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1934 NSWRFL season

1934 New South Wales Rugby Football League
PremiersWestern Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs (2nd title)
Minor premiersEastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs (5th title)
Matches played60
Points scored1823
Top points scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Dave Brown (121)
Top try-scorer(s)Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Dave Brown (11)
St. George colours.svg Fred Gardner (11)
Western Suburbs colours.svg Vic Hey (11)

The 1934 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the twenty-seventh season of Sydney’s top-grade 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 Western Suburbs’ victory over Eastern Suburbs in the premiership final.[1]

Season summary

At the height of The Depression, the New South Wales Rugby Football League again banned radio broadcasts of matches, blaming them for a severe drop in crowd numbers.

In Round 2 the University club began a losing streak which would run until the fourteenth round of the 1936 season, marking the record for the most consecutive losses in premiership history at 42.


Balmain home jersey 1908.svg
27th season
Ground: Leichhardt Oval
Coach: George Robinson
Captain: Syd Christensen
Eastern Suburbs
27th season
Ground: Trumper Oval, Sports Ground
Coach: Arthur Halloway
Captain: Dave Brown
Newtown Jets home jersey 1908.svg
27th season
Ground: Marrickville Oval
Coach: Charles "Boxer" Russell
Captain: Keith Ellis
North Sydney Bears home jersey 1932.svg
North Sydney
27th season
Ground: North Sydney Oval
Coach: Herman Peters
Captain: Doug Deitz
St. George
14th season
Ground: Earl Park
Coach: Albert Johnston
Captain: Harry Kadwell
South Sydney
27th season
Ground: Sports Ground
Coach: Charlie Lynch
Captain: George Treweek
University home jersey 1925.svg
15th season
Captain-Coach: Gordon Favelle
Western Suburbs
27th season
Ground: Pratten Park
Captain-coach: Frank McMillan


The geographical locations of the teams that contested the 1934 premiership across Sydney.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 14 12 0 2 308 165 +143 24
2 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 14 12 0 2 263 158 +105 24
3 St. George colours.svg St. George 14 9 0 5 251 166 +85 18
4 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 14 8 0 6 213 149 +64 16
5 Newtown colours.svg Newtown 14 5 0 9 192 229 -37 10
6 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney 14 5 0 9 194 234 -40 10
7 Balmain colours.svg Balmain 14 4 0 10 206 275 -69 8
8 University colours.svg Sydney University 14 1 0 13 113 364 -251 2


In the two semi finals, the top two ranked teams Western Suburbs and Eastern Suburbs beat their lower-ranked opponents St. George and South Sydney. The two winners then played in a final in which Western beat Eastern Suburbs.

3 September 1934 - Sports Ground
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 16
16 September 1934 - Sports Ground[2]
St. George colours.svg St. George 6
Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs 15
9 September 1934 - Sports Ground
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 12
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs 19
South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney 6

Premiership Final

Western Suburbs Position Eastern Suburbs
Frank McMillan (Ca./Co.) FB Tom Dowling
Alan Ridley WG John Lane
Charlie Cornwell CE Dave Brown (c)
Stan Tancred CE Jack Beaton
Alan Brady WG Harry Thompson
Vic Hey FE Ernie Norman
Les Mead HB Viv Thicknesse
Jack McConnell PR Ray Stehr
Bob Lindfield HK Tom McLachlan
Alan Blake PR Max Nixon
Vince Sheehan SR Harry Pierce
Max Gray SR Joe Pearce
Frank Sponberg LK Andy Norval

After a hurried conference on Saturday, 1 September 1934, the league postponed the final for a week because of heavy rain and adverse ground conditions. It was the first postponement in the competition’s twenty-seven-year history. Eastern Suburbs players Viv Thicknesse and Stan Tancred made a return for the final which was refereed by J Murphy before a crowd of 25,174.

Western Suburbs captain Frank McMillan won the toss and ran with the wind before Les Mead opened with a penalty goal. Regular stoppages for infringements ensued before Jack Beaton kicked accurately to level the match at 2–2. Western Suburbs Test winger Alan Ridley scored the first try of the match, crashing over on the right wing after powering through the defence. McMillan’s conversion made it 7–2, with the score remaining unchanged at halftime.

After the break, Thicknesse hit back for Eastern Suburbs and crossed after excellent lead up work by Joe Pearce. Beaton missed the conversion but Dave Brown steered through a penalty from a scrum infringement shortly after and the scores were level at 7–7. Rain began to fall as Western Suburbs gathered momentum. The play shifted to Easts’ line and Vince Sheehan crossed for an unconverted try and Western Suburbs led 10–7. Eastern Suburbs continued to defend grimly before Western Suburbs surged to a comfortable 15–7 lead. Vic Hey received a lobbed pass and got the ball to Alan Ridley who scored under the upright for Mead to convert. The Roosters’ chances came in the final stages and Andy Norval crossed for his team’s second try, although the referee appeared to miss a blatant knock-on. Beaton converted but it was all too late, with Western Suburbs claiming their second premiership.

Frank McMillan 1934 premiership winning captain, to his right Alan Brady and Charlie Cornwell

A great victory by a great team who upset the star-studded Eastern Suburbs, who went on to win the next three titles. Alan Ridley played one of the best games for Western Suburbs along with team-mates Mead, Hey, Brady, Tancred. Current test skipper Frank McMillan (141 games) and hooker Bob Lindfield (138 matches) announced their retirement after the victory and were chaired from the field by team-mates.

Western Suburbs 15 (Tries: Alan Ridley 2, Vince Sheehan. Goals: Les Mead 2, Frank McMillan)

Eastern Suburbs 12 (Tries: Andy Norval, Viv Thicknesse. Goals: Jack Beaton 2, Dave Brown)


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