1911 NSWRFL season

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1911 NSWRFL season
LeagueNew South Wales Rugby Football League
DurationApril 29 to September 16
Matches played59
Points scored1374
PremiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs[1] (1st title)
Minor PremiersGlebe colours.svg Glebe (1st title)
Runners-upGlebe colours.svg Glebe
Top point-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Dally Messenger (148)
Top try-scorer(s)Glebe colours.svg Dave Garlick (13)
Second Grade
Number of teams16
PremiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Runners-upGlebe colours.svg Glebe
Third Grade
Number of teams22
Runners-upSouth Sydney Kinkora

The 1911 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the fourth season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season for the premiership and the Royal Agricultural Society Challenge Shield.

The League’s turnover for the 1911 season was £15,889, up £2,477 on the previous year.[2]


For the first time in its short history, the premiership consisted of the same teams for two consecutive seasons in a row. The same eight teams from the 1910 season played in 1911.

2nd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain-Coach: Charlie Hedley
Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
4th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach: Robert Graves
Captain: Arthur Halloway
Eastern Suburbs
4th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain-Coach: Dally Messenger
4th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Coach: Chris McKivat
Captain: Albert Burge
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
4th season
Ground: Erskineville Oval
Captain: Bill Noble
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
4th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Captain: Con Sullivan
South Sydney
4th season
Ground:Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Arthur Hennessy
Captain: Billy Cann
Western Suburbs
4th season
Ground: St Luke's Park
Captain: Tedda Courtney


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1911 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 14 11 0 3 244 88 +156 22
2 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 9 2 3 208 129 +79 20
3 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 9 2 3 188 117 +71 20
4 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 6 3 5 154 120 +34 15
5 Annandale colours.svg Annandale 14 5 1 8 113 184 -71 11
6 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 4 1 9 138 209 -71 9
7 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 4 1 9 116 189 -73 9
8 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 3 0 11 130 255 -125 6


The finals system used for the 1910 season was similar in the 1911 season. The top two teams at the end of the year were to play each other in a final to decide the premiership, but in the event of the minor premiers losing, they were deemed to have the "right of challenge" to play a Grand Final. However, because both Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney finished on equal premiership points in second place, a playoff was used to decide who would play minor premiers Glebe in the final.

Eastern Suburbs ended up beating local rivals South Sydney 23-10 at the Sports Ground in front of 14,000 people on September 2, 1911, to win the play-off in order to play minor premiers Glebe. The following week, Eastern Suburbs beat Glebe in front of 16,000 at the Agricultural Ground 22-9. Glebe immediately exercised their right for a rematch the following week for a match to be held at the Agricultural Ground on September 16, 1911.


Eastern Suburbs Position Glebe
Fred Kinghorn FB Roy Algie
Barney Dalton WG Mick Muggivan
John Campbell CE Dave Garlick
Dally Messenger (Ca./Co.) CE Tom Gleeson
Eddie White WG Charlie Cubitt
Herb Collins FE Les Cubitt
Leslie Cody HB Fritz Thiering
Larry O'Malley PR Sid Pert
Sandy Pearce HK Jack Redmond
Mick Frawley PR Sam Griffiths
Eddie Griffiths SR Albert Burge (c)
Charlie Lees SR Frank Burge
W Dalton LK Harry Brighton
Reserve J Farrelly
Coach Chris McKivat

After Glebe won the toss, Dally Messenger kicked off at 3:31pm on what was a very windy Saturday afternoon.[3] Glebe winger Cubitt scored early and Easts were only able to post a penalty goal in the first half and trailed 5–2 at the break. The referee was Tom McMahon (the elder of the two Sydney top-grade referees of that name) who in the first half sent off Glebe’s Sid Pert and Rooster Larry O'Malley, the former Australian Kangaroo captain. Early in the second half, Cubitt scored again for Glebe to take an 8–4 lead. However, in the final ten minutes, Eastern Suburbs were able to score a try after a high kick was misjudged by the Glebe fullback, and Charlie Lees took the loose ball to score a try. Dally Messenger converted to take the lead 9–8 with only minutes to play, and consolidated the win with another penalty kick to win the game 11–8 for the Roosters and allowing them to take their first premiership in front of 20,000 people.

Eastern Suburbs 11 (Tries: Lees. Goals: Messenger 3. Fld Goal: Messenger )


Glebe 8 (Tries; C Cubitt 2 Goals: 1.)

Notable events[edit]

On June 22, the first game of rugby league was played on the Sydney Cricket Ground. NSW defeated New Zealand in the match, 35–10.


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine. at rl1908.com
  2. ^ "Football Takings". Grey River Argus. New Zealand. 1912-03-20. p. 5. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
  3. ^ "Rugby League Final". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. 1911-09-18. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-12-13.

External links[edit]