1920 NSWRFL season

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1920 New South Wales Rugby Football League
Teams 9
Premiers Balmain colours.svg Balmain (5th title)
Minor premiers Balmain colours.svg Balmain (5th title)
Matches played 60
Points scored 1981
Top points scorer(s) Glebe colours.svg Frank Burge (110)
Top try-scorer(s) Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Gordon Wright (18)

The 1920 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirteenth season of Sydney's professional rugby league football club competition, Australia's first. The introduction of a Sydney University side saw nine teams from across the city contest during the season. Balmain were crowned premiers by virtue of finishing the season on top of the League.[1]

Season summary[edit]

Due to the 1920 Great Britain Lions tour, from rounds 5 to 8, several players in the NSWRFL were selected to play matches for Metropolis (Sydney), New South Wales and Australia.

In a round 7 game between Glebe and University Frank Burge scored eight tries which remains the standing record for the most tries by an individual in a NSWRL/NRL premiership match. Arthur Oxford set the pace in goal kicking, scoring 29 goals in three games. He also took the record of most goals in succession (23) which would stand until 1978.

The NSWRFL ran the City Cup competition for the second half of the season.

The Balmain Tigers again dominated the season, while University's first year was a disappointment: the Students conceded a whopping 118 tries in thirteen games for a record “tries against” average of 9.08 per match that has not been beaten since.[2] Balmain played consistently and defensively throughout the season except for a slip-up 13–30 loss to Eastern Suburbs in Round 10. Holding a seven-point lead on the premiership ladder with three rounds left to play secured their fifth premiership in six years. The final three rounds were left unplayed and no Finals were contested.


With the addition of Sydney University's team, the League was again at nine sides. At the end of the season however, Annandale exited the League after eleven seasons,[3] having won only fifteen and drawn four of 126 games since 1912.[4]

11th season
Ground: Birchgrove Park
Captain: Tom McGuiness
Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
13th season
Ground: Birchgrove Park
Captain-Coach: Arthur Halloway
Eastern Suburbs
13th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain: Ray Norman
13th season
Ground: RAS Showground
Captain: Frank Burge
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
13th season
Ground: Marrickville Oval
Captain-Coach: Albert Johnston
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1908.svg
North Sydney
13th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Chris McKivat
Captain: Harold Horder
South Sydney
13th season
Ground: RAS Showground
Captain: Reg Fusedale
University home jersey 1920.svg
1st season
Coach: Paddy McCue
Captain: Alan McLeod
Western Suburbs
13th season
Ground: Pratten Park
Captain-coach: Tedda Courtney


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1920 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L B PF PA PD Pts
1 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 13 11 1 1 2 287 114 +173 27
2 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 13 8 0 5 2 258 149 +109 20
3 Glebe colours.svg Glebe 13 8 0 5 2 268 166 +102 20
4 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 8 1 5 1 309 141 +168 19
5 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 13 7 0 6 2 237 151 +86 18
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 8 0 6 1 254 175 +79 18
7 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 8 0 6 1 208 203 +5 18
8 University colours.svg University 13 1 0 12 2 101 498 -397 6
9 Annandale colours.svg Annandale 13 0 0 13 2 59 384 -325 4


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine. at rl1908.com
  2. ^ Rugby League Tables: Season Records
  3. ^ "History of the Premiership". centenaryofrugbyleague.com.au. Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  4. ^ Annandale - Season Summary

External links[edit]