South Sydney Marches On

South Sydney Marches On

Victor P Taffa

Glory For The Pride Of The League

South Sydney Rugby League Football Club has won its 21st Premiership by completely outclassing Canterbury-Bankstown 30-6 in the 2014 NRL (National Rugby League) Grand Final on Sunday 5 October 2014 at ANZ Stadium, Homebush in front of 83,833 people.


South Sydney 30 (A. Johnston, G. Burgess, K, Auva’a, A. Reynolds, G. Inglis tries. A. Reynolds 5 goals)

Canterbury-Bankstown 6 (T. Williams Try. J. Reynolds goal.)




From the opening few minutes it was clear that South Sydney had control of the match. While watching the game at Souths Juniors Rugby League Club at Kingsford, Editor Victor P Taffa could see that Canterbury had trouble containing South Sydney. As the result showed, this was to be the case.

South Sydney thoroughly deserved to win the Grand Final after losing the 2012 and 2013 Preliminary Finals to miss the Grand Final. Season 2014 showed South Sydney was not going to be denied.

In winning the 2014 Grand Final erases the pain of being kicked out of the competition by the ‘Super League’ war lead by News Limited Chief Rupert Murdoch. South Sydney went to court and was reinstated to the competition.

As a foundation club in 1908 South Sydney won Premierships in the following seasons:

  • 1908
  • 1909*
  • 1914
  • 1918
  • 1925
  • 1926
  • 1927
  • 1928
  • 1929
  • 1931
  • 1932
  • 1950
  • 1951
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1955
  • 1967
  • 1968
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 2014

South Sydney is runners-up in the following seasons:

  • 1910
  • 1916
  • 1917
  • 1920
  • 1923
  • 1924
  • 1935
  • 1937
  • 1939
  • 1949
  • 1952
  • 1965
  • 1969**


*1909 Grand Final South Sydney vs. Balmain

In season 1908 the competition began following the breakaway of Rugby League from Rugby Union. In season 1909 after the New South Wales Rugby League had planned a match between the Australian Rugby Union and Rugby League teams that would upstage the premiership final and both South Sydney and Balmain unofficially agreed to not play out a final. But unknown to Balmain, South Sydney turned up to play. South Sydney scored a try and won the Final. Grand Finals became mandatory in 1954.This situation leads to decades of bitter rivalry between South Sydney and Balmain Tigers.


**1969 Grand Final South Sydney vs. Balmain

After decades of bitter rivalry South Sydney met Balmain in the 1969 Grand Final. Balmain was underdogs as South Sydney had won the previous two Premierships and was brim full of international players. Legendary Balmain Tigers fullback Keith Barnes had retired in 1968. South Sydney accused Balmain of deliberately slowing down the play and lying down feigning injury. This accusation was simply sour grapes by South Sydney who were simply outgunned by a young well prepared and determined team. As the scoreboard showed Balmain scored the only try of the match to thoroughly deserve their 11th Premiership.

Balmain 11 (Tries: Williams. Goals: Killeen 2. Field Goal: D Bolton 2)

South Sydney 2 (Goals: Simms 1.)

Balmain Tigers

Balmain Tigers









South Sydney was given the title of ‘Pride of the League’ having won 20 Premierships and a foundation club in 1908.

South Sydney having won the 2014 Grand Final is again the ‘Pride of the League’.


St. George Domination

For South Sydney to have only won 21 Premierships is a remarkable effort considering that St. George won 11 consecutive Premierships from 1956-1966. In the 11 Premiership victories St. George defeated:

  • 1956 Balmain
  • 1957 Manly-Warringah
  • 1958 Western Suburbs
  • 1959 Manly-Warringah
  • 1960 Eastern Suburbs
  • 1961 Western Suburbs
  • 1962 Western Suburbs
  • 1963 Western Suburbs
  • 1964 Balmain
  • 1965 South Sydney
  • 1966 Balmain

Editor Victor P Taffa became a member of the Balmain Leagues Club in 1983 and a member of the Balmain Tigers Rugby League Football Club in 1986. On one occasion he said to Legendary Balmain Fullback Keith Barnes long before the ‘Super League’ war erupted that Promotion and Relegation should exist in the Rugby League competition. It is one thing to have a National Rugby League competition, it is quite another matter entirely to have a team from another country playing at the expense of Balmain or North Sydney.

Promotion And Relegation

The ‘Super league’ war forced mergers on Rugby League clubs that to this day has seen many people walk away from following the game. Bitter rivals Manly and North Sydney were forced into a merger that subsequently failed leaving North Sydney out. Western Suburbs and Balmain merged to become Wests-Tigers and St. George merged with Illawarra to become St. George-Illawarra.

The NRL should introduce Promotion and Relegation that unlike metro rail technology will strengthen Rugby League and allow Balmain, Illawarra, Newtown, North Sydney, St. George and Western Suburbs to stand alone again and see the light of day in an improved NRL competition.