1930 NSWRFL season

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1930 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersWestern Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (1st title)
Minor premiersWestern Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (1st title)
Matches played60
Points scored1721
Top points scorer(s)Western Suburbs colours.svg Jim Craig (86)
Top try-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Morrie Boyle (15)

The 1930 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the twenty-third season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league competition, Australia’s first. During the season, which lasted from April until October, eight teams from across the city contested the premiership which was won by Western Suburbs, who defeated St. George in the grand final.[1]

Season summary[edit]

In spite of the reduced number of clubs 1930 was the NSWRFL’s most drawn out season. Because of representative fixtures and the need for a grand final, the season didn’t end until 4 October. The 1930 season was also the last in the NSWRFL for future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Craig.


Foundation club Glebe was voted out of the competition by the New South Wales Rugby League General Committee at the end of 1929, thirteen votes to twelve. Glebe had come second last two years in a row, but although the team never won a first grade premiership,[a] it also managed to avoid the wooden spoon every season during its existence. After the decision was made, many fans and local politicians rallied to reverse the decision but to no avail. One reason suggested as to why this occurred include the fact that Glebe was gradually shifting away from a residential to industrial centre, with the NSWRFL perhaps believing that there was no future for the game in the area.

As a result of Glebe’s omission, the competition was reduced to eight teams for the first time since 1910,[2] including six of the remaining nine foundation clubs.

Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
23rd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach: Cec Fifield & Norman Robinson
Captain: Cec Fifield
Eastern Suburbs
23rd season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Arthur Halloway
Captain: Joe Busch
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
23rd season
Ground: Marrickville Oval
Captain: Jack Holmes
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
23rd season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Tedda Courtney
Captain: Les Carroll
St. George
10th season
Ground: Earl Park
Coach: Frank Burge
Captain: Arthur Justice
South Sydney
23rd season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Charlie Lynch
Captain: Alf Blair
University home jersey 1925.svg
11th season
Coach: Bill Kelly
Captain: Sammy Ogg
Western Suburbs
23rd season
Ground: Pratten Park
Captain-Coach: Jim Craig


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1930 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 12 0 2 237 130 +107 24
2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 11 0 3 316 178 +138 22
3 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 9 0 5 234 174 +60 18
4 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 6 2 6 161 151 +10 14
5 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 6 1 7 194 176 +18 13
6 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 5 2 7 214 218 -4 12
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 2 1 11 164 289 -125 5
8 University colours.svg University 14 2 0 12 117 321 -204 4


In the two semi finals, St. George beat second-placed Eastern Suburbs whilst minor premiers Western Suburbs beat defending premiers South Sydney. The two winners then played a final in which St. George upset Western Suburbs 14-6, as they previously did in Round 11.

St. George 1930 runners-up

The finals system set in place then forced the final to be replayed, in what was known as the "Right of Challenge". This system ensured that in the event that the minor premiers lost in either the first or second round of the finals, then regardless they would be given a second chance in a premiership decider. With this being the first season where the "Right of Challenge" was exercised, the 1930 decider was thus the first "grand final" played in the NSWRL.

20 September 1930 - Earl Park
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 10
27 September 1930 - Sports Ground
St. George colours.svg St. George 11
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 6
20 September 1930 - Sports Ground
St. George colours.svg St. George14
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 9
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 5


Western Suburbs Position St George
Frank McMillan FB Jack McCormack
Alan Brady WG Eric Freestone
Cliff Pearce CE Jack Lennox
Ken Sherwood CE Walter Greenlands
Ray Morris WG Bernie Martin
Jack Rosa FE Arnold Traynor
Jim Craig (Ca./Co.) HB Bill Hyland
Bill Brogan PR Harry Flower
Bob Lindfield HK Arthur Justice (c)
Cecil Rhodes PR Reg Schuman
Bill Carpenter SR Bill Hardman
Charlie Cornwell SR Jim Wearmouth
Frank Matterson LK Percy Fairall
Coach Frank Burge

Having pipped Eastern Suburbs 11-10 at their home ground of Earl Park on 20 September, Saints continued their good form into the following weekend in the final, defeating minor premiers Western Suburbs 14-6 in front of 16,557 people. The two teams had met twice before during the season with Wests winning the first encounter in May and St George winning the second match in August. Under the previous system, victory in the final would have seen St George declared premiership champions. But in 1930, Wests were allowed a second chance as minor premiers if defeated during the finals.

Grand final[edit]

The re-match decider was played in front of 12,178 people on 4 October at the Sydney Sports Ground and officiated by referee Lal Deane. St. George led 2-0 early and competed in the first half. But Western Suburbs were a crack outfit and after Saints lost veteran forward, Harry Flower with an arm injury, they skipped away to a 16-2 lead. Wests eventually ran in seven tries and crushed St George 27-2 to take away their first premiership since their 1908 foundation admission to the top grade competition.

It was the final game as a player for Wests captain-coach and versatile representative star Jim Craig.

Western Suburbs 27 (Tries: Alan Brady 3, Jim Craig, Charlie Cornwell, R Morris, C Rhodes. Goals Jim Craig 2, Bill Brogan goals)

St George 2 (B Hyland goal)


a Glebe did win reserve grade premierships in 1912, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1921, and the third grade premiership in 1927.[3]


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 11 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine at rl1908.com
  2. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  3. ^ Middleton David (editor); Rugby League 1989–90, pp. 102-103 ISBN 9780949853325

External links[edit]