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Albert, Peter, Frank and Laidley Burge (l to r)

The Presidents Cup clash between North Sydney and Glebe at Henson Park on Saturday (25 July) will be an historic occasion in more ways than one. These old harbourside rivals have not met for 91 years and to put that in perspective the Sydney Harbour Bridge was still being built at that time.

Between 1908 and 1929 there certainly were some spirited clashes between the two foundation clubs with perhaps the most famous being the 1922 premiership decider. With Duncan Thompson, Harold Horder, Cec Blinkhorn and a star-studded backline, Norths proved too strong for Frank Burge’s Glebe Dirty Reds and won the final in a canter 35-3.

The following year there was acrimony when Thompson was sent off against Glebe and then controversially suspended, prompting him to quit North Sydney and NSW and return to Queensland.

In 1929 Glebe also played their last ever premiership match against North Sydney before they were cruelly axed from the competition. It finished in a thrilling 24-24 draw, so maybe both these famous clubs will look on this week’s clash as unfinished business.

The Bears kicked off their season with a 32-16 win over Dubbo in the opening round while Glebe will be raring to go after having the bye last weekend.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.