1943 NSWRFL season
1943 NSWRFL season
Teams 8
Premiers Newtown colours.svg Newtown (3rd title)
Minor premiers Newtown colours.svg Newtown (3rd title)
Matches played 61
Points scored 1527 (total)
25.033 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Newtown colours.svg Tom Kirk (116)
Top try scorer(s) North Sydney colours.svg C "Kelly" McMahon (12)

The 1943 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirty-sixth season of Sydney's top-level rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season which lasted from April until September, culminating in the Newtown club's Grand Final victory over North Sydney.[1]

Contents

Season summary

The season is notable for Balmain turning around their second-last placing from the previous season, becoming minor premiers and later premiers. On the other hand, defending premiers Canterbury-Bankstown had a disastrous season, finishing last and picking up the wooden spoon.

Teams

  • Balmain, formed on January 23, 1908 at Balmain Town Hall
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Eastern Suburbs, formed on January 24, 1908 at Paddington Town Hall
  • Newtown, formed on January 14, 1908
  • North Sydney, formed on February 7, 1908
  • South Sydney, formed on January 17, 1908 at Redfern Town Hall
  • St. George, formed on November 8, 1920 at Kogarah School of Arts
  • Western Suburbs, formed on February 4, 1908
Balmain home jersey 1940.svg
Balmain
Canterbury home jersey 1943.svg
Canterbury-Bankstown
Eastern Suburbs home jersey 1939.svg
Eastern Suburbs
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
Newtown
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
South Sydney home jersey 1908.svg
South Sydney
St. George home jersey 1921.svg
St. George
Western Suburbs home jersey 1940.svg
Western Suburbs

Ladder

The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1943 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 10 1 3 272 143 +129 21
2 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 10 1 3 178 131 +47 21
3 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 7 3 4 193 124 +69 17
4 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 8 1 5 185 188 -3 17
5 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 8 0 6 161 147 +14 16
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 4 0 10 131 214 -83 8
7 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 3 0 11 132 176 -44 6
8 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 14 3 0 11 115 244 -129 6

Finals

For the second year running, the minor premiership was decided by a playoff and once again Balmain failed to win this important match, this time against Newtown. The following week both of these teams lost their matches to lower-ranked teams, and as a result, the victors North Sydney and St. George faced off to decide who would meet the minor premiers in the Final. North Sydney won this match which allowed them to face the side they had beaten two weeks earlier once again; this time in the Final. Here, Newtown easily won the match and claimed their third and final premiership.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Playoff
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 11 - 10 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 7 August 1943 Sydney Cricket Ground 47,230
Semi Finals
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 16 - 21 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 August 1943 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 35,920
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 5 - 12 St. George colours.svg St. George 21 August 1943 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 27,395
Preliminary Final
North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 25 - 19 St. George colours.svg St. George 28 August 1943 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 41,646
Final
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 34 - 7 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 4 September 1943[2] Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 60,922

Premiership final

Newtown Bluebags Position North Sydney Bears
Tom Kirk FB Stan Ridgeway
Sid Goodwin WG Frank Collins
Len Smith CE Frank Hyde (Ca./Co.)
Norm Jacobson CE Ted Rudd
Bruce Ryan WG Ray Ainsworth
Tom Nevin FE Kelly McMahon
Paddy Bugden HB Johnny McLachlan
Gordon McLennan PR Laurie Doran
Jimmy Brailey HK Frank Facer
Frank Farrell (c) PR Harry McKinnon
Keith Phillips SR Max Whitehead
Herb Narvo SR Don McKinnon
Charles Cahill LK Gerard Scully
Arthur Folwell Coach

The Final was played at the SCG before a record crowd of 61,922, though there were thousands more on roofs and vantage points outside the ground. Because of the War all service people got in, if they were in uniform, for free.

The teams line up before the 1943 Grand final

Police closed the gates two hours before kick-off leaving 10,000 fans locked out. Latecomers offered up to £10 for seats in the stand. The match provided a great betting orgy with bets of £100 common and more than £25,000 laid before the match began.[3]

Captained by the colourful Frank 'Bumper' Farrell,[4] Newtown took on the fancied North Sydney side. The men from across the harbour were led by Frank Hyde and his Norths' side had shown no sympathy for his former club, having beaten Newtown three times already that season. Newtown countered the short-kicking tactics of the Bears into an advantage of their own, gaining a strong lead at half-time and going on to win 34 - 7.[5] The 24 point margin was a grand final record. Stars of the day for Newtown were forward Charles Cahill along with backs Len Smith and Tom Kirk. It was the third premiership win for Newtown, and would turn out to be their last.

Newtown 34 (Tries: Goodwin 2, Ryan, Brailey, Phillips, Narvo, Smith, Farrell. Goals: Kirk 5)

defeated

North Sydney 7 (Tries: McLachlan. Goals: Rudd 2)


References

  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour at rl1908.com
  2. ^ 1943 Grand Final at nrlstats.com
  3. ^ Pollard, Jack (1965). Gregory's Guide to Rugby League. Australia: Grenville Publishing. p82. 
  4. ^ Coady, Ben (2009-09-28). "Grand final dramas". WA Today (Australia: Fairfax Digital). http://blogs.watoday.com.au/executive-style/sportandstyle/bencoady/2009/09/28/grandfinaldra.html. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  5. ^ "South's record margin in League Finale". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): pp. 6. 1951-09-24. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Cs0QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=J5MDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6675,3446226. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 

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