Brisbane Rugby League premiership

The Brisbane Rugby League Premiership is a rugby league football competition in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was first held in 1922 and for every year until 1997. The competition was reinstated in 2016, replacing the FOGS premiership under the Queensland Cup. The competition consists of Brisbane’s top six rugby league clubs. Each participating team is a feeder club for the Queensland Cup.

Brisbane Rugby League
SportRugby league
Inaugural season1922
Country Australia
Last premiersWynnum Manly Seagulls (2019)
Most titlesFortitude Valley Diehards (16 titles)
Related competitionQueensland Cup

Prior to 1922, the competition was conducted under the auspices of the Queensland Rugby League. Until the 1980s it was the premier sporting competition in Brisbane, attracting large crowds and broad media coverage. The Brisbane Rugby League however, had been in slow decline for some 15 years as large numbers of its players left to compete in the more lucrative Sydney Rugby League premiership, and began to lose popular interest with the creation of the Brisbane Broncos in 1988. The Brisbane Rugby League premiership was replaced by the Queensland Cup before the 1998 season. In 2016 the competition was reinstated as a third-tier competition under the NRL and Queensland Cup.

HistoryEdit

Establishment of the Queensland Rugby LeagueEdit

The Queensland Rugby Football League (QRFL) was formed in 1908 by seven former rugby union players who were dissatisfied with the administration of the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU). The new organisation was attacked by both the local press and the QRU for introducing professionalism, which they claimed would destroy the sport. The "founding fathers" of the QARFL included John Fihelly, an Australian Labor Party Member of Parliament who became Minister for Railways and Deputy Premier.

The first official club competition kicked off in Brisbane on 8 May 1909. Norths played against Souths before a handful of spectators at Brisbane Cricket Ground.[1] Matches were played under the auspices of the Queensland Amateur Rugby Football League (later renamed Queensland Rugby League). The foundation clubs were:

Schism: establishment of the Brisbane Rugby LeagueEdit

In 1922 the Brisbane Rugby Football League (Brisbane Rugby Football League, later Brisbane Rugby League) was formed out of dissatisfaction with the way the Queensland Rugby League ran the game. Those involved took particular exception to the salary being earned by Harry Sunderland as secretary of the Queensland Rugby League. The Brisbane Rugby League took control of the local competition. Competing in the Brisbane Rugby League competition that year were Brothers, Carltons, Coorparoo, University, Valley and Past Grammars. Although the Queensland Rugby League attempted to regain control of the Brisbane Rugby League competition in 1923 and 1924, the Brisbane Rugby League remained steadfast and the dispute simmered into the next decade. so dire did the situation become, that by the late 1920s, the Queensland Rugby League commenced its own competition involving Ipswich clubs and two supporting Brisbane clubs.

Until 1932 Brisbane Exhibition Ground was the home of rugby league in the city. The complicated arrangement between the Brisbane Rugby League, Queensland Rugby League and Royal National Association (who administered the Exhibition Ground) led to Brisbane Cricket Ground being used for rugby league matches.

In 1933 district football was introduced to provide community support and player equalisation. This meant that players had to live within a certain distance of their club. Accordingly, Brisbane was divided into Eastern Suburbs (incorporating Coorparoo and Wynnum), Southern Suburbs (incorporating Carltons), Western Suburbs, Northern Suburbs (incorporating Past Grammars), Fortitude Valley and Past Brothers (whose players had to prove that they had attended a Christian Brothers school). In 1934, the University Amateur Rugby League Club folded and disappeared from the competition.

In 1953 the friction between the Queensland Rugby League and Brisbane Rugby League ended, with the Brisbane Rugby League being replaced by the Brisbane division of the Queensland Rugby League.[2] Former Brisbane Rugby League chairman and Queensland Rugby League secretary Ron McAullife eventually secured the use of Lang Park as a permanent home for rugby league in Queensland. Teams that joined the Brisbane Rugby League competition around this time were South Coast (1952–1953), Wynnum-Manly (1951) and Redcliffe (1960).

