Lindfield Rugby Club 1920 – 2012
The origins of Lindfield Rugby club can be traced back over 90 years to the world war one battlefields of France. Bonds of friendship between a group of young Lindfield men were solidified in battle and against the odds they survived to return to Tryon Road. It is these bonds of mateship that laid the foundations of The Lindfield Rugby Club that has gone from strength to strength in over 90 years since. Today Lindfield Rugby is known for running rugby that echoes the mateship of the young soldiers that created it.
The Early Years
Lindfield Rugby Club was established in 1919 by soldiers returning from battle in the first world war. After approaching the council for permission to set aside a section of land at Tryon Road, Lindfield Rugby Club first enters rugby records in 1920. To honour their fallen comrades the gates of remembrance were constructed at the oval’s entrance by volunteer labour with assistance from the council, with Lindfield Oval being renamed Soldier’s Memorial Park in 1922.
Since its inception, Lindfield Rugby has maintained the tradition bestowed on it by its founders, notably both the Club’s colours of Sky blue and white, and its home ground have remained for the 90 years since Lindfield’s founding.
Upon the foundations of Lindfield Rugby, Lindfield Cricket club commenced in 1923 providing year round sport for Lindfield and its residents.
After the Second World War
Lindfield continued to compete in local competitions until the beginning of world war two, resuming competition in 1947 with a membership of 25. In that same year, Lindfield’s inaugural ball was held with 136 people in attendance, highlighting Lindfield’s standing within the Local community and setting the standard for every social event since.
1948 was the year the first Lindfield side was entered in the Sub-district competition. Lindfield entered a team in the Burke Cup competition and took out the minor premiership.
In the years following, Lindfield raised funds for the building of the clubhouse at Soldier’s memorial oval. The top wooden section of the club house was the original East Roseville YMCA building that was relocated by the council and placed on top of the newly constructed showers and dressing rooms below. Building was complete for the 1960 season.
The Glorious 1980s
Following the disastrous 1986 season where Lindfield was relegated to 2nd division for the first time in its history, 1987 saw a major resurgence from the club becoming the first Club in sub-districts history to be relegated and then promoted in successive seasons. 1987 Club Championship was all tied up with 3 rounds to spare.
In 1993 the Kentwell Cup competition was cut from 18 teams to only ten. Facing almost certain relegation, Lindfield rallied not only escaping relegation but posting a club record of 359 points in a season. This included First grade breaking the 50 point barrier for the first time in the clubs history against Penrith beating Penrith 55-12.
The So-So 1990s
Unfortunately the early 1990’s weren’t always this kind to the Old soldier. 1995 the year that Rugby became professional Lindfield failed to win a grand final despite having record number of players. This was followed with relegation to Division 2 in 1996.
2000s and Beyond
The early 2000s saw Lindfield stare relegation in the face narrowly avoiding Division 3 by the saviour of youth. Lindfield’s Colts side won the minor premiership in the Robertson cup competition for three consecutive years culminating in 2005 when the side took out the Robertson cup. By winning the cup, Lindfield gave the cups name sake the opportunity to award the cup to his son who played with the side that season.
Building on this foundation, Lindfield has seen an era of recent success seeing Lindfield in the top 3 of club championships for both 2007 and 2008 with 2009 seeing Lindfield awarded with the Relliance Shield for Club Championships. All grades made appearances in the finals series including a 3rd grade premiership. Winning the Relliance Shield saw Lindfield Rugby Club take its place back among the elite 1st Division, competing for the Kentwell Cup for the first time since 1996. In 2010 Lindfield had 3 grades make the 1st Division finals series securing our place in the top tier for another year, before falling away in 2011.
A New Generation 2012 onwards…
In 2012, Lindfield Rugby Club again competed for the Barraclough Cup in 2nd Division, and with a younger squad than ever before, we expected some rebuilding to take place or coming seasons. 2014 saw the club compete very solidly in each grade, with both 3rd grade and Colts going all the way to Grand Final day. Colts went on to take out the Robertson Cup once again and do the club proud. With full player rosters and a strengthening culture, the future is in good hands.
The Lindfield Juniors
The Lindfield Juniors is one of the biggest Junior rugby clubs in Australia. It sees great success and forms a major part of rugby development in the area. For more information please head to their website lindfieldrugby.rugbynet.com.au
Lindfield and the Wallabies.
Lindfield had its first international representative with the Wallabies in 1969 when Bruce Taafe was selected to tour to South Africa. Other Wallaby representatives connected with the club include Wallaby Captain Stirling Mortlock, Andrew Blades and his brother Cameron Blades.