Almanac Rugby League – NRL 2010: The Saints come marching in (at last!)



Jason Buffier is usually a man of controlled habits. But he is also an exuberant fan of rugby league and, in particular, the St George Illawarra Dragons. Back in 2010 he wrote to his friends in the wake of the Dragons’ long-awaited NRL premiership win.






I forward this missive whilst wearing my Dragons 2010 Premiers t-shirt – never in my sartorial history have I been so comfortable wearing polyester.


Thank you to those who sent a message of congratulations.  Please accept this email as my reply – between Dean Young (son of our 2nd last Premiership winning captain) scoring his try and me stumbling into bed on GF night, I had received 74 text messages and dozens of phone calls.  Apologies for not replying but I was busy spraying champagne around like a victorious F1 driver.


I always wondered how I would react when Saints finally reached The Promised Land again. I have found that the initial euphoria was replaced quite quickly by relief and exhaustion.  After a week, a warm feeling of contentment descended over me and is showing no signs of abating any time soon. I love everyone and everything.


Firstly, I must thank the girl of my dreams for accepting St George as the third party in our marriage these past ten years – particular thanks to Tania for her wise counsel in discouraging me from burning down the kids’ cubby house in a 1981 Cumberland Ovalesque celebration on GF night.


Apologies to those guests in my ‘Sports Bar’ whose children were subjected to loud and frequent profanities and blasphemy during the first half. I probably shouldn’t have tried to kick that cupboard door off either. I knew what I was doing, I just couldn’t stop. It was as though I was having an out of body experience. In my defence, I am a responsible and rational man in all other areas of my personal and professional life.  Fortunately, there will not be a repeat of that behaviour in at least the next ten seasons.


This premiership signals a fundamental shift in my relationship with St George. Whilst the club can always be assured of my spiritual and financial support, I will no longer be screaming at every poor game and every bad play like a loud-mouth malcontent.  Just as next year’s Premiership victory won’t be able to replicate the pure ecstasy of this year, neither will the losses hurt as much – and I’m looking forward to it. We’ll always have 2010.


Has all the energy I’ve devoted to the Red V been worth it?  Bloody oath it has! This Premiership is the panacea for the pain and suffering inflicted by every injustice perpetrated on our club over the past 31 seasons.  The weight has been lifted from the 1984 Final, the 1985 Grand Final penalty for having our second rower king hit, the 1993 compound thumb dislocation from the kick-off, the 1996 “play on” call, the 1998 Joe Montana pass at the Kogarah semi, the entire second half of the 1999 decider, and the 2005 “play on” penalty.  The hurt is gone. I even wore my 1993 Dragons GF t-shirt to bed last night.


Can I also give a heads up to all the St George haters? There is nothing you can say that will upset me. Derogatory comments about the validity of our sixteenth Premiership do not dilute my euphoria one iota.  I know what you’re doing. I’ve had 30 consecutive seasons of lashing out at the victorious connections – and we both know that it’s not keeping you warm at night.


As an 8-year-old boy in 1979, I was allowed to make a phone call to my mate from school after Saints won the comp.  The Sunday before last I sat next to that same bloke and shared a beer that we have been waiting to drink our entire adult lives. Could things get any better? Will we break our own record and win 12 seasons in a row? Do I dare to dream that Dr Philip Nitschke gets appointed as CEO of the Cronulla Sharks?


St George are the reigning minor and major Premiers. Choke on that.


Hope you all back a winner this weekend – normal BB commentary will resume from next week.




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  1. Tim Johnson says

    No Saints fan but enjoyed the writeup. Hope to have the energy for similar profanities and beer after an Eels comp win sometime between now and my death!

  2. Ta Jason, enjoyed your hoodoo-breaking tale. Reminded me of the sheer joy I felt when the Lions won the 2001 AFL GF after plenty of years of footy pain.

  3. Damian Roache says

    As a fellow Dragons fan I can certainly relate. Actually watched the 2010 GF at a swanky pub that I would not normally associate with viewing of the greatest game of all but that’s had been arranged so that’s where i was.

    Was nervous for a large part of the game knowing of past falls from grace that you have covered, with the ’96 ‘play on’ call still irking me today.

    Do remember a feeling of contentment when we won. Was out of work at that time (in between contracts) so was a bit strange as wanted to whoop it up but job applications due and dwindling savings curtailed those activities.

    Hopefully the wait for our next premiership is not as long as the last drought….though with the current crisis hitting the code perhaps it will be a case of cheering on the relocated Adelaide Dragons to GF victory in 2023.

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