1949 NSWRFL Season

1949 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersSt. George colours.svg St. George[1] (2nd title)
Minor premiersSouth Sydney colours.svg South Sydney (10th title)
Matches played94
Points scored2995
Top points scorer(s)Western Suburbs colours.svg Bill Keato (163)
Top try-scorer(s)St. George colours.svg Ron Roberts (25)

The 1949 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the forty-second season of Sydney's top-level professional rugby league football club competition, Australia's first. Ten teams from across the city contested the premiership during the season which culminated in a grand final between St. George and South Sydney.[2]

Season summary

St. George winger Ron Roberts' 25 tries during 1949 stands in third place behind Les Brennan's 29 in 1954 and Bob Lulham's 28 in 1947 for the highest number of tries by a player in a debut season.

The 1949 season was also the last in the NSWRFL for future Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee, Vic Hey.



Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 18 13 1 4 360 210 +150 27
2 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 18 12 0 6 365 280 +85 24
3 St. George colours.svg St. George 18 11 1 6 345 231 +114 23
4 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 18 10 2 6 265 206 +59 22
5 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 18 8 4 6 311 269 +42 20
6 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 18 9 1 8 358 332 +26 19
7 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown 18 6 2 10 236 337 -101 14
8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah 18 6 1 11 171 293 -122 13
9 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 18 5 1 12 253 369 -116 11
10 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 18 3 1 14 214 351 -137 7


Minor premier South Sydney's loss to St. George in the finals meant that a grand final would be necessary.[3]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 12-16 St. George colours.svg St. George 20 August 1949 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 41,696
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 13-20 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 27 August 1949 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 38,209
Preliminary Final
St. George colours.svg St. George 18-7 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 3 September 1949 Sydney Cricket Ground Jack O'Brien 55,341
Grand Final
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 12-19 St. George colours.svg St. George 10 September 1949 Sydney Cricket Ground George Bishop 56,534

Grand Final

In a brutal encounter, St George ran in five tries and overcame minor premiers South Sydney 19-12[4] to claim their second premiership in front of 56,532 people, the second biggest crowd of all time to witness Sydney club match.[5]

Souths opened the scoring, with a converted try to Graves after 21 minutes. However the Dragons were led masterfully by their captain, Kangaroos five-eighth, Norman "Johnny" Hawke. Controlling all aspects of the match, Hawke took the game away from Souths who only got back into the contest when he was forced from the field with injury. Also injured was Saints forward George Jardine who played the match with a broken wrist.

St. George led 11-5 at half time. Hawke returned to the field after treatment and was later dubbed "Man of the Match" and "the Player's Player". The Dragons' wingers, season's top try scorer Ron Roberts (25 tries) and newcomer Noel Pidding scored two tries each.

Each of the grand final winning players received a record bonus of £300 each.

St. George 19
Tries: Roberts (2), Pidding (2), McCoy
Goals: McCoy, Pidding

South Sydney 12
Tries: Graves, Purcell
Goals: Graves (3)


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 28 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine. at rl1908.com
  2. ^ "South plans counter to McRitchie". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1949-09-06. p. 7. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Goodman, Tom (1949-08-21). "Munn and McRitchie lead 16-12 victory". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 6. Retrieved .
  4. ^ 1949 Grand Final at nrlstats.com
  5. ^ Goodman, Tom (1949-09-11). "Hawke steers St. George to second Rugby League Premiership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 8. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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