A record crowd at Lang Park of 19,824 saw Northern Suburbs defeat Fortitude Valley in the Brisbane Rugby League grand final in September 1961.[3]

DeclineEdit

In 1967 the Queensland Rugby League removed the residential qualifications for players in Brisbane Rugby League clubs, meaning that players did not have to reside in their certain suburbs to play for their teams. This reduced community support for teams, and club decisions began to be made on a more commercial basis.

This coincided with the commencement of television broadcasts of Brisbane Rugby League games in the same year. The money made from jersey sponsorships and advertising hoardings at grounds was not able to compete with poker machine money available to Sydney Rugby League clubs in the Sydney Rugby League, and an increasing number of players left the Brisbane Rugby League. This also affected the popularity of the Bulimba Cup which had been held between the cities of Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba since the 1930s.

In 1978 the premiership trophy, the Kirks Cup was replaced by the Winfield Cup.

The Queensland Rugby League commissioned Eric White Associates to investigate the administrative structure of the game in Queensland in 1977. One of the recommendations was the creation of a statewide competition. The Winfield State League was created in 1982. The State League competition ran in parallel to the Brisbane Rugby League competition from 1982 to 1995. Also, like with Sydney's competition, Brisbane's competition was also called the Winfield Cup during the 1980s, due to sponsorship from Winfield cigarettes. The Queensland Cup would eventually replace both the State league and the Brisbane Rugby League premiership in 1998.

In the 1980s, two further teams were added to the Brisbane Rugby League competition: Ipswich (1986) and Logan (1987).

Despite some New South Wales Rugby League (Sydney Rugby League) premiership games being re-broadcast during late night timeslots from the late 1970s, the Brisbane Rugby League remained the more popular competition in Queensland until 1988 with the weekly live broadcast of the Match of the Round being played at Lang Park.

In 1986 the New South Wales Rugby League decided to allow a team from Brisbane to enter the Sydney Rugby League premiership. While the New South Wales Rugby League was originally negotiating a Brisbane team sponsored by the Queensland Rugby League, a private bid in the form of the Brisbane Broncos was instead accepted by the New South Wales Rugby League. The Brisbane Broncos debuted in the Sydney Rugby League premiership in 1988.

As the Broncos began to represent Brisbane at rugby league in the public eye the Brisbane Rugby League competition entered the terminal phase of its decline. The dominance of the Brisbane Broncos in the media resulted in the Brisbane Rugby League losing live coverage of games and receiving only minor interest from the sports media. The drop in interest saw the Brisbane Rugby League, its clubs and its junior development base incurring significant and crippling financial losses. Several longstanding clubs were not able to survive the impact over the coming years.

From 1988, Brisbane Rugby League players were rarely chosen to represent Queensland in the annual State of Origin series however notable exceptions were evident in 1995 when Brisbane Broncos players were ineligible and several relatively unknown players from the Brisbane Rugby League were selected, defeating a heavily-favoured New South Wales team 3-0 in the series.

The Brisbane Rugby League premiership was fully superseded by the Queensland Cup competition in 1998. Redcliffe won the last Brisbane Rugby League Grand Final in 1997 defeating Easts 35–6.

Return of the Brisbane Rugby League PremiershipEdit

On September 26, 2014, the South East Queensland Division announced that they will be scrapping the existing FOGS Cup structure and reforming the Brisbane Rugby League as the state's secondary competition.[4]

TeamsEdit

Club Nickname First Year Last Year Seasons
Premiers Runners-Up
  East Brisbane Tigers 1917 1997 8 16
  Fortitude Valley Diehards 1909 1995 17 14
  Ipswich Jets 1986 1997 0 2
  Logan Scorpions 1987 1997 0 0
  North Brisbane Devils 1920 1997 13 9
  Brisbane Brothers Old Boys 1917, 1920 1918, 1929 1 4
  Past Brothers Leprechauns 1930 1997 9 10
  Redcliffe Dolphins 1947 1997 4 6
  South Brisbane Magpies 1919 1997 8 8
  University of Queensland Students 1920 1929 2 0
  University Amateur RLFC Students 1930 1934 0 0
  West Brisbane Panthers 1915 1997 10 8
  Wynnum-Manly Seagulls 1951 1997 4 1

The Brisbane Rugby League was also represented by a representative side whose players were selected from Brisbane Rugby League clubs' first grade teams.

