1917 New Zealand rugby league season

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The 1917 New Zealand rugby league season was the tenth season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand.

International competitions[edit]

New Zealand played in no international matches in 1917.

National competitions[edit]

Northern Union Cup[edit]

Auckland again held the Northern Union Cup at the end of the season.

Club competitions[edit]


Ponsonby United won the Auckland Rugby League's competition and the Roope Rooster.[1]

The Auckland Rugby Union champions, Railway (themselves a War time combination of the Marist and City clubs), split with a breakaway group led by Conrad McDevitt challenging Ponsonby United to a game of rugby league. Railway XIII, who included most of the club's leading players, defeated Ponsonby United 12-3 at the Auckland Domain. They then lost to the City Rovers 6-18. Railway XIII included Ces Dacre, who later represented New Zealand at cricket.[2] In 1918 the club merged with Grafton Athletic. McDevitt was later involved in the formation of the Marist club in 1919.[2]


Sydenham won the Canterbury Rugby League's competition, for which they were awarded the Thacker Shield.[1]

Federal, Hornby, Linwood and Sydenham were the only senior teams.

During the year former Canterbury captain and New Zealand international Bill Bussell was killed in action.[3]

Other Competitions[edit]

The Wellington Rugby League's competition was suspended from 1916 until 1918.


  1. ^ a b Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1990 New Zealand Rugby League, 1990. p.72
  2. ^ a b Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.
  3. ^ Coffey, John. Canterbury XIII, Christchurch, 1987