1916 NSWRFL season

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1916 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (2nd title)
Minor premiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (2nd title)
Matches played57
Points scored1174
Top points 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 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 with each separated by half a win. This created an interesting scenario with Balmain (20 points, first) facing South Sydney (18 points, third) and Glebe (19 points, second) 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.


The teams remained unchanged from the previous season.

7th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain: Walter Haddock
Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
9th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Captain-coach: Arthur Halloway
Eastern Suburbs
9th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain: Jack Watkins
9th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain: Frank Burge
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
9th season
Ground: Erskineville Oval
Captain: Paddy McCue
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
9th season
Ground: St Lukes Oval
Coach: Denis Lutge
Captain: Con Sullivan
South Sydney
9th season
Ground: RAS Showground
Captain: Roy Almond
Western Suburbs
9th season
Ground: St. Lukes Oval
Captain: Harold Leddy


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


Balmain Position 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 (c) HB George McGowan
Alf Fraser PR Roy Almond
D. Cranston HK John Kerwick
Edward Burnicle PR Owen McCarthy
Bill Schultz SR Arthur Oxford
D. Stewart SR George Moore
Robert Craig LK Bill Groves

Having won all three grades in 1915 Balmain 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 did not expect such a finish and a Final had to be scheduled. This 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 six thousand 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 5 (Try: Arthur Halloway. Goal: Charles Fraser)


South Sydney 3 (Try: Gordon Vaughan )


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine at rl1908.com

External links[edit]