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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 competition 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 (2018)
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.

Contents

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.

The effect of television coverage on attendances became pronounced by the mid-1970s and crowds began to desert the Brisbane Rugby League competition. Clubs found themselves in financial hardship, and the public began to support the Sydney Rugby League which by then was being broadcast in Queensland. 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).

In 1986 the New South Wales Rugby League decided to allow a team from Brisbane to enter the Sydney Rugby League premiership. 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. Indeed, 1987, the year before the Broncos commenced playing, was the last year that a Brisbane Rugby League player would be selected to play for Queensland in the State of Origin 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.

RebirthEdit

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 First Year Last Year Seasons
Premiers Runners-Up Minor Premiers
  Eastern Suburbs 1917 1997 8 16
  Fortitude Valley 1909 1995 17 14
  Ipswich Jets 1986 1997 0 2
  Logan 1987 1997 0 0
  Northern Suburbs 1920 1997 13 9
  Brisbane Brothers 1917, 1920 1918, 1929 1 4
  Past Brothers 1930 1997 9 10
  Redcliffe 1947 1997 4 6
  Southern Suburbs 1919 1997 8 8
  University of Queensland 1920 1929 2 0
  University Amateur RLFC 1930 1934 0 0
  Western Suburbs 1915 1997 10 8
  Wynnum-Manly 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)Edit

Season Grand Finals
Premiers Score Runners-Up
1909   Fortitude Valley 22–4 Southern Suburbs
1910 Ipswich 17–2 Toombul
1911   Fortitude Valley-Toombul 13–2 Ipswich B
1912 Brisbane Natives 10–0 Southern Suburbs
1913   West End 5–3 Brisbane Natives
1914   Fortitude Valley 18–8   West End
1915   Fortitude Valley 10–9   Western Suburbs
1916   Western Suburbs 4–2   Fortitude Valley
1917   Fortitude Valley 13–5   Brisbane Merthyrs
1918   Fortitude Valley 16–12   Brisbane Merthyrs
1919   Fortitude Valley 28–2   Cooparoo
1920   Western Suburbs 16–8   Christian Brothers
1921   Carltons 12–10   Cooparoo

Brisbane Rugby League premiership (1922–1997)Edit

Season Grand Final Information Reserve Grade Colts Grade
Premiers Score Runners-Up
1922   Western Suburbs* 20–9   Coorparoo   Coorparoo   Carltons
1923   Coorparoo 13–2   Fortitude Valley   Past Grammars   Western Suburbs
1924   Fortitude Valley 11–8   Christian Brothers   Carltons*   Fortitude Valley
1925   Carltons 24–5   Cooparoo   Coorparoo   Past Grammars
1926   Christian Brothers 6–5   Cooparoo   Western Suburbs*   Fortitude Valley*
1927   Past Grammars 13–11   Western Suburbs   Past Grammars   Coorparoo
1928   University 10–7   Carltons   Christian Brothers   Western Suburbs
1929   University 12–11   Coorparoo   Carltons   Coorparoo*
1930   Carltons 19–8   Fortitude Valley   Coorparoo   Western Suburbs*
1931   Fortitude Valley 27–9   Past Grammars   Carltons*   Western Suburbs*
1932   Western Suburbs 8–7   Past Grammars   Carltons   Fortitude Valley
1933   Fortitude Valley 9–3   Western Suburbs   Western Suburbs*   Western Suburbs
1934   Northern Suburbs 7–4   Western Suburbs   Western Suburbs*   Western Suburbs
1935   Past Brothers 11–9   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers
1936   Western Suburbs 13–12   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1937   Fortitude Valley 9–7   Western Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1938   Northern Suburbs 16–10   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1939   Past Brothers 11–9   Northern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1940   Northern Suburbs 17–11   Past Brothers   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1941   Fortitude Valley 13–7   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1942   Past Brothers 20–11   Southern Suburbs   Brisbane Railway   Southern Suburbs
1943   Past Brothers 13–7   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1944   Fortitude Valley 16–12   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1945   Southern Suburbs 21–11   Northern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs
1946   Fortitude Valley 5–2   Eastern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1947   Eastern Suburbs 15–2   Southern Suburbs   Western Suburbs   Past Brothers
1948   Western Suburbs 14–8   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1949   Southern Suburbs 22–8   Eastern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1950   Eastern Suburbs 14–10   Western Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1951   Southern Suburbs 20–10   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1952   Western Suburbs 15–14   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1953   Southern Suburbs 21–4   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Past Brothers
1954   Western Suburbs 35–18   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs
1955   Fortitude Valley* 17–7   Past Brothers   Past Brothers   Western Suburbs
1956   Past Brothers 17–10   Western Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1957   Fortitude Valley 18–17   Past Brothers   Western Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1958   Past Brothers 22–7   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1959   Northern Suburbs 24–18   Past Brothers   Redcliffe   Western Suburbs
1960   Northern Suburbs 18–5   Fortitude Valley   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1961   Northern Suburbs 29–5   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1962   Northern Suburbs 22–0   Fortitude Valley   Redcliffe   Fortitude Valley
1963   Northern Suburbs 18–8   Southern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1964   Northern Suburbs 13–4   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1965   Redcliffe 15–2   Fortitude Valley   Western Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1966   Northern Suburbs 9–6   Past Brothers   Redcliffe   Northern Suburbs
1967   Past Brothers 6–2   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1968   Past Brothers 21–4   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1969   Northern Suburbs 14–2   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1970   Fortitude Valley 13–11   Northern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1971   Fortitude Valley 18–10   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs*
1972   Eastern Suburbs 16–15   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs   Wynnum-Manly
1973   Fortitude Valley 15–7   Redcliffe   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs*
1974   Fortitude Valley 9–2   Past Brothers   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1975   Western Suburbs 26–24   Redcliffe   Wynnum-Manly   Wynnum-Manly
1976   Western Suburbs 16–1   Eastern Suburbs   Western Suburbs   Wynnum-Manly
1977   Eastern Suburbs 17–13   Redcliffe   Eastern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1978   Eastern Suburbs 14–10   Fortitude Valley   Redcliffe   Eastern Suburbs
1979   Fortitude Valley 26–0   Southern Suburbs   Past Brothers   Wynnum-Manly
1980   Northern Suburbs 17–15   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs
1981   Southern Suburbs 13–9   Redcliffe   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1982   Wynnum-Manly 17–3   Southern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Southern Suburbs
1983   Eastern Suburbs 14–6   Redcliffe   Southern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1984   Wynnum-Manly 42–8   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Redcliffe
1985   Southern Suburbs 10–8   Wynnum-Manly   Past Brothers   Southern Suburbs
1986   Wynnum-Manly 14–6   Past Brothers
1987   Past Brothers 26–8   Redcliffe
1988   Fort. Valley-Tweed 17–14   Ipswich
1989   Fortitude Valley 28–4   Ipswich
1990   Fortitude Valley 17–16   Northern Suburbs
1991   Eastern Suburbs 25–10   Western Suburbs
1992   Western Suburbs 40–10   Eastern Suburbs
1993   Western Suburbs 18–12   Eastern Suburbs
1994   Redcliffe 24–18   Western Suburbs   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1995   Wynnum-Manly 32–24   Eastern Suburbs
1996   Redcliffe 16–12   Southern Suburbs
1997   Redcliffe 35–6   Eastern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
  • * = undefeated
Not held between 1998 and 2015

