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Peter Sterling

Halfback

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Toowoomba, QLD
Date of Birth:
16 June 1960
Nickname:
Sterlo
Debut Team:
Parramatta Eels
Opposition:
St George Dragons
Date:
23 July 1978
Venue:
Cumberland Oval, Parramatta
Representative:
City, Country, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
Parramatta Eels, Hull

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1981-83, 1986
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1982, 1986
  • Rothmans Medal: 1987, 1990
  • Rugby League Week Player of the Year: 1984, 1986-87
  • Dally M Medal: 1986-87
  • Dally M Halfback of the Year: 1983-84, 1986-87
  • Clive Churchill Medal: 1986
  • Golden Boot award: 1987
  • Rated No. 11 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1980s: 2004
First Class Games
343
Points
292
Tries
76

Biography

In 1978, with his team facing a semi-final replay against Manly, Parramatta coach Terry Fearnley made the stunning move to promote his under-23s five-eighth, the schoolboy Peter Sterling, to play his first top-grade game ... at fullback! Fearnley was well aware of Sterling's talents.

He had invited Sterling to move from Wagga to Sydney, where he spent his final year of school at Fairfield Patrician Brothers.

Sterling was a class above his schoolboys opponents, displaying a maturity and footballing instinct that were to become hallmarks of his career.

After that semi-final, which Manly won 17–11, Sterling spent time ''toughening up'' in the lower grades before cementing a regular place in first grade by 1980.

As the playmaker, Sterling took charge of the Eels' celebrated backline, which featured stars such as Mick Cronin, Brett Kenny, Steve Ella and Eric Grothe, his vision and timing bringing out the best in the players around him.

The club's first title in 1981 brought delirium to a district that had been starved of success for generations.

Then winning became a habit. Further titles in 1982, 1983 and 1986 propelled the Eels to the competition's heavyweight division and Sterling was guiding their fortunes all the way.

If coach Jack Gibson was the general, Sterling was the battlefield commander. The blonde maestro also starred in an unprecedented era of dominance by Australia.

He played in two undefeated Kangaroo tours, tasted defeat only twice in 18 Test matches and was a shining star for Hull in two off-season stints in the mid-1980s.

“His kick, and his creative organising ended up controlling games as if he was doing it all with a joystick.”

Steve Mortimer Sterling’s halfback rival of the 1980s

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Parramatta Eels Premiership 1978 1992 228 48 1 15 190
Parramatta Eels Official Pre-Season
1979
1990
1981
1990
9 1 - - 3
Parramatta Eels Mid-Week Competitions
1979
1984
1986
1989
1982
1984
1987
1989
20 4 - 1 15
Hull FC England First Class Games 1983 1985 36 9 - - 36

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Seconds Country Seconds 1981 1981 1 - - - -
City Firsts City Seconds 1982 1982 1 1 - - 3
Country Firsts Country Seconds
1983
1986
1984
1986
3 - - - -
Country Origin City Origin 1987 1988 2 - - - -

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales State of Origin Queensland
1981
1983
1986
1981
1984
1988
13 - - - -

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests
1982
1986
1983
1988
18 4 - 1 16
Australia Tour Matches
1982
1986
1982
1986
12 9 - - 29

Hall Of Fame Members