1942 NSWRFL season

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1942 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 8
Premiers Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown (2nd title)
Minor premiers Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown (2nd title)
Matches played 61
Points scored 1895
Top points scorer(s) St. George colours.svg Ray Lindwall (143)
Top try-scorer(s) St. George colours.svg Jack Lindwall (16)

The 1942 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirty-fifth season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league football competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested the premiership during the season, which lasted from May until September, culminating in the Canterbury-Bankstown club’s grand final victory over St. George.[1]


Balmain home jersey 1940.svg
35th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach: Bill Kelly
Captain: Dawson Buckley
Canterbury home jersey 1935.svg
8th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Coach: Jerry Brien
Captain: Ron Bailey
Eastern Suburbs
35th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain-Coaches: Ray Stehr & Joe Pearce
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
35th season
Ground: Henson Park
Coach: Arthur Folwell
Captain: Tom Kirk
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
35th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Jim O'Reilly
Captain: Rex Harrison
South Sydney
35th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Jim Tait
Captain: Fred Felsch
St. George
22nd season
Ground: Hurstville Oval
Captain-coach: Len Kelly
Western Suburbs
35th season
Ground: St Lukes Oval
Coach: Albert McGuiness


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1942 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 14 10 0 4 264 162 +102 20
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 10 0 4 223 192 +31 20
3 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 9 0 5 271 205 +66 18
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 8 0 6 213 214 -1 16
5 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 7 1 6 209 191 +18 15
6 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 5 0 9 220 216 +4 10
7 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 4 1 9 189 266 -77 9
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 2 0 12 148 291 -143 4


The minor premiership was won by Canterbury-Bankstown in a play off against Balmain after both sides had finished the season on twenty points.

In the semi finals, Canterbury-Bankstown lost their match to St. George whilst Eastern Suburbs, who only just made the finals after South Sydney had drawn their match in the final round of the season, defeated Balmain. The result of the first semi final meant that St. George and Eastern Suburbs played a Preliminary Final which would decide who met minor premiers Canterbury-Bankstown in the Grand Final. St. George won the match, as they had done four weeks earlier over Easts in the final round of the season proper.

St. George had won two matches in the semis while Canterbury had just one victory, but the Berries were guaranteed a Grand Final berth under a call back of the old rules giving the minor premiers a right of challenge. In the Grand Final, Canterbury-Bankstown narrowly defeated St. George to collect their second premiership victory.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 26 - 20 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 15 August 1942 Sydney Cricket Ground 17,300
Semi Finals
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 10 - 25 St. George colours.svg St. George 22 August 1942 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 26,467
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 - 20 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 29 August 1942 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 19,782
Preliminary Final
St. George colours.svg St. George 18 - 5 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 5 September 1942 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 30,858
Grand Final
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury 11 - 9 St. George colours.svg St. George 12 September 1942 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 26,171

Grand Final[edit]

St George Position Canterbury-Bankstown
Ray Lindwall FB Lindsay Johnson
Doug McRitchie WG Edgar Newham
Ted McHugh CE Ron Bailey (c)
Noel Jones CE Ron Knight
Jack Lindwall WG Bob Jackson
Cedric Turvey FE Tom Ezart
Eric Laurence HB Jack Bonnyman
Charlie Montgomery PR Henry Porter
Herb Gilbert Jnr HK Roy Kirkaldy
Bill McRitchie PR Eddie Burns
Alister Clarke SR George Elley
Len Kelly (c) SR Bob Farrar
Bill Collier LK Frank Sponberg
Coach Jerry Brien

The Sydney Cricket Ground was a muddy quagmire with a treacherous patch in the centre which kept the teams evenly matched and the crowd in a fever of excitement until the final whistle. The “Gregory’s” reference records that 7,000 of the crowd on the hill had jumped the fence during the reserve grade final and invaded the half-empty new member's stand. Towards the end of the first grade match 5,000 people crowded onto the touchline and referee O'Brien had to hold up play until officials were able to get them back twenty yards.[2]

Canterbury’s defence was tested during a torrid ten-minute period when St George hurled themselves at the line from never more than eight yards away. The Berries defence held and the Dragons could not break through.

The Canterbury-Bankstown tactics were to keep the game with the forwards and away from the St George backs. Canterbury hooker Kirkaldy won the vital scrums. Bob Farrar, Frank Sponberg and Henry Porter were tireless with Porter's handling and kicking skills on display.

Saints were leading 9–6 late in the match after a try to their record-breaking winger Jack Lindwall was converted by his brother Ray Lindwall. Berries winger Bob Jackson then scored a magnificent try made possible by a resolute and tricky run from skipper Ron Bailey which locked up the scores at 9–all.

Canterbury’s Lindsay Johnson managed a late conversion to secure the win. Johnson’s goal just scraped over the cross bar to give his team the premiership.

Canterbury-Bankstown 11 (Tries: Jackson. Goals: Johnson 4)[3]


St George 9 (Tries: J Lindwall. Goals: R Lindwall 3)[4]

Notable events[edit]

Canterbury-Bankstown’s Tony Nash set the standing record for most tries in an Australian first grade debut when he scored four tries in his maiden appearance.


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 28 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine. at rl1908.com
  2. ^ Pollard, Jack (1965). Gregory's Guide to Rugby League. Australia: Grenville Publishing. p82. 
  3. ^ 1942 Grand Final at nrlstats.com
  4. ^ "GRAND FINAL: Premiership to Canterbury". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. 1942-09-14. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 

External links[edit]