Brisbane Rugby League premiership (2016–Present)Edit

Season Grand Final Information Second Grade Third Grade
Premiers Score Runners-Up
2016   Redcliffe 31-30   Ipswich
2017   Fortitude Valley 16-12   Redcliffe
2018   Wynnum-Manly 28-20   Redcliffe
2019

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

Season Senior Grade Reserve Grade Colts Grade
1922   Western Suburbs*   Coorparoo   Carltons
1923   Coorparoo   Past Grammars   Western Suburbs
1924   Fortitude Valley   Carltons*   Fortitude Valley
1925   Carltons   Coorparoo   Past Grammars
1926   Christian Brothers   Western Suburbs*   Fortitude Valley*
1927   Past Grammars   Past Grammars   Coorparoo
1928   University   Christian Brothers   Western Suburbs
1929   Carltons   Coorparoo*
1930   Carltons   Coorparoo   Western Suburbs*
1931   Fortitude Valley   Carltons*   Western Suburbs*
1932   Western Suburbs   Carltons   Fortitude Valley
1933   Fortitude Valley   Western Suburbs*   Western Suburbs
1934   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs*   Western Suburbs
1935   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers
1936   Western Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1937   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1938   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1939   Past Brothers   Southern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1940   Northern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1941   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1942   Past Brothers   Brisbane Railway   Southern Suburbs
1943   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1944   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1945   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs
1946   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1947   Eastern Suburbs   Western Suburbs   Past Brothers
1948   Western Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Southern Suburbs
1949   Southern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1950   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1951   Southern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1952   Western Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1953   Southern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Past Brothers
1954   Western Suburbs   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs
1955   Fortitude Valley*   Past Brothers   Western Suburbs
1956   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1957   Fortitude Valley   Western Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1958   Past Brothers   Fortitude Valley   Fortitude Valley
1959   Northern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Western Suburbs
1960   Northern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1961   Northern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1962   Northern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Fortitude Valley
1963   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1964   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1965   Redcliffe   Western Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1966   Northern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Northern Suburbs
1967   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1968   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs
1969   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1970   Fortitude Valley   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1971   Fortitude Valley   Northern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs*
1972   Eastern Suburbs   Northern Suburbs   Wynnum-Manly
1973   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers   Northern Suburbs*
1974   Fortitude Valley   Eastern Suburbs   Fortitude Valley
1975   Western Suburbs   Wynnum-Manly   Wynnum-Manly
1976   Western Suburbs   Western Suburbs   Wynnum-Manly
1977   Eastern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs   Western Suburbs
1978   Eastern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Eastern Suburbs
1979   Fortitude Valley   Past Brothers   Wynnum-Manly
1980   Northern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs
1981   Southern Suburbs   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1982   Wynnum-Manly   Redcliffe   Southern Suburbs
1983   Eastern Suburbs   Southern Suburbs   Eastern Suburbs
1984   Wynnum-Manly   Southern Suburbs   Redcliffe
1985   Southern Suburbs   Past Brothers   Southern Suburbs
1986   Wynnum-Manly
1987   Past Brothers
1988   Fort. Valley-Tweed
1989   Fortitude Valley
1990   Fortitude Valley
1991   Eastern Suburbs
1992   Western Suburbs
1993   Western Suburbs
1994   Redcliffe   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
1995   Wynnum-Manly
1996   Redcliffe
1997   Redcliffe   Redcliffe   Redcliffe
  • * = undefeated

Brisbane Rugby League premiers (All Grades) (2016–Present)Edit

Season Senior Grade Reserve Grade Colts Grade
2016   Redcliffe
2017   Fortitude Valley
2018   Wynnum-Manly
2019

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