1948 NSWRFL season

1948 NSWRFL season
1948 NSWRFL season
Teams 10
Premiers Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (3rd title)
Minor premiers Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (2nd title)
Matches played 94
Points scored 2829 (total)
30.096 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) St. George colours.svg Jack Lindwall (101)
Top try scorer(s) Newtown colours.svg Norm Jacobson (27)

The 1948 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the forty-first season of Sydney's top-level rugby league football competition, Australia's first. The teams remained unchanged from the previous season, with ten clubs from across the city contesting the premiership during the season which culminated in Western Suburbs' victory over Balmain in the grand final.[1]


Season summary

When Balmain's young stars of 1946-47 Pat Devery and Harry Bath left for big money offers in England it seemed doubtful that the Tigers would be able to continue their run of success. However Balmain gave themselves every chance to achieve their third title in a row and made it through to the Grand Final match up against Wests.


Balmain home jersey 1940.svg
Canterbury home jersey 1935.svg
Eastern Suburbs home jersey 1914.svg
Eastern Suburbs
Manly Sea Eagles home jersey 1947.svg
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
Parramatta Eels home jersey 1947.svg
South Sydney home jersey 1908.svg
South Sydney
St. George home jersey 1945.svg
St. George
Western Suburbs home jersey 1940.svg
Western Suburbs


Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 18 16 0 2 322 189 +133 32
2 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 18 13 0 5 386 248 +138 26
3 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 18 12 2 4 287 222 +65 26
4 St. George colours.svg St. George 18 10 1 7 332 262 +70 21
5 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 18 7 2 9 282 276 +6 16
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 18 7 2 9 225 248 -23 16
7 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 18 7 1 10 265 302 -37 15
8 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 18 5 1 12 237 346 -109 11
9 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 18 4 1 13 221 334 -113 9
10 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 18 3 2 13 191 321 -130 8


In Balmain's preliminary final match up with St George, Balmain winger Arthur Patton refused to leave the field whilst injured as the Tigers held on to win 13-12. At game's end it was found that he had a broken leg.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 7 - 8 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 28 August 1948 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 25,907
Newtown colours.svg Newtown 8 - 20 St. George colours.svg St. George 4 September 1948 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 31,310
Preliminary Final
Balmain colours.svg Balmain 13 - 12 St. George colours.svg St. George 11 September 1948 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 37,404
Grand Final
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 8 - 5 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 18 September 1948[2] Sydney Sports Ground George Bishop 29,122

Grand Final

Western Suburbs Position Balmain
William Keato FB Dave Parkinson
Col Hudson WG Leo Nosworthy
Eric Bennett CE George Williams
Lindsay Rodda CE Tom Bourke (c)
John Lackey WG Mitchell Wallace
Frank Stanmore FE William Sneddon
Neville Hogan HB Des Bryan
William Horder PR Jim Thompson
William Brown HK Robert Crane
Jack Walsh (c) PR Jack Spencer
Kevin Hanson SR Sid Ryan
Don Milton SR Pat Madden
Peter McLean LK Jack Hampstead
Jeff Smith Coach Athol Smith

After rainy conditions the grand final was played on a soft Sydney Sports Ground surface.[3] The Tigers led the game until the final quarter when a 40 metre run by Wests' second rower Kevin Hansen saw him tackled right on the try line. The referee awarded the try and Wests held an 8-5 break until fulltime to record their third premiership win.

Western Suburbs Magpies 8 (Tries: Hudson, Hansen. Goals: Keato)


Balmain Tigers 5 (Tries: Bourke. Goals: Bourke)


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