Grand Final resultsEdit

Queensland Rugby League premiership (1909–1921), Brisbane Rugby League premiership (1922–1997) & (2016–present)

Season Grand Final Information
Premiers Score Runners-Up
1909   Fortitude Valley 22–4   South Brisbane
1910   Ipswich 17–2   Toombul
1911   Fortitude Valley-Toombul 13–2   Ipswich B
1912   Brisbane Natives 10–0   South Brisbane
1913   West End 5–3   Brisbane Natives
1914   Fortitude Valley 18–8   West End
1915   Fortitude Valley 10–9   West Brisbane
1916   West Brisbane 4–2   Fortitude Valley
1917   Fortitude Valley 13–5   Brisbane Merthyrs
1918   Fortitude Valley 16–12   Brisbane Merthyrs
1919   Fortitude Valley 28–2   Coorparoo
1920   West Brisbane 16–8   Christian Brothers
1921   Carltons 12–10   Coorparoo
1922   West Brisbane* 20–9   Coorparoo
1923   Coorparoo 13–2   Fortitude Valley
1924   Fortitude Valley 11–8   Christian Brothers
1925   Carltons 24–5   Coorparoo
1926   Christian Brothers 6–5   Coorparoo
1927   Past Grammars 13–11   West Brisbane
1928   University 10–7   Carltons
1929   University 12–11   Coorparoo
1930   Carltons 19–8   Fortitude Valley
1931   Fortitude Valley 27–9   Past Grammars
1932   West Brisbane 8–7   Past Grammars
1933   Fortitude Valley 9–3   West Brisbane
1934   North Brisbane 7–4   West Brisbane
1935   Past Brothers 11–9   Fortitude Valley
1936   West Brisbane 13–12   Fortitude Valley
1937   Fortitude Valley 9–7   West Brisbane
1938   North Brisbane 16–10   Fortitude Valley
1939   Past Brothers 11–9   N orth Brisbane
1940   North Brisbane 17–11   Past Brothers
1941   Fortitude Valley 13–7   North Brisbane
1942   Past Brothers 20–11   South Brisbane
1943   Past Brothers 13–7   Fortitude Valley
1944   Fortitude Valley 16–12   North Brisbane
1945   outh Brisbane 21–11   North Brisbane
1946   Fortitude Valley 5–2   East Brisbane
1947   East Brisbane 15–2   South Brisbane
1948   West Brisbane 14–8   East Brisbane
1949   South Brisbane 22–8   East Brisbane
1950   East Brisbane 14–10   West Brisbane
1951   South Brisbane 20–10   East Brisbane
1952   West Brisbane 15–14   Past Brothers
1953   South Brisbane 21–4   East Brisbane
1954   West Brisbane 35–18   Past Brothers
1955   Fortitude Valley* 17–7   Past Brothers
1956   Past Brothers 17–10   West Brisbane
1957   Fortitude Valley 18–17   Past Brothers
1958   Past Brothers 22–7   Fortitude Valley
1959   North Brisbane 24–18   Past Brothers
1960   North Brisbane 18–5   Fortitude Valley
1961   North Brisbane 29–5   Fortitude Valley
1962   North Brisbane 22–0   Fortitude Valley
1963   North Brisbane 18–8   South Brisbane
1964   North Brisbane 13–4   Past Brothers
1965   Redcliffe 15–2   Fortitude Valley
1966   North Brisbane 9–6   Past Brothers
1967   Past Brothers 6–2   North Brisbane
1968   Past Brothers 21–4   East Brisbane
1969   North Brisbane 14–2   Fortitude Valley
1970   Fortitude Valley 13–11   North Brisbane
1971   Fortitude Valley 18–10   East Brisbane
1972   East Brisbane 16–15   Fortitude Valley
1973   Fortitude Valley 15–7   Redcliffe
1974   Fortitude Valley 9–2   Past Brothers
1975   West Brisbane 26–24   Redcliffe
1976   West Brisbane 16–1   East Brisbane
1977   East Brisbane 17–13   Redcliffe
1978   East Brisbane 14–10   Fortitude Valley
1979   Fortitude Valley 26–0   South Brisbane
1980   North Brisbane 17–15   South Brisbane
1981   South Brisbane 13–9   Redcliffe
1982   Wynnum-Manly 17–3   South Brisbane
1983   East Brisbane 14–6   Redcliffe
1984   Wynnum-Manly 42–8   South Brisbane
1985   South Brisbane 10–8   Wynnum-Manly
1986   Wynnum-Manly 14–6   Past Brothers
1987   Past Brothers 26–8   Redcliffe
1988   Fortitude Valley-Tweed Heads 17–14   Ipswich
1989   Fortitude Valley 28–4   Ipswich
1990   Fortitude Valley 17–16   North Brisbane
1991   East Brisbane 25–10   West Brisbane
1992   West Brisbane 40–10   East Brisbane
1993   West Brisbane 18–12   East Brisbane
1994   Redcliffe 24–18   West Brisbane
1995   Wynnum-Manly 32–24   East Brisbane
1996   Redcliffe 16–12   South Brisbane
1997   Redcliffe 35–6   East Brisbane
1998 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
1999 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2000 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2001 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2002 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2003 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2004 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2005 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2006 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2007 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2008 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2009 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2010 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2011 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2012 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2013 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2014 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2015 Not Held 00–00 Not Held
2016   Redcliffe 31-30   Ipswich
2017   Fortitude Valley 16-12   Redcliffe
2018   Wynnum-Manly 28-20   Redcliffe
2019   Wynnum-Manly 22-20   Fortitude Valley
  • * = undefeated

