Harman Patil (Editor)

1939 NSWRFL season

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Premiers  Balmain (7th title)
Top points scorer(s)  Neville Smith (97)
Start date  1939
Points scored  1,655
People also search for  1924 NSWRFL season
Minor premiers  Balmain (7th title)
Top try-scorer(s)  Sid Goodwin (18)
Teams  8
Matches played  59
1939 NSWRFL season

The 1939 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirty-second season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested the premiership during the season, which lasted from April until September and culminated in Balmain’s victory over South Sydney in the final.


Season summary

This was to be the St. George club’s final season at Earl Park, Arncliffe, the following season moving back to Hurstville Oval.


  • Balmain, formed on January 23, 1908, at Balmain Town Hall
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Eastern Suburbs, formed on January 24, 1908, at Paddington Town Hall
  • Newtown, formed on January 14, 1908
  • North Sydney, formed on February 7, 1908
  • South Sydney, formed on January 17, 1908, at Redfern Town Hall
  • St. George, formed on November 8, 1920, at Kogarah School of Arts
  • Western Suburbs, formed on February 4, 1908
  • Finals

    In the two semi finals, minor premiers Balmain narrowly defeated Canterbury whilst fourth-placed South Sydney beat second-placed St. George.

    Premiership Final

    The decider was played on the weekend when the world’s future altered dramatically with the invasion of Poland by Germany leading to England, Australia and the world going to war.

    The match was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and refereed by George Bishop in front of 26,972. The game was tight in the first half with the Tigers scoring one try to lead 7–2 at the break.

    In the second-half Balmain ran away with it, scoring six further tries to South Sydney’s none for a crushing seventh premiership title and the Tigers’ first since 1924. Star Balmain players of the time included Sid Goodwin, Frank Hyde, Tom Bourke, Athol Smith, Billy Bischoff, George Watt and Jim Quealey.

    Balmain 33 (Tries: Tom Bourke 2, Frank Hyde, J Redman, Jim Quealey, D Buckley, A Smith. Goals: H Day 5, W Johnson )


    South Sydney 4 (Fred Felsch 2 goals)


    1939 NSWRFL season Wikipedia