Robert Stone (rugby League) - Playing History

Playing History

Robert Stone played rugby union as a youngster and then switched to league as a teenager. He also completed training as a teacher.

Stone rose up through the grades at St. George, playing in the premiership winning Under-23s side in 1974, his first year as a graded player. He made his debut in first grade in 1975 but did not play in the side that lost the grand final to Eastern Suburbs in that year. Stone was a member of the St. George side that won the Reserve Grade premiership in 1976.

Stone was a member of the 1977 St. George team that won the Premiership under coach Harry Bath. He played Second Row in the grand final which was drawn 9-all with Parramatta - the first draw in the history of Sydney rugby league. Stone scored the first try in the replay a week later which St. George won 22-0. In 1977, Stone won representative honours for the first time playing for City in City v Country.

St George won another premiership in 1979 defeating Canterbury-Bankstown. However, in 1980, Stone represented NSW including in the first State of Origin match. NSW won the series but Queensland won the State of Origin match 20-10 as Queenslanders playing in the Sydney competition returned to play for their home state.

In 1984, Stone was captain of the St. George side for 15 out of the 24 matches played by the team. However, Stone was dropped to reserve grade for the 1985 grand final when St. George had teams playing in all three grades. Coach Roy Masters says that Stone was dropped for the game by a 3-2 vote. St. George lost first grade but won the reserve grade and third grade grand finals.

Stone did not play first grade in 1986 which was a disappointing year for the Dragons in their new home at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He was extremely disappointed at the decision by the St. George board to not offer him a new contract as he had reached 281 games for the club, making him third in the list of longest serving Dragons players behind Billy Smith and Norm Provan.

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