1909 NSWRFL season

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1909 NSWRFL season
New South Wales Rugby Football League
Number of teams 8
Matches played 42
Points scored 975 (total)
23.214 (per match)
Premiers South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (2nd title)
Minor Premiers South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (2nd title)
Runners-up Balmain colours.svg Balmain
Wooden Spoon Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (1st spoon)
Top point-scorer(s) South Sydney colours.svg Arthur Conlin (43)
Top try-scorer(s) South Sydney colours.svg Tommy Anderson (11)
Left to form local league Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle
Second Grade
Number of teams 8
Premiers Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Runners-up Glebe colours.svg Glebe
Third Grade
Number of teams 9
Premiers South Sydney Federal
Runners-up Rozelle
< 1908 Seasons 1910 >

The 1909 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the second season of Sydney's top-level rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Eight teams contested during the season for the premiership and the Royal Agricultural Society Challenge Shield; seven teams from Sydney and one team from Newcastle, New South Wales.

At the begninning of the season, the nearly broke NSWRFL had met and kicked out its founders Henry Hoyle, Victor Trumper and J J Giltinan.[1] Part-way through the season, Edward Larkin was appointed full-time secretary of the NSWRFL.[2]

Also in 1909 north of the border, the Queensland Rugby Football League got its club competition started for the rebel football code of rugby league.

Teams[edit]

The teams that made up the 1909 premiership season were the same as the 1908 season with the exception of Cumberland who were dissolved, being unable to field a competitive team. Their last premiership match turned out to be a 45-0 loss at the hands of North Sydney on 25 July 1908, a game where the team had to "borrow" two of North Sydney's officials in order to make up a 13-man side. Seven of Cumberland's players ended up going to Western Suburbs the following year, but only three of these players were able to play another premiership match.

  • Balmain, formed on 23 January 1908 at Balmain Town Hall
  • Eastern Suburbs, formed on 24 January 1908 at Paddington Town Hall
  • Glebe, formed on 9 January 1908
  • Newcastle, formed on 10 February 1908 at Pike's Rooms, Bolton Street, Newcastle
  • Newtown, formed on 8 January 1908
  • North Sydney, formed on 7 February 1908
  • South Sydney, formed on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall
  • Western Suburbs formed on 4 February 1908

Souths lost only one game in the regular season, to Newcastle in Newcastle, 3 days after the Novocastrians had beaten the New Zealand Māori team.

Glebe included Peter Moko, the first player of Polynesian background to play in the premiership.[3]

Newcastle exited the League at the end of the season.[4]

Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
Balmain
2nd season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach: Robert Graves
Captain: Joe Regent
Eastern Suburbs
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach:
Captain: Albert Rosenfeld
Glebe
2nd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach:
Captain: Alex Burdon
Newcastle Rebels home jersey 1908.svg
Newcastle
2nd season
Ground: Newcastle Showground
Coach:
Captain: Stan Carpenter
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
Newtown
2nd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach:
Captain: Bill Noble
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
2nd season
Ground:
Coach:
Captain: Albert Broomham
South Sydney
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach: Arthur Hennessy
Captain: Arthur Conlin
Western Suburbs
2nd season
Ground: RAS Showground
Coach:
Captain: Tom Phelan

Touring sides[edit]

During the season the New Zealand national side toured in June–July, followed by the second New Zealand Māori rugby league tour of Australia.

Ladder[edit]

The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1909 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 10 9 0 1 210 41 +169 18
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 10 8 0 2 130 62 +68 16
3 Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 10 5 0 5 144 93 +51 10
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 10 5 0 5 167 141 +26 10
5 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 10 4 0 6 62 159 -97 8
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 10 3 1 6 73 107 -34 7
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 10 2 2 6 104 157 -53 6
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 10 2 1 7 42 172 -130 5

Ladder progression[edit]

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 4.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 18
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
3 Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 2 2 2 2 2 4 6 6 8 10
4 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 2 4 6 6 8 10 10 10 10 10
5 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 0 2 4 4 4 4 6 8 8 8
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 0 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 5 7
7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 0 0 0 2 3 3 3 3 4 6
8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 5


Finals[edit]

In 1909 semi-finals were played amongst the four highest placed teams. Top two finishers South Sydney and Balmain were able to win their respective semi-finals. However, after the New South Wales Rugby League had planned a match between the Australian rugby union and rugby league teams that would upstage the premiership final, both South Sydney and Balmain unofficially agreed to not play out a final. But unknown to Balmain, South Sydney turned up ready to play.[5] The final was deemed to be a forfeit as a result, with South Sydney claiming their second premiership in as many years.[6] Requests from Balmain for the match to be played at a later date were refused by the League.[7] Conflict over whether there was an agreement between the two clubs not to play a final[8] caused a deep seated resentment towards Souths by Balmain which lasted many years.

