1939 NSWRFL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1939 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (7th title)
Minor premiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (7th title)
Matches played59
Points scored1655
Top points scorer(s)St. George colours.svg Neville Smith (97)
Top try-scorer(s)Balmain colours.svg Sid Goodwin (18)

The 1939 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirty-second season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested the premiership during the season, which lasted from April until September and culminated in Balmain’s victory over South Sydney in the final.[1]

Season summary[edit]

This was to be the St. George club’s final season at Earl Park, Arncliffe, the following season moving back to Hurstville Oval.


Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
32nd season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Bill Kelly
Captain: Sid Goodwin
Canterbury home jersey 1935.svg
5th season
Ground: Belmore Oval
Coach: Jerry Brien
Captain: Alan Brady
Eastern Suburbs
32nd season
Ground: Sports Ground
Captain-coach: Ray Stehr
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
32nd season
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Frank Burge
Captain: Allan Ellis
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
32nd season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Bob Williams
Captain: Roy Thompson
South Sydney
32nd season
Ground: Sports Ground
Coach: Charlie Lynch
Captain: Fred Felsch
St. George
19th season
Ground: Earl Park
Captain-coach: Neville Smith
Western Suburbs
32nd season
Ground: Pratten Park
Coach: Jim Craig
Captain: Albert McGuiness


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1939 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 10 2 2 249 115 +134 22
2 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 10 0 4 268 169 +99 20
3 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 14 10 0 4 234 155 +79 20
4 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 9 0 5 219 158 +61 18
5 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 8 0 6 192 184 +8 16
6 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 2 2 10 148 213 -65 6
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 2 2 10 129 272 -143 6
8 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 2 0 12 124 297 -173 4


In the two semi finals, minor premiers Balmain narrowly defeated Canterbury whilst fourth-placed South Sydney beat second-placed St. George.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 13 - 9 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 19 August 1939 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 23,774
St. George colours.svg St. George 10 - 23 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 26 August 1939 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 21,722
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 33 - 4 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 2 September 1939 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 26,972

Premiership Final[edit]

Balmain Position South Sydney
Hec Day FB Dick Johnson
Sid Goodwin (c) WG Harry Thompson
Jack Winchester CE Alan Quinlivan
Frank Hyde CE Fred Felsch (c)
Tom Bourke WG Alan Tuohey
Billy Bischoff FE Jack Kadwell
Jim Quealey HB Albert Webster
Dawson Buckley PR John Whitfield
George Watt HK George Kilham
Dave Manning PR Jack Walsh
Athol Smith SR Percy Fairall
Billy Johnson SR Johnny Brown
Jack Redman LK Eddie Hinson
Bill Kelly Coach Charlie Lynch

The decider was played on the weekend when the world’s future altered dramatically with the invasion of Poland by Germany leading to England, Australia and the world going to war.

The match was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and refereed by George Bishop in front of 26,972. The game was tight in the first half with the Tigers scoring one try to lead 7–2 at the break.

In the second-half Balmain ran away with it, scoring six further tries to South Sydney’s none for a crushing seventh premiership title and the Tigers’ first since 1924. Star Balmain players of the time included Sid Goodwin, Frank Hyde, Tom Bourke, Athol Smith, Billy Bischoff, George Watt and Jim Quealey.

Balmain 33 (Tries: Tom Bourke 2, Frank Hyde, J Redman, Jim Quealey, D Buckley, A Smith. Goals: H Day 5, W Johnson )


South Sydney 4 (Fred Felsch 2 goals)

Balmain Premiers 1939


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2007-04-28 at the Wayback Machine at rl1908.com

External links[edit]

  • Rugby League Tables - Notes AFL Tables
  • Rugby League Tables - Season 1939 AFL Tables
  • Premiership History and Statistics RL1908
  • Collis, Ian; Whiticker, Alan (2007). 100 Years of Rugby League. Chatswood, NSW: New Holland. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-74110-463-9.
  • Results: 1931-40 at rabbitohs.com.au