dash for the door
1907: St George can trace its Rugby League history back to 1907
when the new game was first mentioned in local newspaper, the St
George Call. This was during the early days of Australia's breakaway
from Rugby Union with James Giltinan, Henry Hoyle and
cricketer Victor Trumper attending meetings in an effort to attract
players to Rugby League.
Town Hall, Friday, February 28, 1908: A meeting was held at Rockdale
Town Hall, south of Sydney. Mainly instigated by St George Rugby League
pioneers, Messers W. Munn and Joe McGraw, the meeting
was attended by New South Wales Rugby League officials and Rugby Union
players from the local district.
this meeting, a St George Rugby League club was definitely formed with
chairman of the meeting, Alderman and Mayor W. Taylor being elected
George Juniors and St George Referee Association
The St George Junior League commenced in 1911, with eight A
Grade teams, and six B Grade teams. Games were played at Hurstville
Oval, Campsie, Convent Ground, Sans Souci, Arncliffe Park, Brighton
Le-Sands and Kogarah Park (Jubilee Oval). Later, Prince Edward
Park (later the site of St George Leagues Club) became the main
1920, St George had a strong junior base with 10 A-Grade teams,
11 B-Grade teams and 14 C-Grade teams.
During these early years, Western Suburbs and NSWRL maintained
a loose oversight of the organisation.
The referees had grown alongside the juniors. In May 1920, an
informal grouping of Referees Association met at Rockdale Town
Hall to form the St George District Referees Association.
The first office bearers were: President: A Farrow, Vice
President: C Negus, Secretary/Treasurer: S Bossi,
NSWRL Delegate: Joe McGraw.
McGraw played a very important role in the foundation of the
three organisations - Juniors, Referees, District Club.
The Referees Association were strong supporters of the foundation
of the District Club, but in 1936 supported the Junior League
when it broke from the District and NSWRL over management policies.
However, commonsense prevailed after a couple of years and all
parties resumed the partnership.
NSWRL chairman, Henry Clement Hoyle delivered a convincing address
and the Rugby Union players in attendance unanimously voted in favour
of joining the new Rugby League.
However, pressure from Rugby Union saw a swift change of mind with only
three players actually signing up, one of those being Ted Courtney
who later became a member of the first Kangaroos.
According to The Bulletin, in campaigning against the new game,
there was a hasty exit to the door. But other reports in The St George
Call and The Rugby League News painted a different picture,
stating the meeting was well attended and that the motion to form a
League club in St George was carried. Nevertheless, the end result was
disappointment for the organisers and a new approach was required.
Sans Souci, April 30, 1910: It took two more years but in 1910,
the "St George Third Grade Rugby League Football Club" was
formed and admitted into the NSWRL third grade competition.
colours of the club were red and white. The jerseys had red and white
horizontal hoops which were four inches wide. They wore black shorts,
black socks with red and white tops. The headquarters were at Stroud's
Hotel, Kogarah, and the training room was the small hall (old church)
in Gray Street. The club's home ground was at Sans Souci and Mr A.
Farrat was installed as coach.
The St George third graders of 1910 became the first St George Rugby
League team to take to the field and did so in convincing fashion, thrashing
the Newtown thirds by 36-0 at Sans Souci.
The scorers for this historic match were: C Haydon 3, J Thomson 2, F
Holt, B Haydon, A.Gore tries. C Haydon 4, A Larkin, S Territt goals.
Referee: C Negus.
George made numerous attempts to
join the first grade competition. The third grade competition which
St George belonged to was enjoying a growing local support base.
Rugby League matches in Sydney
were attracting large crowds and became even more popular than Rugby
Union which was suspended in World War I.
there was considerable opposition from within the NSWRL to a St George
first grade team being admitted into the premiership competition.
The main problem being the reluctance of the NSWRL to upset the eight
team comp and introduce a weekly bye.
Relentless in their lobbying
of the NSWRL were men like Joe McGraw (a local referee) and
Allan Clark. They also had strong support from the likes of
Arthur V. Moymow (president, St George Juniors), J.H. Burt
and G.B. Holt.
On March 4, 1911 at Morris's Hotel, Rockdale, the St George Juniors
were born. Allan Clark was largely responsible for forming
this new junior competition and eight 'A-Grade' clubs resulted from
his initial efforts.
In 1911, St George also
joined the separate 'Presidents Cup' competition.
A moving of the NSWRL boundaries
saw the official name of the club changed to 'Wests III' although
the club was still referred to as St George. This remained the case
until 1915 when the proper
St George name returned.
cornerstone is finally set
13 October 1920:
The NSWRL granted St George a first grade team, and decided to eliminate
Annandale. The discussion took the best part of three hours in which
the St George representatives, GB Holt, Allan Clark and
Joe McGraw, lobbied hard.
Monday 8 November 1920:
A public meeting to discuss the introduction of St George into the
first grade competition was arranged. An advertisement on October
30 in The St George Call read as follows:
"A public meeting will be held
in the Kogarah School of Arts on Monday, November 8 at 8pm to form
a grade club for the district of St George, to take part in the 1921
competition of the NSWRL. All players and supporters are cordially
invited to attend. J. McGraw, Convener."
Thus laid the foundation of the
St George District RLFC and all the history that was to follow.