1919 NSWRFL season

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1919 New South Wales Rugby Football League
NSWRFL 1983.jpg
PremiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (4th title)
Minor premiersBalmain colours.svg Balmain (4th title)
Matches played56
Points scored1474
Top points scorer(s)Western Suburbs colours.svg A McPherson (89)
Top try-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Gordon Wright (17)

The 1919 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the twelfth season of Sydney’s professional rugby league club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season, with Balmain finishing on top of the ladder to claim the premiership.[1]

Season summary[edit]

Balmain and Eastern Suburbs dominated the 14-round season, dropping just two and three games respectively. Balmain were undefeated after eight rounds but a mid-year Australian tour to New Zealand saw the black and golds lose their representative stars and their lead was lost to Eastern Suburbs for one week late in the season.

With eleven rounds played, Balmain led Eastern Suburbs by one point on the ladder but relinquished this lead by losing their round 12 match against Glebe as Eastern Suburbs beat winless Annandale 28–0. This meant Eastern Suburbs now led by one point with two rounds to play. However, they lost the very next round 15–12 to South Sydney, who had won just four of their twelve previous matches. Meanwhile, Balmain managed to beat Newtown 18–5, giving them the one point advantage heading into the final round.

The final match of the season turned out to be the decider for the premiership, with the top two teams playing one another at the Royal Agricultural Society Ground. The winner of the match would take out the premiership, whilst a draw would give Balmain the title. At the end of the day, it was the goal kicking of Balmain's Les Wall that secured the premiership, with a 13–4 win over Eastern Suburbs. Five of Wall’s attempts hit the post that day, but four crossed the bar and won Balmain the title.[2] Members of the Balmain premiership winning side included Bob Craig and Bill Kelly.

The City Cup was won by Wests for the second consecutive season.


The teams remained unchanged from the 1918 season

10th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain: Walter Haddock
Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
12th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Captain: Bob Craig
Eastern Suburbs
12th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain: Ray Norman
12th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach: Alex Burdon
Captain: Tom Leggo, Albert Burge
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
12th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach: Charles "Boxer" Russell
Captain: Albert "Ricketty" Johnston
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
12th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Captain-Coach: George Green
South Sydney
12th season
Ground: RAS Showground
Captain: Howard Hallett
Western Suburbs
12th season
Ground: St. Luke's Oval
Captain: Tedda Courtney


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1919 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 11 1 2 277 109 +168 23
2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 9 2 3 229 108 +121 20
3 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 9 0 5 239 130 +109 18
4 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 14 9 0 5 209 134 +75 18
5 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 6 2 6 123 186 -63 14
6 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 6 1 7 208 223 -15 13
7 Annandale colours.svg Annandale 14 1 1 12 86 270 -184 3
8 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 1 1 12 103 314 -211 3


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine at rl1908.com
  2. ^ Pollard, Jack (1965). Gregory's Guide to Rugby League. Australia: Grenville Publishing. p82.

External links[edit]