Kiama Knights Centenary: And so it all began

THE Kiama Rugby League Club was formed on Monday, May 4, 1914.

After searching back issues of the Kiama Independent, it was established that rugby was played in Kiama up until 1914 and the issue of the Kiama Independent dated Wednesday, May 6, reports:

“A well-attended meeting was held at the Council Chambers on Monday night to form a club in Kiama to play the rugby league game.

“The following officers were appointed: President Mr S. S. Major; Secretary Mr W. Farquharson; Treasurer Mr H. Marsh.

“Over 30 members joined the club and it is more than probable that two teams will be entered in the competition.

“At a subsequent meeting held immediately afterwards, the club decided to affiliate with the district league, former on Saturday, having its headquarters at Kiama and a practice match was arranged to be played at the showground next Saturday between possibles and probables.

“Now that the league game is to be played in Kiama the club is expected to stand the expenses of jerseys and travelling expenses which, under the rugby union game, was a charge on members of the team and in consequence, a small charge will need to be made at various matches played throughout the season, to meet the outlay.”

The first game involving the Kiama club was played on Saturday, May 9, 1914 at Church Point (now the Kiama Showground) between a Kiama team and a Bombo team.

The first Kiama team is not exactly known, but the chosen squad was A. Smith, A. Brown, W. N. Cameron, S. Brandon, C. Brown, W. Farquharson, F. Tomkins, R. A. Longbottom, F. Tompkins, E. Fuller, W. Walker, O. Tory, W. Dixon, E. Wiley, J. Arnold, T. Thomas, R. Simpson and E. Ettinghausen.

The following Wednesday, May 13, the Independent published this account of their first match.

“On Saturday a preliminary match was played at the showground between Bombo and Kiama, two teams that have entered in the South Coast League competition.

“There was a fairly large attendance of spectators and a good game was witnessed.

“Bombo played the better game up to half-time when the score stood at Bombo five, Kiama nil, but afterwards the latter end of the game, through a bit of bad luck and some faulty play, Kiama took advantage of their chance and eventually won the match with the scores at Kiama 11, Bombo eight. Mr. Byrnes refereed the match.

“For the winners J. Arnold and A. Brown played the best game. Arnold’s try just on full-time being the tit-bit of the match. E. Wiley, A. Smith and C. Gibson played well and I. Thomas was safe as fullback, his kicking being a treat to watch.

“On the Bombo side E. Stokes and W. Griffen were easily the best forwards while pretty well all the back division played a good game especially Chas. Stokes as fullback and Chris Stokes as centre three-quarter.

“With a little coaching, Bombo ought to give a good account of themselves in the competition.

“A collection was taken up on the ground in aid of the widow and children of Wm. Campbell, one pound 12 shillings and 10 pence being raised.”

Kiama Knights have a proud history, winning a grand total of 37 premierships.

They include 10 in first grade; 1925 as Kiama Starlights, in 1929 as Bombo, 1930 and ’33 as Kiama-Bombo and as Kiama in 1945, ’46, ’47, ’48, ’50, ’69, ’83 and ’85.

They have won nine in reserve grade; 1923, ’29, ’31, ’36, ’50, ’51, ’82 and 2012.

The under-18s have been the most successful, perhaps the reason for the higher grade’s success, winning in 1928, ’45, ’46, ’48, ’50, ’52, ’53, ’56, ’58, ’82, ’92, ’2002, ’04 and 2013.

The recently introduced Women’s League Tag competition has also been successful in winning two premierships, in 2011 and 2013.

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