South Sydney: controversial 1909 Premiers.
Semi-finals Final
14 August 1909 - Wentworth
  Balmain colours.svg Balmain 15  
  Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 8  
 
14 September 1909 - Showground
      South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
    Balmain colours.svg Balmain (forfeit)
14 August 1909 - Agricultural
  South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 20
  Newcastle foundation colours.svg Newcastle 0  

Members of the South Sydney side who showed up on Grand Final day and won by forfeit were:

Arthur ButlerArthur Conlin (c) • Harry ButlerHoward HallettT.AndersonJ.DavisFrank StorieEd FryDick GreenJack CoxonBilly CannP.CarrollArthur Hennessy (coach)

Lower Grades[edit]

The NSWRFL held two lower grade competitions in 1909.

With varying consistency, results were published in newspapers: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Evening News, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Sun. The first three are currently available in digital format on the National Library of Australia's Trove website. The latter two newspapers are available on microfilm at the State Library of NSW. The results published in these newspapers have been used to compile the tables below, particularly The Sunday Sun which published the most lower grade results.

Second Grade[edit]

Eight teams competed in the Second Grade competition: Balmain, Eastern Suburbs, Glebe, North Sydney, South Sydney, Sydney and Western Suburbs.
Second grade followed the same draw as First Grade, with the exception that Sydney replaced Newcastle. Many but not all second grade matches were played on the same ground used later that day for first grade matches involving the same pairing of clubs.

1909 Second Grade table. Compiled from match results published in newspapers.
Team P&RK W D L PF PA PD WF LF NP Pts
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 10 9 0 1 123 38 85 0 0 0 18
Glebe colours.svg Glebe 10 8 0 2 171 21 150 0 0 0 16
Sydney 9 7 0 1 129a[›] 38 91 1 0 0 16
North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 10 5 0 5 57 87 -30 0 0 0 10
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 10 4 0 6 49 67 -18 0 0 0 8
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 6 2 0 2 29c[›] 52 -23 1 1 2b[›] 6
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 9 1 0 8 45 157a[›] -112 0 0 1 4b[›]
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 8 0 0 7 9c[›] 152 -143 0 1 1 2b[›]

League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.
Pld = Games played (excluding forfeits); W = Wins; D = Draws; L = Losses; PF = Points scored in matches; PA = Points conceded in matches; PD = Points difference; WF = Forfeits received; LF = Forfeits conceded; NP = Matches not played due to the probable withdrawal of Western Suburbs; Pts = Competition Points.
Fixtures = Number of fixtures.

Notes

^ a: The tally includes the estimated score (60 to 0) when Sydney beat a ten-man South Sydney side on August 7. [9]
^ b: Western Suburbs forfeited on June 26 and were not listed in fixtures after a match they did play on July 10, so it is probable that they dropped out. This table assumes that two points were awarded to Newtown and South Sydney who would have played Western Suburbs.
^ c: The Sunday Sun reported that Western Suburbs received a forfeit from Newtown on April 24 and that the match was played. Some Newtown players went to the wrong ground. Players from Wests made up the numbers for Newtown. The points scored in this match, Wests 14 defeated Newtown 2, are excluded from the For and Against in this table.

Finals

The semi-finals were played on August 14. Glebe 15 defeated Sydney 6 at Wentworth Park and Eastern Suburbs 14 beat North Sydney 0 at Birchgrove. [10]

The second grade final was played on September 4 as a curtain-raiser to the first Wallabies v Kangaroos match. The two teams had not met since the opening weekend, when Glebe had won by 15 to 3. Eastern Suburbs reversed that result, winning the final, 11 points to 7, to claim the premiership. [11]

Third Grade[edit]

Nine teams competed in the Third Grade competition: Balmain, Eastern Suburbs, Glebe, South Sydney and Sydney were joined by Drummoyne on May 1 and Rozelle on May 22. South Sydney Federal were listed to play Newtown on May 1 and May 15 but their first actual match played appears to be on May 22. All three new clubs began with a win. [12] [13] [14]

North Sydney and Western Suburbs were listed to play in Third Grade on the season opening Saturday, April 24, but no result was published and they were not subsequently mentioned in Third Grade during 1909. [15]

The late withdrawals, late entries, missing results and multiple forfeits make it difficult to reconstruct an accurate competition table.

