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The 1941 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the thirty-fourth season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested the premiership during the season, which lasted from April until August, culminating in Eastern Suburbs’ loss to St. George in the grand final.[1]

1941 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersSt. George colours.svg St. George (1st title)
Minor premiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (10th title)
Matches played59
Points scored1933
Top points scorer(s)St. George colours.svg Neville Smith (84)
Top try-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Percy Dermond (13)
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sel Lisle (13)


34th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Bill Kelly
Captain: Sid Goodwin
7th season
Ground: Belmore Sports Ground
Captain-coach: Ron Bailey
Eastern Suburbs
34th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Captain-coach: Ray Stehr
34th season
Ground: Henson Park
Captain-Coach: Percy Williams
North Sydney
34th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Arthur Halloway
Captain: Rex Harrison
South Sydney
34th season
Ground: Sydney Sports Ground
Coach: Jim Tait
Captain: Bob Banham
St. George
21st season
Ground; Hurstville Oval
Captain-coach: Neville Smith
Western Suburbs
34th season
Ground: Pratten Park
Captain-Coach: Les Mead


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1941 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1   Eastern Suburbs 14 9 0 5 217 160 +57 18
2   Balmain 14 9 0 5 243 205 +38 18
3   Canterbury-Bankstown 14 9 0 5 205 182 +23 18
4   St. George 14 8 1 5 307 248 +59 17
5   Newtown 14 6 2 6 219 242 -23 14
6   Western Suburbs 14 6 0 8 247 226 +21 12
7   South Sydney 14 4 0 10 193 277 -84 8
8   North Sydney 14 3 1 10 171 262 -91 7

Owing to the fact that three clubs were equal on points at the end of the home-and-away season, no club had the right of challenge in the finals.


Eastern Suburbs and St. George won their respective semi finals, allowing them to meet in the Final.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Semi Finals
  Eastern Suburbs 24 - 22   Canterbury-Bankstown 16 August 1941 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 21,000
  Balmain 8 - 32   St. George 23 August 1941 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 26,790
  Eastern Suburbs 14 - 31   St. George 30 August 1941 Sydney Cricket Ground Tom McMahon 39,957[2]

Premiership finalEdit

St George Position Eastern Suburbs
Jack Wedgwood FB Doug Bartlett
Owen Campbell WG Percy Dermond
Gordon Hart CE Dick Dunn
Jack Gilbert CE Dave Brown
Noel Jones WG Brian Walsh
Roy Hasson FE Fred May
Albert McAndrew HB Sel Lisle
Charlie Montgomery PR Jack Arnold
Herb Gilbert Jnr HK Noel Hollingdale
Lindsay Spencer PR Ray Stehr (Ca./Co.)
Neville Smith (Ca./Co.) SR Don Gulliver
Len Kelly (v.capt) SR Sid Pearce
Bill Tyquin LK Wal Bamford
Bill Collier Res.
Jim Hale Res.

In a tough encounter the Dragons won their first ever premiership in their twenty-first season in the competition. St George captain-coach Neville Smith was knocked out after a heavy tackle early in the match. Smith recovered and scored 13 points through one try and five goals.

Along with Smith, St George centre Gordon Hart also gave a sparkling display of free-running rugby league. Recently enlisted in the AIF, Hart had been given permission to leave barracks to participate in the finals.[3]

In another incident Easts’ prop Jack Arnold and Saints’ lock Bill Tyquin were sent off after an almighty punch up. Tyquin, a Queensland representative who would later captain Australia, played only the 1941 war-time season in Sydney while he was stationed there on duty with the AIF.

It was to prove to be the final match in the stellar, record-setting career of Easts’ Dave Brown who at twenty-nine years of age announced his retirement at game’s end.

St George 31 (Tries: Campbell 2, Hanson 2, Smith, Kelly, Hart, McAndrew. Goals: Smith 5)


Eastern Suburbs 14 (Tries: Dermond 2, Brown, Bamford. Goals: Brown 1)

St. George's 1941 Premiership-winning team.


  1. ^ Premiership Roll of Honour Archived 2007-04-28 at the Wayback Machine at
  2. ^ North, Sam (25 September 1992). "1941: The Saints surprised them then, too". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 1. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  3. ^ ‘Just one member of historic Saints side present and accounted for’

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