1909 NSWRFL season

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1909 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 8
Premiers South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (2nd title)
Minor premiers South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (2nd title)
Matches played 42
Points scored 975 (total)
23.214 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) South Sydney colours.svg Arthur Conlin (43)
Top try scorer(s) South Sydney colours.svg Tommy Anderson (11)

The 1909 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the second season of Sydney's top-level rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Eight teams contested during the season for the premiership and the Royal Agricultural Society Challenge Shield; seven teams from Sydney and one team from Newcastle, New South Wales.

At the begninning of the season, the nearly broke NSWRFL had met and kicked out its founders Henry Hoyle, Victor Trumper and J J Giltinan.[1] Part-way through the season, Edward Larkin was appointed full-tme secretary of the NSWRFL.[2]

Also in 1909 north of the border, the Queensland Rugby Football League got its club competition started for the rebel football code of rugby league.

Teams[edit]

The teams that made up the 1909 premiership season were the same as the 1908 season with the exception of Cumberland who were dissolved, being unable to field a competitive team. Their last premiership match turned out to be a 45-0 loss at the hands of North Sydney on 25 July 1908, a game where the team had to "borrow" two of North Sydney's officials in order to make up a 13-man side. Seven of Cumberland's players ended up going to Western Suburbs the following year, but only three of these players were able to play another premiership match.

  • Balmain, formed on 23 January 1908 at Balmain Town Hall
  • Eastern Suburbs, formed on 24 January 1908 at Paddington Town Hall
  • Glebe, formed on 9 January 1908
  • Newcastle, formed on 10 February 1908 at Pike's Rooms, Bolton Street, Newcastle
  • Newtown, formed on 8 January 1908
  • North Sydney, formed on 7 February 1908
  • South Sydney, formed on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall
  • Western Suburbs formed on 4 February 1908

Souths lost only one game in the regular season, to Newcastle in Newcastle, 3 days after the Novocastrians had beaten the New Zealand Māori team.

Glebe included Peter Moko, the first player of Polynesian background to play in the premiership.[3]

Newcastle exited the League at the end of the season.[4]

Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
Balmain
2nd season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach: Robert Graves
Captain: Joe Regent
Eastern Suburbs
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach:
Captain: Albert Rosenfeld
Glebe
2nd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach:
Captain: Alex Burdon
Newcastle Rebels home jersey 1908.svg
Newcastle
2nd season
Ground: Newcastle Showground
Coach:
Captain: Stan Carpenter
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
Newtown
2nd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach:
Captain: Bill Noble
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
2nd season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain: Albert Broomham
South Sydney
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach: Arthur Hennessy
Captain: Arthur Conlin
Western Suburbs
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach:
Captain: Tom Phelan

Touring sides[edit]

During the season the New Zealand national side toured in June-July, followed by the second New Zealand Māori rugby league tour of Australia.

Ladder[edit]

The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1909 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 10 9 0 1 210 41 +169 18
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 10 8 0 2 130 62 +68 16
3 Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 10 5 0 5 144 93 +51 10
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 10 5 0 5 167 141 +26 10
5 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 10 4 0 6 62 159 -97 8
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 10 3 1 6 73 107 -34 7
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 10 2 2 6 104 157 -53 6
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 10 2 1 7 42 172 -130 5

Ladder progression[edit]

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 4.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
3 Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 2 2 2 2 2 4 6 6 8 10
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 10 10 10
5 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 0 2 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 8
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 0 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 5 7
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 0 0 0 2 3 3 3 3 4 6
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 5


Finals[edit]

In 1909 semi-finals were played amongst the four highest placed teams. Top two finishers South Sydney and Balmain were able to win their respective semi-finals. However, after the New South Wales Rugby League had planned a match between the Australian rugby union and rugby league teams that would upstage the premiership final, both South Sydney and Balmain unofficially agreed to not play out a final. But unknown to Balmain, South Sydney turned up ready to play. [5] The final was deemed to be a forfeit as a result, with South Sydney claiming their second premiership in as many years.[6] Requests from Balmain for the match to be played at a later date were refused by the League.[7] Conflict over whether there was an agreement between the two clubs not to play a final[8] caused a deep seated resentment towards Souths by Balmain which lasted many years.

Semi-finals Final
14 August 1909 - Wentworth
  Balmain colours.svg Balmain 15  
  Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 8  
 
14 September 1909 - Showground
      South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
    Balmain colours.svg Balmain (forfeit)
14 August 1909 - Agricultural
  South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 20
  Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 0  
South Sydney: controversial 1909 Premiers.

Members of the South Sydney side who showed up on Grand Final day and won by forfeit were:

Arthur ButlerArthur Conlin (c) • Harry ButlerHoward HallettT.AndersonJ.DavisFrank StorieEd FryDick GreenJack CoxonW.CannP.CarrollArthur Hennessy (coach)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heads, Ian. "Controversy". League of Legends. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Cunneen, Chris (2001). The best ever Australian Sports Writing. Australia: Black Inc. p. 321. ISBN 1-86395-266-7. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  3. ^ The pick of the Pacific theage.com.au, 5 March 2009
  4. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Coady, Ben (28 September 2009). "Grand final dramas". WA Today (Australia: Fairfax Digital). Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour at rl1908.com
  7. ^ "Football". The Sydney Mail (Australia). 29 September 1909. p. 59. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Graham McNeice and Ian Collis (November 1997). "That’s Rugby League: New Light on Football’s Greatest Controversies". Sporting Traditions • vol. 14 no. 1 (Sydney). p. 160.