1916 NSWRFL season

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1916 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 8
Premiers Balmain colours.svg Balmain (2nd title)
Minor premiers Balmain colours.svg Balmain (2nd title)
Matches played 57
Points scored 1174 (total)
20.596 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Balmain colours.svg Charles Fraser (94)
Top try scorer(s) Glebe colours.svg Frank Burge (22)

The 1916 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the ninth season of Sydney's top-level professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season which culminated in a grand final between Balmain and South Sydney.[1]

Season summary[edit]

Three teams dominated the season, Balmain, South Sydney and Glebe. With two rounds to go, each of the three teams had a genuine chance of winning the premiership, each separated by one game or less. This created an interesting scenario with Balmain (20, 1st) facing South Sydney (18, 3rd) and Glebe (19, 2nd) facing Eastern Suburbs who were placed fourth at the time. As it turned out, Balmain lost 11-7 to Souths, leaving the competition wide open for Glebe to take the competition lead by one point. However, Glebe ended up losing crucially to Eastern suburbs 8-5 on the same day. With both Balmain and Souths now equal on 20 points with one game to play, it would have taken a miracle for Glebe to come back given that they were still on 19 points. All three teams won their final games, but it was equal placed Balmain and South Sydney that would play off in a premiership decider.

The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1916 premiership across Sydney.

Teams[edit]

The teams remained unchanged from the 1915 season.

Annandale
7th season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain:
Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
Balmain
9th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach:
Captain:
Eastern Suburbs
9th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach:
Captain:
Glebe
9th season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain:
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
Newtown
9th season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain:
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
9th season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain:
South Sydney
9th season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain:
Western Suburbs
9th season
Ground: St. Lukes Oval
Coach:
Captain:

Ladder[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 11 0 3 181 100 +81 22
2 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 11 0 3 170 117 +53 22
3 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 14 10 1 3 217 106 +111 21
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 7 2 5 170 89 +81 16
5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 5 0 9 108 189 -81 10
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 4 1 9 134 153 -19 9
7 Annandale colours.svg Annandale 14 4 0 10 94 163 -69 8
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 2 0 12 92 249 -157 4

Final[edit]

Balmain Posit. South Sydney
Lyall Wall FB Wally Dymant
Reg Latta WG Gordon Vaughan
Charles Fraser CE C. Phelps
Jim Craig CE Rex Norman
Jack 'Junker' Robinson WG Bill Cann
Albert "Rick" Johnston FE Roy Norman
Arthur Halloway HB George McGowan
Alf Fraser PR Roy Almond
D. Cranston HK John Kerwick
E. Burnicle PR Owen McCarthy
Bill Schultz SR Arthur Oxford
D. Stewart SR George Moore
Robert Craig LK W. Groves
Bill Kelly Coach

Having won all 3 grades in 1915 the Balmain Tigers returned in 1916 to repeat the effort for a second straight season. At the conclusion of the season Balmain and Souths were equal aloft the premiership ladder with 22 points apiece. The League didn't expect such a finish and a Final had to be scheduled.

For the first time a Final was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground where they were to be held for many years to come. The game played on July 26, 1916 in front of just 6,000 people, saw the lead change three times in the first half with Balmain ahead 5-3 at the break after a try by Arthur Halloway and a penalty goal by Charles "Chook" Fraser. The second half saw the game played predominantly on Balmain's line, with South Sydney putting on repeated attacks. However, the Balmain defence never gave in and the score didn't change by game's end - a two point margin securing Balmain's second consecutive title.

Balmain Tigers 5 (Try: Arthur Halloway. Goal: Charles Fraser)

defeated

South Sydney Rabbitohs 3 (Try: Gordon Vaughan )


References[edit]