1909 Third Grade table. Compiled from match results published in newspapers.
Team Pld W D L B PF PA PD WF LF Pts Unknown Fixtures
South Sydney Federal 7 6 0 1 1 188 9 179 1 0 16 1 9
Rozelle 7 6 0 1 1 95 22 73 1 0 16 0 8
Drummoyne 7 4 0 3 1 59 50 9 0 0 10 2 9
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 6 2 0 4 1 29 73 -44 2 0 10 1 9
Sydney 7 3 0 4 1 65 79 -14 0 0 8 2 9
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 6 2 0 4 1 31 65 -34 0 0 6 3 9
Glebe colours.svg Glebe 6 2 0 4 1 28 85 -57 0 0 6 4 10
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 5 1 0 4 2 17 125 -108 0 1 6 1 7
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 1 0 0 1 1 6 10 -4 0 3 2 4 8

League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.
P&RK = Games played (excluding forfeits) where the result is known; W = Wins; D = Draws; L = Losses; PF = Points scored in matches where result is known; PA = Points conceded in matches where result is known; PD = Points difference; WF = Forfeits received; LF = Forfeits conceded; Pts = Competition Points from known wins, draws, byes and forfeits received; Unknown = Matches listed as fixtures where the result is not known; Fixtures = Number of fixtures.

Notes
  • The nine matches listed as fixtures for which the result is not known are: May 15 (3) - Glebe v Drummoyne, South Sydney Federal v Newtown, Balmain v Sydney; May 29 - South Sydney v Glebe; June 19 (2) - Balmain v Newtown, Sydney v Glebe; July 10 - Glebe v Newtown and July 17 (2) - Drummoyne v Newtown and Eastern Suburbs v Balmain.
  • South Sydney Federal received at forfeit from Newtown on May 1.[12]
  • Balmain played Sydney on June 12, winning 10 to 8. This was the only Third Grade fixture for that day, and the match was played as a curtain-raiser to an Australia v New Zealand match.[16]
  • Glebe played Drummoyne on August 7, winning 7 to 5. The only other Third Grade fixture for that day was to be Eastern Suburbs v. South Sydney, but South Sydney forfeited.[17]
Finals

The semi-finals were played on August 14 at the Royal Agricultural Ground. South Sydney Federal 16 defeated Drummoyne 0 and Rozelle 8 beat Eastern Suburbs 2. [18] [19] The third grade final was played on August 21 as a curtain-raiser to an Australia versus New Zealand Maori match, "A good game ended in a win for the South Sydney team by 2 points to nil. Turnbull kicked a penalty goal. As the points indicate the tussle was a close one all through." [20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heads, Ian. "Controversy" (PDF). League of Legends. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Cunneen, Chris (2001). The best ever Australian Sports Writing. Australia: Black Inc. p. 321. ISBN 1-86395-266-7. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  3. ^ The pick of the Pacific theage.com.au, 5 March 2009
  4. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Coady, Ben (28 September 2009). "Grand final dramas". WA Today. Australia: Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour at rl1908.com
  7. ^ "Football". The Sydney Mail. Australia. 29 September 1909. p. 59. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Graham McNeice and Ian Collis (November 1997). "That's Rugby League: New Light on Football's Greatest Controversies" (PDF). Sporting Traditions • vol. 14 no. 1. Sydney. p. 160. 
  9. ^ "First Grade". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 8 August 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Second Grade". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 14 August 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Rugby League - Second Grade Final". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 6 September 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Newtown beats North Sydney". Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 2 May 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "Today's Football". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 15 May 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  14. ^ "First Grade Table". Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 23 May 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "Football - Today's Fixtures". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 24 April 1909. p. 16. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Notes on the Rugby League". Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 13 June 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "Rugby League". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 10 August 1909. p. 10. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  18. ^ "Northern Union Rugby". The Referee. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 18 August 1909. p. 11. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "Third Grade". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 14 August 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  20. ^ "Third Grade Final". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 21 August 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 

External links[edit]