1949 was a year of two halves. The team was decimated by injuries early on and only won four matches in the first round but, once players returned, particularly Captain/Coach Col Maxwell, won eight of their last nine matches. In the semi-final against Balmain, they led 13-10 with one minute to go but after two quick penalties, Balmain were able to score an equalling try in the corner. The match went to extra time where Balmain won 20-13 after Wests sustained injuries to key players; a very unlucky result.

This was the season where Keith Holman established himself as a top-shelf player, ably supported by Kevin Hansen, who won the Daily Telegraph “Player of the Year” contest (First Prize a month’s holiday in England). Kevin Hansen and Frank Stanmore both were selected in the Australian team which toured New Zealand.

A rampaging Kevin Hansen

Jack Woods had a dashing debut season, while four Juniors, Jack and Vic Williams, Bill Hilliard and Jack Wall all played First Grade due to early season injuries.

Frank Stanmore                              Keith Holman                                        Bill Keato

Bill Keato in action against Balmain in 1949

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