Note: The Brisbane Rugby League was not held between 1998 and 2015

Brisbane Rugby League Premiers (All Grades) (1922–1997)Edit

Season 1st Grade Premiers 2nd Grade Premiers 3rd Grade Premiers
1922   West Brisbane*   Coorparoo   Carltons
1923   Coorparoo   Past Grammars   Coorparoo
1924   Fortitude Valley   Carltons*   Fortitude Valley
1925   Carltons   Coorparoo   Past Grammars
1926   Christian Brothers   West Brisbane*   Fortitude Valley*
1927   Past Grammars   Past Grammars   Coorparoo
1928   University   Christian Brothers   West Brisbane
1929   Carltons   Coorparoo*   West Brisbane
1930   Carltons   Coorparoo   West Brisbane*
1931   Fortitude Valley   Carltons*   West Brisbane*
1932   West Brisbane   Carltons   Fortitude Valley
1933   Fortitude Valley   West Brisbane*   West Brisbane
1934   North Brisbane   West Brisbane*   West Brisbane
1935   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers
1936   West Brisbane   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1937   Fortitude Valley   North Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1938   North Brisbane   North Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1939   Past Brothers   South Brisbane   North Brisbane
1940   North Brisbane   East Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1941   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   South Brisbane
1942   Past Brothers   Brisbane Railway   South Brisbane
1943   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   South Brisbane
1944   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   South Brisbane
1945   South Brisbane   South Brisbane   South Brisbane
1946   Fortitude Valley   South Brisbane   East Brisbane
1947   East Brisbane   West Brisbane   Past Brothers
1948   West Brisbane   Fortitude Valley   South Brisbane
1949   South Brisbane   East Brisbane   East Brisbane
1950   East Brisbane   North Brisbane   West Brisbane
1951   South Brisbane   North Brisbane   West Brisbane
1952   West Brisbane   North Brisbane   North Brisbane
1953   South Brisbane   North Brisbane   Past Brothers
1954   West Brisbane   Fortitude Valley   North Brisbane
1955   Fortitude Valley*   Past Brothers   West Brisbane
1956   Past Brothers   North Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1957   Fortitude Valley   West Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1958   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1959   North Brisbane   Redcliffe   West Brisbane
1960   North Brisbane   East Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1961   North Brisbane   South Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1962   North Brisbane   Redcliffe   Fortitude Valley
1963   North Brisbane   North Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1964   North Brisbane   North Brisbane   West Brisbane
1965   Redcliffe   West Brisbane   East Brisbane
1966   North Brisbane   Redcliffe   Northern Suburbs
1967   Past Brothers   North Brisbane   North Brisbane
1968   Past Brothers   North Brisbane   North Brisbane
1969   North Brisbane   North Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1970   Fortitude Valley   East Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1971   Fortitude Valley   North Brisbane   North Brisbane*
1972   East Brisbane   North Brisbane   Wynnum-Manly
1973   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers   North Brisbane*
1974   Fortitude Valley   East Brisbane   Fortitude Valley
1975   West Brisbane   Wynnum-Manly   Wynnum-Manly
1976   West Brisbane   West Brisbane   Wynnum-Manly
1977   East Brisbane   East Brisbane   West Brisbane
1978   East Brisbane   Redcliffe   East Brisbane
1979   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers   Wynnum-Manly
1980   North Brisbane   South Brisbane   South Brisbane
1981   South Brisbane   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1982   Wynnum-Manly   Redcliffe   South Brisbane
1983   East Brisbane   South Brisbane   East Brisbane
1984   Wynnum-Manly   South Brisbane   Redcliffe
1985   South Brisbane   Past Brothers   South Brisbane
1986   Wynnum-Manly
1987   Past Brothers
1988   Fortitude Valley-Tweed Heads
1989   Fortitude Valley
1990   Fortitude Valley
1991   East Brisbane
1992   West Brisbane
1993   West Brisbane
1994   Redcliffe   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1995   Wynnum-Manly
1996   Redcliffe
1997   Redcliffe   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1998 Not Held Not Held Not Held
1999 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2000 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2001 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2002 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2003 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2004 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2005 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2006 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2007 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2008 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2009 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2010 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2011 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2012 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2013 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2014 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2015 Not Held Not Held Not Held
2016   Redcliffe
2017   Fortitude Valley
2018   Wynnum-Manly
2019   Wynnum-Manly
  • * = undefeated

