1940 – 1949
The 1940’s were ushered in under the clouds of war and, with many players enlisted in the armed forces all Clubs had difficulty in fielding teams. In 1942 Maitland was unable to field teams in both grades and in August 1942, Mr C Sage, the secretary of Eastern Suburbs, officially withdrew his club from the competition because “Army & Essential Services players could not obtain the necessary leave to enable us to carry on.”
In 1949 after a semi-final between Northern Suburbs and Central, Central protested the game had finished early. The protest was upheld and the game replayed. The short time was twelve and a half seconds.
Johnny Graves (Maitland, South Sydney) represented Australia against New Zealand, England and France
Col Maxwell (West Newcastle, St George and West Sydney) became Newcastle’s third Test captain when he led the 1948 Kangaroos to England.
Keith Froome (West Newcastle, Newtown) followed Maxwell as captain of Australia in two Tests in 1949.
Kurri Kurri won two premierships in 1940, 1945
South Newcastle won two premierships in 1943, 1946
Waratah- Mayfield won two premierships in 1942, 1944
Cessnock in 1941, Lakes United in 1947, Northern Suburbs in 1948 and Central Newcastle in 1949 won one premiership each.
When Eastern Suburbs withdrew from the competition in 1942 the club’s territory was split between the North and South clubs. North gained Stockton and Carrington while South gained the remainder, which comprised mainly from the Bank corner along National Park Street and then eastwards to the coast.
Lakes United entered the competition in 1947, winning in their first season.
Maitland and Morpeth-East Maitland merged in 1943 to form the Maitland United Club.
International rugby league resumed in 1946 after WWII
1946 Newcastle defeated Great Britain 18-13
1948 New Zealand defeated Newcastle 10-9