1945 NSWRFL season

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1945 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 8
Premiers Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (9th title)
Minor premiers Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (11th title)
Matches played 60
Points scored 1941 (total)
32.35 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Dick Dunn (150)
Top try scorer(s) Newtown colours.svg Chicka Cahill (13)
Western Suburbs colours.svg Jack Snare (13)

The 1945 NSWRFL season was the 38th New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership season, Sydney's top-level rugby league club competition, and Australia's first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season which culminated in Eastern Suburbs' victory over Balmain in the grand final.[1]


Balmain home jersey 1940.svg
38th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Tom Bourke
Captain: Norm Robinson
Canterbury home jersey 1943.svg
11th season
Coach: Bill Kelly
Captain: George Kilham
Eastern Suburbs
38th season
Coach: Arthur Halloway
Captain: Ray Stehr
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
38th season
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
38th season
South Sydney
38th season
Coach: Eric Lewis[2]
St. George
25th season
Coach: Percy Williams
Western Suburbs
38th season


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1945 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 11 0 3 276 190 +86 22
2 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 10 1 3 326 177 +149 21
3 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 8 1 5 238 192 +46 17
4 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 6 4 4 252 202 +50 16
5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 8 0 6 188 175 +13 16
6 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 14 4 1 9 217 285 -68 9
7 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 4 1 9 183 253 -70 9
8 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 1 0 13 144 350 -206 2


Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 9 - 5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 16 August 1945 Sydney Cricket Ground 17,207
Semi Finals
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 28 - 13 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 18 August 1945 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 34,916
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 9 - 13 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 25 August 1945 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 35,151
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 22 - 18 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 1 September 1945[3] Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 44,585

Premiership Final[edit]

Eastern Suburbs Position Balmain
Ray Pratt FB Dave Parkinson
Lionel Cooper WG Robert Nielson
Paul Tierney CE Joe Jorgenson
Johnny Hunter CE Tom Bourke (c)
Ken Foster WG Robert Paterson
Wally O'Connell FE Harry Leo
Sel Lisle HB Stan Ponchard
Ray Stehr (c) PR Jack Spencer
George Watt HK Ernie Dawes
Jack Arnold PR Hilton Kidd
Bert Rollason SR Jim Metcalf
Sid Hobson SR Sid Ryan
Dick Dunn LK Jack Hampstead
Arthur Halloway Coach Norm Robinson

Balmain led by 10-5 at half time and the match was evenly balanced throughout the second half. With three minutes to go Roosters trailed 17-18. The Roosters were awarded a penalty on half way and Dick Dunn convinced his reluctant captain Ray Stehr that he could make the distance. Dunn successfully kicked the goal from the then unorthodox upright position.

Dunn received Joe Jorgenson's kick from the restart and booted the ball into touch five metres from the Balmain line. Roosters' hooker George Watt won the scrum against the feed and Easts' classy halves pairing of Sel Lisle and Wally O'Connell put on a move that saw Dunn score in the corner.

Dunn scored 19 of the Rooster's 22 points that day carrying with him for luck the sock of his 14-month old daughter in his shorts pocket throughout the match.[4][5]

Eastern Suburbs 22 (Tries: Dunn 3, J Arnold. Goals: Dunn 5)


Balmain 18 (Tries: Ponchard 2, Dawes, Nielsen. Goals: Jorgenson 3)


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour[dead link] at rl1908.com
  2. ^ "Eric Lewis". yesterdayshero.com. SmartPack International Pty Ltd. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  3. ^ 1945 Grand Final at nrlstats.com
  4. ^ SMH claim
  5. ^ rl1908.com disputes this claim[dead link]