Not held between 1998 and 2015

QuotesEdit

  • "Well that is a tragedy, to be honest with you. There's no club identity at all now. If you don't follow the Broncos well who do you follow? That means you've got to follow a New South Wales side. I think I'm sure that's what McAuliffe didn't want to happen. But when they brought in the Queensland side into the NSWRL that was the end of the Brisbane Rugby League, as far as that was concerned. It should never have happened because as it turned out, if we did lose players from Queensland to go to New South Wales we had the State of Origin. We've been winning the State of Origin, and you can imagine if we were keeping our players, the club competition would be just as good as what it was when I was playing. But that is a tragedy as far as I'm concerned is that the people miss that club identity." -Barry Muir, in 2001, on the decline of the Brisbane Rugby League and the rise of the Sydney Rugby League.
  • "Yeah well the crowd was great, they supported you wholeheartedly, they came along but it wasn't only down here on the football field it was on the streets up there. People would come up and talk to you, they'd stop you in the street and get your autograph and have a talk to you and wish you all the best and really support you in what you were doing and lifting the Club. There was four or five players here that were top-line footballers and we used to go up on the terrace and sell raffles in front of McCarthy's Jewellers store on the terrace and we'd do an hour there and then pop down to the Manly Hotel and do an hour there and then we'd pop down to Fishers (pub) and do an hour there. The players were prepared to do it because they were getting the support from this area and they would give it back on the playing field and however they could meet the people on the streets. I don't think anyone turned away from you, it was just one big happy family. We used to have like a barbecue after the game and there'd be 100 or 200 people that would turn up for the barbecue, we had it at various areas." -Lionel Morgan, in 2001, on the support of the Brisbane Rugby League in the Wynnum-Manly district.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pramberg, Bernie (2 May 2009). "Leo Donovan special guest at Brisbane Rugby League celebrations". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  2. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's greatest contest 1980–2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0-7022-3383-8.
  3. ^ "Norths thrash Valleys 29–5". The Sun-Herald. Australia. 24 September 1961. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Brisbane Rugby League rebirth". Queensland Rugby League. Australia. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.

External linksEdit