947, and to this time had not won a premiership. The previous year they had gone down to the evil silvertails of Manly-Warringah in a nail-biter. In 1977 they had dominated the competition, their only rivals being St. George, who had beaten them once in the regular season. St. George already had 13 premierships, including a record 11 straight from 1956-66. Since then they had not won a title, losing in 1971 and 1975.

    The first match was a game of two halves. St. George went to the break 9-0 ahead, all points scored by Ted "Lord Ted" Goodwin, including a spectacular solo try that left him unconscious. Parramatta scored a try in the dying stages of the match to draw level, and extra time could not separate the teams. The replay the following Saturday was a whitewash, with the Dragons winning 22-0. Sorry, I should have warned you about spoilers, but if you look at the case you will know the outcomes anyway. Oddly enough, the VFL Grand Final played on the same day as the replay was itself a draw, a curious coincidence.

    It is strange to see the SCG without the spanking new stands. In 1977, the Bradman Stand was the state of the art, and you can see the sea of people on the Hill, as well as the old Bob Stand and the Hill Stand, which I think have both been moved to North Sydney Oval. The old scoreboard was still being used in these olden days. The rules of the game have changed a lot as well. And so have the smoking advertisements. The sponsor was a cigarette company and the grand prize to the premiers was a whopping $15,000!  Probably would have bought a decent house in those days.

    Having not seen these matches probably since 1977, I was surprised to be reminded of so many players I had forgotten about, like "the Phantom Biter" Rod Reddy, John Jansen, Geoff Gerard, Robert Finch, Mark Shulman and so on. Parramatta CEO Denis Fitzgerald was a reserve in both matches.

    If you are wondering about the smoking in this footage, during the replay Saints coach Harry Bath sees the camera pointing at him and holds up a packet of cigarettes, which he then proceeds to chain-smoke throughout the rest of the match.

    What we get on this disc is an edited highlights package produced for Sky Channel many years ago, introduced by the sartorially splendid Peter Peters. There are about 47 minutes for each game, annoying with only one chapter per match. It looks to me as if the first match comes from an ABC feed, with the second a Channel 7 feed, given the differing camera set-ups, style and differing graphics. Both, though, are commentated by Rex "Moose" Mossop, in his inimitable style. Not that you would want to imitate it, though it is more interesting than the rubbish we seem to get these days.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1, which seems to be the original aspect ratio.

    The transfer seems to be pretty good, with no significant introduced artefacts that I could see. However, the source material is about average for 1977 television. The video is not sharp, with noticeable ghosting. There seem to be two or three faint outlines to the right of objects and people. This is more distracting in wide shots than in the mid-range and close up shots. The picture is reasonable for video from 1977, but it is not as good as some other footage I have seen from the era.

    Colour is reasonably lifelike, though it seems a little oversaturated to me. The reds of the St George guernseys and the referee's uniform seem a little bright, and there is some slight colour bleeding.

    There are numerous video tracking errors, with a significant glitch at 55:23. There is also significant dot crawl, most noticeable on the referee's shoulders in wide shots. There is a fair bit of cross colouration as well, all the way through the programme.

    This is a single layer disc with no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    There's not much I can say about the audio, really. It does the job, and apart from a brief variation in volume at the start of the replay, there are no problems with it. Dialogue from the Moose is clear and distinct, and audio sync is perfect, mainly because we never actually see the commentator.

    No music, unsurprisingly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    I have no idea where this music comes from. It sounds like the disco muzak you get at Leagues clubs, so perhaps it is authentic. There is some brief animation, plus a skippable advertisement for other products from this distributor running 1:53.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 1? Are you kidding? This won't sell in three figures in Victoria, let alone overseas.

Summary

    An enjoyable pair of matches. A pity though that we did not get the full games.

    The video and audio quality are acceptable given the era and source material.

    No extras of any note.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Monday, November 01, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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