Annandale District RLFC Formed

14th March 1910

Rumblings of discontent had been brewing with second grade club Annandale for a few years. Glebe were the most dominant and successful club while their neighbouring suburb Annandale were a second grade feeder club for Glebe. In 1908, when Glebe moved from the Metropolitan Rugby Union to the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), soon followed by the Newtown, Balmain and South Sydney clubs, Annandale officials were optimistic that this might provide them with an opportunity to finally move into the first grade rugby union competition, however was not an option that the Metropolitan Rugby Union (MRU) approved of prefering to main a strong Glebe club.

On August 28, 1909, Annandale announced that they had disbanded from the MRU and had joined with the NSWRL. On the same day five Annandale players, coupled with some Newtown Rugby Union players, participated in an exhibition game against Eastern Suburbs, in the undercard match before the Australia v Maori Test at the Royal Agricultural Ground. With some lenient officiating by the referee towards the newcomers, as they were new to the rules, they won the game 8-5.

The following day, the MRU cited the Annandale club and the Newtown players who participated in the exhibition game against Eastern Suburbs After these players were expelled, the MRU board then turned their attention to Annandale and ruled that a decision would be made on their fate at a later date. On September 22, the MRU met again and decided to expel Newtown players R.Gavin and Viv Farnsworth, along with five Annandale players and a second grade Newtown player for their involvement in the exhibition game with Eastern Suburbs. Two of the expelled Annandale players were Angus Lennon and Robert Gray who both spoke about the code switch. Lennon revealed that “we went over (to Rugby League) because Annandale will never have a decent show of forming a district club while we are Glebe’s district.” This sentiment was one that run deep within many at the club. Gray revealed, “I had one night’s meeting to learn the rules. Arthur Hennessy was there; we met at the corner and went to the training room. The only reason I went over was because I thought I would like the League rules better.”

On March 14, 1910 the Annandale Rugby League Club held its first official meeting at the Collondale Hall. The meeting was presided over by Horrie Miller, Harry Flegg and Edward Larkin, officials of the game’s governing body. It was at this meeting that the New South Wales Rugby League officially declared that Annandale would be the eighth team to join their first grade competition for the 1910 season, effectively replacing the recently departed Newcastle side, despite not having a designated home ground. They would take the field wearing maroon and gold coloured jumpers. The first secretary of the Annandale club was Walter Henry Clutton, a member of the Liberal Party and a Police Sergeant. The vice-president elected at the same meeting was Alderman James Robertson, who was also the Mayor of Annandale.

And so the competition rivalry with Annandale began