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The 1912 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the fifth season of Sydney’s rugby league club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season for the premiership and the Royal Agricultural Society Challenge Shield.

1912 NSWRFL season
LeagueNew South Wales Rugby Football League
Duration4 May to 24 August
Matches played56
Points scored1262
PremiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs[1] (2nd title)
Minor PremiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (1st title)
Runners-upGlebe colours.svg Glebe
Top point-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Dally Messenger (80)
Top try-scorer(s)Glebe colours.svg Roy Algie (12)
Second Grade
Number of teams17
PremiersGlebe colours.svg Glebe
Third Grade
Number of teams20 (1 disqualified)
PremiersSouth Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
Runners-upSouth Sydney Federals

Season summaryEdit

From 1912 to 1925, the team finishing on top of the ladder after the home-and-away rounds was automatically deemed premiers unless two clubs were on equal points at this point in which case a final was held. This move by the New South Wales Rugby League may well have been in response to Eastern Suburbs’ victory in the season before, where they overcame minor premiers Glebe in two successive finals to claim the premiership.

With four rounds remaining in the 1912 season, Eastern Suburbs and Glebe were clearly ahead of the rest of the teams and it looked unlikely that they would be caught. The two clubs were matched up against each other in Round 11 at the Sydney Sports Ground in what would ultimately decide the fate of the premiership, with Glebe just two points behind Eastern Suburbs on the ladder. In front of 25,000 people, the two clubs played out a closely fought match in muddy conditions. Dally Messenger was able to break a 4–4 deadlock late in the match by kicking a field goal after a scrum win close to the sideline and win the game 6–4 for Eastern Suburbs.

With a four-point premiership lead and only three rounds to play, Eastern Suburbs, who had only lost one game before in the season to eventual third-placed Newtown, looked uncatchable. That turned out to be the case, with Eastern Suburbs winning their remaining three games to take away the premiership.

Also this season Pratten Park became the Western Suburbs club’s homeground.


The teams remained unchanged from the previous season.

3rd season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain: Ray Norman
5th season
Ground: Birchgrove Oval
Coach: Bob Graves
Captain: Bob Craig
Eastern Suburbs
5th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain-Coach: Dally Messenger
5th season
Ground: Wentworth Park
Captain-Coach: Chris McKivat
5th season
Ground: Erskineville Oval
Captain-Coach: Bill Noble
North Sydney
5th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Captain: Albert Broomham
South Sydney
5th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain: Arthur Butler
Western Suburbs
5th season
Ground: Pratten Park
Captain-Coach: Tedda Courtney


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1912 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Eastern Suburbs 14 13 0 1 230 86 +144 26
2   Glebe 14 11 0 3 199 83 +116 22
3   Newtown 14 9 0 5 178 132 +46 18
4   South Sydney 14 8 0 6 207 137 +70 16
5   Balmain 14 6 0 8 138 168 -30 12
6   North Sydney 14 6 0 8 124 197 -73 12
7   Annandale 14 2 0 12 86 134 -48 4
8   Western Suburbs 14 1 0 13 100 325 -225 2



  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine at
  2. ^ Haddan, Stephen (1991). History of the NSW Rugby League Finals. Australia. p. 22. Retrieved 13 July 2014.

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