NRL Rd 12 - Tigers v Warriors
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: General view of the Members Pavilion ahead of the round 12 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the New Zealand Warriors at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 31, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

It is hard to conceive of a more hard-won and important try, never mind brilliant, than that scored by ‘Lord’ Ted Goodwin for St George in the 1977 NSWRL gand final.

In scenes which could not occur today due to the current Head Injury Assessment (HIA) Protocols in the NRL, Goodwin scored a magnificent individual try fractionally before knocking himself out cold with his head crashing into the SCG turf, then bravely continued to play on.

The 1977 grand final was delicately poised at 4-0 in favour of St George, only seconds before half-time, when international second rower Rod Reddy innocuously picked up a ball from dummy half on half way and ran blindside, committing the Parramatta defence, and offloading inside with a looping pass to no St George player in particular.

Goodwin, from the back of play, reached forward, almost casually catching the ball low down with only his right hand, while simultaneously accelerating brilliantly right through the heart of the Parramatta defence, leaving himself alone with 201 cm full-back Phil ‘Spider’ Mann bearing down on him.

Watch the try here

Barely hesitating, Goodwin executed a superb chip kick over the towering Parramatta fullback, which bounced forwards four times and popped up literally just inside the dead ball line.

Without the slightest hint of self-preservation, Goodwin threw himself head first on the bouncing ball in the in-goal at full speed with his arms tucked under him, scored the try, and immediately knocked himself out in the very act of scoring as his head slammed into the ground.

He lay motionless for a few moments before being brought around by the St George training staff; then made his way back into position for the Dragons.

Time would tell that St George would score no further points in the match and Parramatta would tie the Grand Final up at 9-9 with moments remaining in regular time, through a try by centre Ed Sulkowicz.

Parramatta legend Mick Cronin would miss the final attempt at points in the game in regular time with the near sideline conversion effort, and the Grand Final would need to be replayed for the first time in NSWRL history after two remarkable halves of extra time failed to produce a winner.

St George would go on to win the Grand Final Replay comfortably, 22-0, in a controversial and bruising affair. Goodwin would score a game defining six goals and a field-goal in the Replay to further confirm his crucial importance to St George in winning the 1977 premiership.

Player: Ted Goodwin (St George Dragons)
Year: 1977
Final score: St George (9) vs. Parramatta (9)
Crowd: 65,959 @ Sydney Cricket Ground